You parents deserve a medal of honor for getting your children to the airport on time and in one piece. Seriously. Traveling with little ones isn’t an easy undertaking, but here are a few tricks to making your airport experience a bit easier.
1. Consider their sleep schedule
Naptime is sacred. Before you even think about booking your flight, you need to think about your child’s sleep schedule. If you’ve cracked their sleeping code, try your best to book the flight during their downtime. With any luck, the plane will take off and land while your kiddos are still asleep.
2. Pick the right seats
We can all agree that sitting next to a crying baby on a flight is kind of the worst. It can be difficult to avoid those tears but sitting in the back as a family may help. Also, being close to a restroom will help you avoid those constant trips up and down the aisle.
3. Take advantage of the night before
Setting your family up for success is a game-changer! The night before your trip, set aside everyone’s travel outfits to make your morning so much easier. Now that you know what everyone is wearing, finish packing and double-check everyone has everything they need. And don’t forget to check the bathroom before you leave – toiletries are usually the last thing people use and forget to bring with them!
4. Have plenty of time
Even though you may plan on being in the car by 9:30 AM sharp, you’ll probably find yourself frantically running around the house grabbing last-minute necessities and helping your little ones tie their shoes. But when you wake up an hour earlier, you can tackle your travel to-do list and wrangle the kiddos with no problem.
5. Explain the trip
Give your children the rundown on what will happen throughout the travel-filled day. Talk to them about the process of dropping off the luggage and security guards checking carry on bags for safety purposes. Also, don’t forget to tell them how long the flight is (you certainly don’t want them asking ‘are we there yet?’ 50 times when the plane just left the runway).
6. Invest in quality luggage
The last thing you want to worry about is your luggage zipper breaking or a wheel falling off. Make sure you have some reliable luggage, so you don’t have to worry about your bags AND your children. Look at this as an investment in your current trip and your future ones as well!
7. Bring a car seat + stroller
If you have a little one, don’t forget to bring a car seat or a stroller! You’ll definitely need it to transport your kids in the car and around town. And the stroller can be very useful in the airport. Once you get to the gate, check-in the stroller at the front desk and it will be returned to you at the end of your flight.
8. Packing all the necessities
o Hand wipes or hand sanitizer
Children just love putting their hands in their mouths, even though they’re magnets for bacteria. Airport bathroom stalls and chair seats are touched by hundreds of people daily, so it’s important to keep your children’s hands clean. Pack tons of wipes and hand sanitizer to prevent sickness for them and the rest of the family.
Dealing with a child who’s prone to motion sickness is NOT fun. But it’s crucial to stay prepared for anything that could go wrong. Pack medications and have them ready to go so any stomach pain or headache can be treated immediately.
o Electronics and toys
Don’t forget your children’s favorite electronics or toys…they may save your life on the flight. Make sure their electronics are fully charged and ready – as they are powering up their device to play games, you’ll be powering down and shutting your eyes for a quick nap.