Traveling with children in a car is not easy, let alone in an AIRPLANE!
I've been traveling with my children since my son was 3 years old (who is now 9 years old) and my daughter since she was 1 years old (who is now 2 years old). We've been on a fair amount of trips in an airplane and through out the years I've been able to figure out what works and what does not work.
I'm sure there's mothers & fathers out there that are as nervous as I was flying for the very first time with children of any age.
With that being said here are my top 14 tips for traveling with toddlers and kids:
1. Book your flight early: You may ask why would I do that?! Well the earlier the children wake up, the tired they will be in the airplane. I understand some children may be miserable and this may not work, but like I said this has worked for my children so far. Also the earlier we fly the earlier we get to our destination and could enjoy the rest of the day.
2. Online checking and picking your seats: This helps a lot! It makes everything go so much more smoothly. Most, if not all airlines, allow you to check in online 24 hours before your flight and also pick your own seats. If you do not pick your own seats, when you check in at the counter they will give you the random seats that are left. If you are lucky enough they will seat you with your group or sometimes you will be scattered.
3. Bring your Stroller: This is pretty obvious but the real reason why I say to bring the stroller is because when you're passing immigrations or the area they check your bags, they usually make a specific line only for families with strollers and wheelchairs. Also helps when the kids don't want to carry their carry-on anymore and also for the obvious reasons you would use a stroller for.
4. Keep your toddler with a pull-up on: I think this is the most common advise. Now my toddler is potty trained but when you are traveling you don't have time for accidents. Due to the fact I take early flights and my goal is to have them sleep throughout the flight, sometimes you don't have enough time to change them or even enough room. Once we land I change her right away so that she doesn't get uncomfortable being with a pull up.
5. Wear a sweater: Usually in the airplane and airport it can get really cold and the last thing you need is for the kids to get a cold during the vacation.
6. Bring your child's favourite plush or blanket: Not all children get attach to an object but both of my children did. Having their favourite object with them did help A LOT especially when they were tired and wanted to fall asleep! My son was obsessed with his Stuffed pooh bear and could not sleep anywhere without him and my daughter has been and still currently won't sleep anywhere without her pooh bear blanket.
|Honest City Backpack|
7. Use a reliable backpack: This is so much more comfortable than using a diaper bag. I usually get bags that are unisex so my husband doesn't feel ways carrying it as well. Also have a special area in the backpack just for the passports and tickets.
8. Extra Clothes: You just never know with children. For my daughter I always bring an extra shirt, pants, underwear and socks. We all know accidents happen especially with a toddler. As for my son I only bring a t-shirt just in-case he gets his shirt dirty.
9. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes: We all know those children that freak out when their hands are dirty, well that is my children for you! So what I do when I'm in a rush getting to my gate or if the washrooms are occupied in the airplanes, I wipe their hands with the wipes first and than I give them nice scented Hand Sanitizer. Sometimes Hand Sanitizer's can have a strong smell so I always get the scented ones from bath and body works.
10. Bring Snacks!: Children can be so unpredictable sometimes and the only way to come them down is with snacks. I usually pack their snacks in zip-lop bags. I don't bring drinks because they can be provided to you on the plane. If you have any questions as to what you can and not bring just click the link below. http://www.catsa.gc.ca/families
11. Instant Soup: This may sound weird but honestly it's the smartest idea I've ever had. I'm sure there's other people that do this but I honestly have never seen anybody else do it. All you need is hot water and TA DA! you have soup. It comes so handy when the kids get fussy and hungry. Airplane food can be so expensive and to be honest with you most of the time it isn't that great.
12. Gum and Lollipop: If you have been in an airplane before, you know how sometimes your ears can pop. Well because kids are kids sometimes they don't know how to react to this so they start crying. A good way to avoid this is to either have them chew on gum or suck on a lollipop. It's worked for my children when they feel like their ears are going to pop.
13. IPad and headphones: Most (if not all) airlines do not provide headphones, blankets, and pillows anymore. If i didn't bring the children's iPad there is no way they would have sat in the airplane quietly. My son could sit the whole flight and either sleep or be on his iPad. As for my toddler obviously her attention span isn't as big as my sons. But having an iPad helped for at least 1-2 hours especially when she saw her princess headphones.
14. Color Wonder (mess free) coloring book and markers: Crayola has changed the game of coloring books and markers forever. This is the best invention I have ever seen. My daughter loves it and I love it because I didn't have to worry about her coloring and making a mess on the airplane. She tried but obviously it didn't work.
I hope these tips helped as much as it helped my family and I !