With the holidays coming I thought it would be good to share our recent travel experience of air travel with young children. I want to share some tips and tricks that helped us as we flew across the country with two boys (4 and 1). Overall the flights went really well and the boys were rock stars. Thank you Delta for the inflight movie/tv show options.
Keep your stroller with You
You see, we are the type of people who check everything. Stroller, bags, car seats. They all go to the luggage department and make their way to our next destination. But we learned a valuable lesson this past trip across the country as we flew back across the country with our two young boys.
Our plan was to drop our stroller at the baggage drop off, just one problem. Our four-year-old was passed out in the stroller. We debated on waking him to check it, but in the end decided to take it with us. It was a good thing. There was a minor emergency at the airport that had caused the airport to evacuate the terminal for what turned out to just be a freak accident with a battery that caused panic. Since we were back in the airport we thought everything was back and running as normal. Instead it took hours for TSA to open security again. The kid in the stroller slept for over an hour instead of 5 extra minutes.
But that doesn’t end my change of heart on why having a stroller makes your life so much easier. Getting through the security line was a lot easier with two kids strapped in the stroller instead of trying to carry one and hold on the other one’s hand. We won’t even mention the fact we had all our carry-ons with us as well. The stroller made life much easier.
Also, when we landed. Over 3 hours later than we expected. Read after MIDNIGHT. The boys were so tired it was easy to get them to stay in the stroller and just push them out of the terminal instead of attempting to carry them and our carry-on luggage out to baggage claim.
And while we certainly didn’t need our stroller on the way to Florida, we probably wouldn’t have survived without it on the way back. It is easy to gate check a bag and I don’t really know why we haven’t done this more often. Maybe it is because we have only flown with one. Now we have two. Everything has changed.
Here are some more airline travel tips to help you survive air travel with young children on your next adventure:
- Gum or lollipops for takeoff and landing so their ears stay open.
- Ask for lots of help airline employees and passengers are always very kind and helpful.
- You can ask at check in for assistance to get to your gate.
- Use a baby carrier or two! if they can walk they need to walk through the metal detector. If they are fairly young or asleep they will let you leave them in the carrier and TSA does an explosives swab on the carrier and your hands. So much easier to go through security with at least one kiddo on your person.
- Take your stroller with you and gate check it. Your kids will still have to get out to go through the metal detector or you can hold them if they are young. But it made our lives so much easier to have it with us.
- Take the earliest flight. Kids will be groggy and will probably nap on the flight.
- Take a late or redeye flight and your kids will sleep.
- Get their earlier so you don’t have to rush. Once at the gate find a quiet corner so they can get all their wiggles out. Play Red Light Green Light. I Spy, Simon Says or take a walk to check out planes.
- If at all possible get another adult to fly with you, but don’t worry you can do it alone too!
- Bring busy bags, special snacks, and movies.
- Let your kids pack and carry their own backpack with books and a few toys.
- Snacks, stickers galore, triangle crayons [oh yes, that is a thing], headphones for each kiddo [one pair did not work for us last time]. I also bring a new book or activity [dollar store is great!]
What other travel tips do you have that have helped you out while traveling with little ones?