Holiday travel can be stressful enough… add two kids in the mix and it can be enough to loose your mind! I do quite a bit of flying with my kids, 3 and 1 yrs old, and wanted to share some tips to make traveling a little easier.
Curb side checking – worth the extra couple of dollars to have free hands walking through the airport
Be prepared for the security check point – I like to get my carryon ready at home. If you are traveling with liquids make sure to abide by the TSA rule (call ahead to verify the exact amount you are aloud to carry on). Bottles, formula and baby food are an exception (again, I would call to verify). But I pack them all together in a clear plastic zip lock as they will still need to be tested. It is much faster to grab that one bag then dig through a carryon to find everything.
I also dress myself and the kids with comfortable clothes and slip on shoes. Keep in mind if you or your children are wearing a sweater/sweatshirt they will ask you to remove it. I like long sleeve t-shirts. Everyone will have to take off shoes (even non walking babies). It’s much faster to have slip-ons than having to untie and tie 3 pairs of shoes!
Prep for the plane – at the gate I let the kids walk around as much as possible because they will be forced to sit while on the plane. I buy snacks and drinks, keeping in mind that there is always a possibility of a delay while on the plane. There is nothing worse than being stuck on a runway for any length of time without food for hungry kids! I also make sure that I have enough water for the kids to drink for take off and landing. Swallowing can help pop their ears if they are too little to do it themselves.
Right before we board we take a trip to the bathroom. You will have to wait until the plane is at cruising altitude to use the bathroom on the plane.
Entertainment – for me, this is a balancing act of bringing enough to keep my kids occupied and not wanting my carryon to weight 100 lbs. Bring what you know your kids will use. When picking books, chose the thin paperback favorites, or the smallest of the coloring books. I like to bring 2 DVD players, one for each child. And remember comfortable earphones that they will wear. I only bring one DVD case with several DVDs inside. If your child has a favorite blanket or stuffed animal that will help get them comfortable enough to fall asleep, that is a plus.
I like to keep my carryon under the seat in front of me. It is easier to get to when the kids want to change activities, or need a snack.
Hopefully these will help with your future travels. If you have your own tip please share it with us! Have a wonderful holiday season!