Flying with children can be difficult. Not only is it hard for children to sit still, but it is hard for other passengers to enjoy their flight if your child is loud, obnoxious, or misbehaving. If you are going to be flying with kids in the future, take a look at these tips and checklist:
1. Try and schedule flights during typical nap times, while this can back fire on you occasionally, if your child will sleep during the flight, your flight will be much easier.
2. Print your boarding pass at home, and bring cash to tip sky caps so you do not have to wait in any lines at the airport besides the security lines.
3. If your child is less than a year old, it is important to help their ears to pressurize as you take off and land, so that they do not later have an ear ache. Give your child a bottle, or nurse your child during the take off and descent.
4. If you have a long flight planned, be sure to walk around and get as much of the wiggles out as possible before boarding the plane. There is not much room for children to play on planes, so do not make them sit still while waiting to board; that may be too much sitting still for one day.
5. Plane restrooms are very small, so take your child to the airport bathroom before boarding, especially if they need help using the facilities.
6. Bring along snacks and drinks for the child. Most flights provide drinks and snacks, but these are provided on a schedule, and kids are not great with following schedules or routines that vary from their own, so make sure you have something on hand in case the little one can’t wait any longer.
7. Bring activities and earphones. Many flights, at least longer flights, play movies on board, but you need headphones to be able to listen to them, so bring your own so your child does not have to wait for the flight attendant to get them to you, and you do not have to worry about carrying cash. Also, movies only last so long, so be sure to have age appropriate activities, such as: books, crayons, toys (that do not make noise), or hand-held games.
1. Have you verified your child as a lap child, or gotten them a seat that is next to yours?
2. Do you have a carry-on bag packed with toys, books, and games to keep your child occupied during the flight?
3. Did you print your boarding pass so you do not have to wait in line?
4. Do you have money to tip a sky cap so you do not have to wait in line?
5. Is your child wearing shoes that are easy to remove at security?
6. Do you have snacks and drinks easily accessible should your child need something to eat or drink?
7. Do you have enough diapers, wipes, pull ups, etc. for your child for at the airport and on the plane?
8. Have you talked to the flight attendants about any special needs your child may have?
9. Have you talked with your child about what is expected of them while on the plane, and do they clearly understand the consequences of poor behavior?
10. Do you have with you any of your child’s needed items for rest (i.e. a stuffed toy, a blankie, a bottle, pacifier, etc.)?
11. Did you take your child to the bathroom before boarding the plane?
If you follow these tips, and answer yes to all questions on the checklist, your flight with your child should be much easier.