Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Flying with kids: 7 holiday-travel tips

 The holiday season can be stressful for many reasons, and flying with (or without!) kids during the holidays can also be more stressful than it is at other times. You might be dealing with weather-related delays, and the crush of of travelers going through airports can bring longer lineups everywhere.

Unexpected delays (and even cancellations, in a worst case scenario) can happen no matter how prepared you are, but if you are a little more prepared, the unexpected might be a little easier to deal with. Here are some of my tips for handling air-travel during the holiday season:

1. Bring some extra supplies in your hand luggage
Just in case you end up being delayed, it is a good idea to bring some extra supplies along. Definitely bring extra diapers and formula if you're traveling with a baby, and bring some extra snacks for older kids.

2. Pack your luggage with mishaps in mind
Hopefully all your luggage will be on the luggage carousel when you arrive at your destination, but sometimes, it won't be. Often, luggage is delayed rather than lost, but even that can be a hassle. Pack some of everyone's things into each suitcase you're bringing, just in case some of your luggage doesn't make it. That way, everyone will at least have something to wear when you arrive!

3. Check your flight status before you leave for the airport
Flight delays happen all the time, but if you're traveling in the snowy season, they can be especially bad. Check online or call before you head out, just to make sure that things look OK.

4. Don't wrap the gifts
Wrapping the gifts you're bringing with you, will only increase the time it takes you to get through security, if your belongings are searched. It's a lot easier to just wrap everything when you arrive at your destination!

5. Arrive at the airport early
This is a good strategy any time you're traveling with kids, but especially during the holidays. I know my own kids do not respond well to stress, and neither do I. More time means you don't have to manically hustle everyone through the airport, and you won't have to panic too much if the lineups are long. It also means you won't have to stress out if the kids need an extra bathroom visit, or diaper change. If you're lucky and everything goes quickly and smoothly, you can always relax inside security with a snack or coffee, or find the airport's play area (hopefully they have one!), and spend some time there.

6. Bring some festive snacks & books
To make your travel-time seem a little more festive, pack some holiday treats you know your kids like in your hand luggage: little candy canes maybe, or gingerbread cookies. Bring some holiday books too. For example, at Christmas-time it could be How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, or freak them out with an illustrated version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol for the Kindle. Holiday-themed coloring books can also be fun.

7. Pack a snuggly blanket
If you do end up stuck at an airport, it might help make things easier on your kids if they have a warm blanket to snuggle up in. Light-weight fleece blankets can be smooshed into your carry-on and brought along for those kinds of emergencies.


  1. The thought of flying with infants or child is perhaps the major reason of stress for the parents who need to travel a lot. Carrying unhappy infants or child in tow and keeping them seated, calm, and joyful for hours in the flight sounds like impossible. These are the nice tips that parents must keep in mind to shun their fear of flying with infants or child.

    Tips for Flying with Infant

  2. Keep in mind that you're shopping for a child, so you need to consider the style, it has to be appropriate for the age. This will also help in keeping you updated on what your child might want.

  3. These are some great tips and I know I definitely use some of those. Bringing their blankies is so important on a flight. It helps relax them and lets them enjoy the experience of flying. I enjoy taking the kids on trips, but the key to it not being stressful is keeping them occupied or leaving about naptime. I bring my iPad for the kids to play with. They can play games, read, watch movies, or watch TV through DISH Network. With my employee account I have the sling adapter hooked up and that allows them to access all our subscription channels anywhere we can get a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. They love watching all their favorite shows live and it usually will keep them busy the whole flight.

  4. That sounds like a great way to keep the kids entertained! Maybe Santa will bring me an iPad... :)

  5. Sharing good information on the tours is various destinations. This post is mean to the guys who have planned to travel to the listed destinations this year....

  6. Thanks for the great advice! I fly lots with my kids and there is always more to learn/ Here are my top tips


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