1. Bring something to suck on
You know that pressure in your ears-that can be quite painful- when you’re in a plane? Well, we know that, because we’ve experienced it before. Children don’t know that feeling, and it can be scary or uncomfortable for them. Bring candy, a bottle, or pacifier. This is not only a distraction, but it can help relieve the air pressure in their ears when you ascend and descend.
2. Children under 2 can fly FREE
You can fly with a child on your lap, if they are under the age of two. Unfortunately, this is an exact age, meaning as soon as their second birthday hits, you don’t get this luxury. I know some people aren’t comfortable having their child in their lap for a flight, or if it is a long flight, you’ll want your own space. If you choose not to have the child sit on your lap, they can sit in their car seat. But! You’ll have to buy a ticket for them. Bummer, I know!
3. Car seats and strollers can be checked at the gate for FREE
This means you can utilize your stroller until you don’t need it anymore. Unfortunately, if you’re bringing a car seat and plan to check it at the gate, you’ll have to lug it through the airport, first. If you’re going to bring a stroller, I’d highly suggest using an umbrella stroller, if you have one or to buy one. We bought these adorable Mickey and Minnie strollers from Target, and they have seriously come in handy (especially at the mall, museum, and zoo!).
4. You can bring water, formula and snacks
TSA allows you to bring a reasonable amount of liquids for infants and toddlers. If you do have liquids, remove them from your bag, and notify TSA. They will check your belongings, and x-ray the liquid, just to make sure you aren’t transporting any explosives.
Ps. When I say reasonable, there is a guideline on TSA‘s website, but I’ve gotten away with multiple full water bottles. It really depends on who the agent inspecting is, on how lenient they will be.
5. You get to bring an extra personal item to transport belongings
Each person already gets a personal item to carry on, but when you have a child with you, you are allowed to bring a diaper bag or backpack, in addition to your personal item. Which means you don’t have to try to shove everything you need and they need into your purse!
6. Only bring necessities!
It is so easy to overpack for yourself alone, now add kids in the mix, and you’re going to be walking into the airport with three 100 pound suitcases! The key is to find a middle ground where you aren’t having to lug a bunch of things, but if you were stranded in the airport for hours, that you would have what you need to take care of yourself and the kids. Remember, if absolutely necessary, you can clean laundry or buy things when you get to your destination.
7. TSA screening with children is different
While children’s belongings do have to be screened, just as an adult’s items would, kids themselves are screened differently. For example, children under 12 don’t have to take their shoes or jackets off. If you are traveling with a baby, they obviously can sit or walk through a scanner, so you carry them through. If you have the baby in a carrier, like the Boba Wrap ,ask if you need to take it off-some TSA allow you to keep it on.
8. Take advantage of those special privileges
Military, first class, those with disabilities, and families with small children all get to board the plane first. Don’t feel like you’re cutting the line, or feel like you don’t need the extra time to get on the plane. Allow this to be your time to get settled, without having to dodge other people that are already sitting next to you. This will also allow you to get help from the flight attendants that are already on board.
9. Check in early
It’s easy to check-in nowadays. We get an email from the airline, as soon as we are allowed to check in. Make sure you check in as soon as you can, especially if you haven’t picked out your seat yet. You don’t want to risk being separated from your child or having to get on another flight, because the seats have been overbooked. I know sometimes these scenarios are inevitable, but the early bird (usually) gets the worm!
10. Download the airline app
Instead of fiddling with the paper boarding pass, and risk losing yours (and possibly your children’s), download your airlines app. It’s not only is your boarding pass, but it will keep you updated on any possible delays, and most apps track your luggage, telling you exactly where it is (I.e. Being loaded to plane, unloaded from plane).
What are your tips and tricks for flying with kiddos?