Taking a family vacation is always exciting, and being able to explore a new place, or share a favourite spot in the world with your children is so special. So those family vacations are a must. Traveling by air, for the first time, with little ones (baby to toddler age) can be daunting, and comes with a set of questions pertaining to how that travel will go.
Of course, it’s kind of a trial by error and no fool-proof way to ensure that your child will not cry, or have a good or bad flight.
However, we have gathered some tips we have learned along the way, or given by trusted travel agents that have made for good air travel tips with little ones.
Air Travel Tips with Little Ones
Bring a Favourite Blanket or Toy
Okay, this one may be obvious, but bringing a comforting, well-known article from home is always a security/comforting item for kids that may have any attachment to a belonging of theirs. It makes for happy travels to have their soothing piece of home with them.
Create Activity Packs
Get a few large Ziploc bags, and in each put different crayons, stickers, colouring books, some blank pages, some little games. Different items in different bags to keep them occupied for those breaks in naps or meals. Keeping each pack different keeps it interesting for them to open something up and get distracted/entertained.
Pre-Download Favourite Shows or Movies
I strongly suggest pre-downloading. You never know if your airplane mode may not work or connect to the plane wifi, or there won’t be any in-flight shows or movies. So just pre-download a show or movies (Netflix, Treehouse, PBS all have these options, and I’m sure many more). That way you have them even if not connected online for their viewing.
Car Seat Set-Up
Even though infants can sit on your lap, toddlers over 2 require a seat of their own. If you know that they are more comfortable in their car seat, or they fall asleep well in there, do bring it. You will just need to board first to ensure you set it up.
Do Not Do Pre-Boarding
Unless you are setting up a car seat, or for another reason need to board with priority boarding, avoid it. People with children do tend to get to board before others, however, think about how long it takes to board a flight. How long are you willing to pre-board and have your little ones sitting on a seat waiting for all else to board. They may become restless and ancy by the time you take off (and not in the way you want). So try to avoid it.
Run Around Before Boarding
Before boarding the flight – run around. Run, play, tire them out. Tire them out and try to avoid having them nap before boarding so that they are fully tired and ready to go to bed when you are on the flight. If they are falling asleep, well that’s a pretty good flight.
Take some gummies. If they are awake, you may want to give them this to chew on (since gum is not a good option for little ones). Chewing helps prevent the ears getting blocked, sometimes. Knowing how annoying and painful getting your ears blocked as you change elevation, try to avoid, if possible, your little one having to deal with it.