6 Summer Tips for Flying With Kids
These 6 tips for flying will apply to any traveler, whether a child or not:
Bring a sweater/Don’t wear shorts.
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The airplane heats up on the ground and then once the air conditioning has full power, it really cools off. If you’re wearing shorts and a tank top, you’re going to be cold in flight. Not many airlines carry blankets in coach anymore, so be prepared. At the very least bring a thin sweater. I usually dress Ella in comfortable light cotton pants and a short sleeve cotton shirt and have a sweater for her as well as her blanket. For infants I like to dress them in one piece outfit like Carter’s Sleep ‘N Play Outfits. Remember to bring several changes of clothes for infants and at least one change of clothes for everyone else.
Don’t promise a window seat to your child.
photo courtesy of Pete Coatney: @brotherpetecoatney on Instagram
It’s best to not talk about what seats you’ll have until you’re in them. I have seen so many children highly disappointed when they discover their “window” seat lacks a window. Also last minute equipment changes can mean you don’t get that window seat you booked after all. Try to get excited about the aspects of travel that are consistent and keep the kids flexible about seating arrangements.
Carry a fan.
Airplane’s air conditioning systems SHOULD work on the ground, but I’m sorry to say I have experienced MANY with inefficient cooling systems. When it’s 130 degrees on the Tarmac, the plane is going to be hot. If there is a ground delay, that heat can become unbearable. A fan like this would be lots of fun to keep in your travel bag. It will add to the festive feeling you’re hoping to achieve when flying as well. If you didn’t pack anything to help cool off, the safety briefing cards work well as a fan!
Be prepared for delays.
Summer heat often means thunderstorms. Even if there are not storms in your area, your inbound plane might be delayed because of storms in another area. Always have extra snacks and extra activities available. One of my favorite things to pack for the young kids is a small bottle of bubbles. It fits easily in your Quart-sized Liquids bag, and can be used to distract a fussy baby, whining toddler, or grouchy preschooler.
Flying makes you thirsty and dries your skin. I hate spending money in the airport, but I ALWAYS buy a bottle of water for the flight. Yes, they have water on the airplane, but there is a limited supply. Skin and lips get dry too. I use a cream moisturizer when I fly and make sure I always have lip balm for Ella and for me. (I prefer Burt’s Bee’s for myself, but the peppermint oil stings kid’s lips. Make sure to pack a kid-friendly balm for the kids.)
Force a cheerful attitude.
If you’re having one of those “everything-that-can-go-wrong-does” days, start laughing. Get your kids to laugh too. It won’t solve any of the problems but it will help you gain a new perspective. In the words of Erma Bombeck, ”If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” If anything is going to go right on days like that, it will be up to you to make it happen. Some of the worst days in my life have become memorable (in a good way) because I changed from looking negatively at them and found the positive (even if it was a stretch!).
What travel tips work for you? Share with us in the comments below.