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Useful tips for traveling with kids

Useful tips for traveling with kids

Baby or Tod­dler #

  • Take your stroller. You’ll spend at least 2 – 3 hours at the air­port. It’ll be eas­i­er for you to check-in and pass secu­ri­ty with your baby in a stroller.

A car­ri­er is also help­ful. But it’s unlike­ly that your child will be patient enough to spend a cou­ple hours in a carrier.

Also, keep in mind that you can take your stroller all the way to the door of the air­plane. The crew will put it into checked bag­gage for free. And some of the more com­pact & lighter strollers can be fold­ed and placed into an over­head com­part­ment. It’ll depend on air­line pol­i­cy whether they’ll per­mit it onboard though.

  • Feed them dur­ing take off & land­ing. Breast­feed, bot­tle or even a paci­fi­er. It’ll help them pop their ears” as the air pres­sure changes. 

  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep until you board the plane. At secu­ri­ty you’ll be asked to hold your baby. And dur­ing board­ing, you’ll have to turn in your stroller. No one likes to be awok­en from a nap, so try to keep your child awake to avoid a fussy baby dur­ing take off.

  • Change their dia­per just before board­ing. It’s way more com­fort­able to change a dia­per in an air­port bath­room. Oth­er­wise, you’ll prob­a­bly have to wait in line dur­ing the flight to change your child in a tiny air­plane bathroom.

  • Take your car seat on board. If your child is over 2, you can no longer car­ry them in your lap and you’ll have to buy them their own plane seat. 

Though once your child is push­ing 2 yrs, it’s not going to be very com­fort­able for either you nor them to be car­ried unless it’s a very short flight.

So take your car seat with you! They’re used trav­el­ing (and sleep­ing) in their car seat. Also, your tod­dler will have less of a chance to kick the seat in front of them. 

Kid (46 yr) #

  • Mobile device for the win. Load your phone or tablet with your child’s favorite shows and games. Net­flix allows you to down­load cer­tain shows to your mobile device.

  • Pack head­phones for them too.

  • Feed them before board­ing. If your kid’s a picky eater and you have a long flight. Pur­chase some­thing to eat before board­ing. Yeah, air­port prices are crazy but so are air­plane prices and the menu is very limited.

Or if you have time, pack them their favorite snack or sandwich.

  • Let your child pack their own bag. Pur­chase a small car­ry-on bag for them and let them pack what­ev­er they want that’ll fit in it. If your flight is delayed they’ll have some toys, crafts or books to keep them entertained. 
  • Pot­ty break before board­ing. Take them to the bath­room before board­ing. Again it’s more com­fort­able in an air­port bath­room and less like­ly to have to wait in line.1

Regard­less of age #

  • Pack extra clothes in your purse or dia­per bag. Not only for the baby but also for you. Acci­dents can hap­pen. Or your checked bag­gage can get lost / delayed.

  • Pack some new toys or toys that your baby hasn’t play with recent­ly. A new item is more like­ly to enter­tain your baby longer. And bet­ter than resort­ing to mag­a­zines, con­trollers or tables on the plane.

  • Pack some antibac­te­r­i­al wipes. Use them to clean the table in front of your seat (and con­troller if the in-flight enter­tain­ment still has one). 

Also, don’t put any of your per­son­al items in those pouch­es in front of your seat. Those are filthy! Peo­ple put used hand­ker­chiefs and nap­kins in there. 


  1. If your child is like ours who only announces he has to pee once he’s at the break­ing point: Pic­ture wait­ing in line for the air­plane bath­room with a child squirm­ing to hold it in. And while some peo­ple will offer to give up their spot. Oth­ers will be (act?) obliv­i­ous. 

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Claudia Aguilar

Family time lover! Wife. Mom. Software Engineer. Cat Fanatic.