Air travel these days can be a cumbersome ordeal for even the most seasoned adult travelers. The latest TSA rules and regulations can make the process long and leave patience short. The mere mention of traveling on an airplane with small children is enough to make even the toughest of adults shudder.
Being prepared is the key to stress-free travel with small children. Here is a list of items you should bring on the airplane in your carry-on luggage to make your flight with children as smooth as possible.
Air Travel with Small Children: Bring Chewing Gum
Regardless of the length of your flight, chewing gum is always a good idea to have on hand. It helps relieve the pressure that can block ears during take-off and landing.
Air Travel with Small Children: Have Tickets and Identification Handy
Enter the check-in line with tickets in hand and your children’s identification handy. Bring a copy of their birth certificates (leave the originals at home in a safe place). The last thing you want is to have to prove your kids are in fact your kids with no paperwork to prove it.
Air Travel with Small Children: Bring Prescriptions
Prescription medications for anyone traveling in your party should be packed in your carry-on luggage. You do not want to arrive in Orlando only to find out your luggage and meds are on their way to Boise. It’s also a good idea to have the name and telephone number of your doctor with you in case your prescription is lost and your need to get a refill quickly.
Air Travel with Small Children: Pack Their Favorite Snacks
Many airlines have cut down or eliminated snacks for short flights. To ease your children’s hunger pangs during flight, pack some of their favorite snacks. Be sure to check with the Transportation Safety Administration’s websitefor a list of food and beverages that can and cannot be brought on board.
Air Travel with Small Children: Put Together a Vacation Goody Bag
A great way to keep children occupied during a flight is to have an activity to do or a goody bag to look through. Surprise your kids with the special goody bag once you are seated on the airplane. Include a disposable camera, coloring book and crayons, silly bands (or whatever the latest fashion craze is at the time!), pen and paper for tic-tac-toe or doodling, books, stickers, or a new DS game (bring their ear buds or headphones too!).
Air Travel with Small Children: Bring a Change of Clothes
In the event your little ones spill their drink or have an accident on the airplane-or if the luggage is lost or delayed-having a change of clothes on board with you will make things a little less stressful. Throw in a couple of plastic zipper bags for soiled clothing.
Air Travel with Small Children: Pack the Swim Gear
If you are traveling to a warm destination, pack swimsuits, towels and flip-flops in your carry-on bag. Many hotels have a check-in time of 3:00 pm or later, so this allows you to enjoy the pool while waiting for your room.
Planning ahead by packing these items into your carry-on bag will keep your children busy during the flight. This will result in less stress for you. And we all know what that means: an enjoyable trip for everyone. Enjoy your flight!