When you decide to go on a trip and need to take an airplane, the only thing you can think of is how stressful it will be. What you need to remember is that you paid for the flight, so nobody needs to be treating you badly because you have children with you. Here are some of my own personal tips to help getting through the airport and flight. All these would have been helpful when I went through the airport alone with a one year old and a six month old.
Pick seats near the bathroom
It is always smart to look for available seats near the bathrooms, with young children. It is also going to make your trip much easier if you sit towards the front so you can make a quick exit when the plane lands.
Arrive at the airport earlier
The airlines already recommended when you buy your tickets to arrive AT LEAST two hours early, but you have children. This means you need to allow at least an extra hour or two to get though the airport. You may think it is too much time, but believe me it is much easier to entertain your little one on the other side of the gate. Than to be rushing though the security stressed.
Pack only what you will need
With Alaska Airlines you get one bag, one carry on and a purse. And when you have children along, you also get a diaper bag, stroller and car seat without charge. This is nice and all, but remember you will have to carry ALL of this. This is why you should only pack what is needed until you get to your destination. With children you should always pack at least one extra set of clothes for each child and yourself and if your child is in diapers plenty for the trip there.
Take your car seat
If you have children whom are under the age of two, you can claim them as a lap child instead of buying them a seat. It is advised if you buy them a seat or not, bring their car seat! If your child is a lap child, but there is plenty of room next to you their car seat can be brought aboard and used. If the plane is full, they will just take the car seat the same way they take your stroller, you will get it back at the gate.
Gate check your stroller
Taking your stroller along will give you extra room to store some of your carry ons. The way I did it every time was I had my double stroller, my son would ride in the back and the bags would be piled up in the front seat so my daughter would walk along with me. Having my stroller along was wonderful and so easy, and there is no charge to gate check it.
With the older children, ages two and up it is nice to pack the most entertaining toys and books you have. Things like coloring books, crayons, stickers and new toys. I also find that my kids get hngry on the flight so I pack things like lunchables and Capri suns. My daughter loves those, and it keeps her hands busy.
Take Off and landing
This is the worst part for some kids, because of the cabins air pressure. They don’t have the ability to pop their ears like an adult does, so giving them items like fruit snacks or gum to release the pressure. Other ways to help is with ibuprofen or Tylenol, it will ease the discomfort and make the flight much nicer for you and everyone else.
When you travel with kids you never know what to expect, so don’t stress because their nap schedule is thrown off, or how they are being whiny and needy. Eventually they will get so excited that they will crash, and when they wake the real fun can begin.