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6 Tips for Traveling by Plane with Kids

Traveling by plane is a pleasure… until you try it with a baby or small child. Then things get a bit complicated and everything seems more difficult and stressful. Nevertheless, a little patience and some planning will help you muddle through with success and arrive at your destination.

Having kids doesn’t mean you can’t travel; on the contrary, it’s exciting to experience adventures alongside the newest member of the family. The key is to know your young traveler well, understand their needs and rhythms and adapt to them as much as possible. All of this can be obtained with foresight and planning.

Moreover, you learn from experience, both you and your young one. The more used to flying you are, the better each trip will be.

In order to help you get started, we wanted to collect advice from different traveling parents based on their own experiences flying with children. Listen up!

“Travel at night”, by Bebés y mamas

Again, a little planning is fundamental when flying with children, from the purchase of the tickets to the return home after a few wonderful days with the family.

If the flight is a long one, it’s much better to travel at night; this way the child can sleep on the plane. Although it won’t be a full night’s rest, at least it will mean some hours of peace.

“Trips taken during the day are much more tedious for children because they need an outlet for releasing energy and onboard a plane is not the best place for this”, they explain on the blog. If you can, opt for night flights.

“Make sure they’re comfortable”, by Mamás modernas

In order for kids to sleep and stay calm, it’s important that they be comfortable; for this reason, try to dress them in roomy clothes as much as possible. Keep in mind that the air conditioning on airplanes tends to be set on high; it’s not a bad idea to take a sweater to cover them up just in case.

The recommendation from Mamás Modernas is to take three changes of clothes: “one for the airport, some pjs for nighttime, and another for the arrival”, they say. And as an additional tip, they suggest you put everything away in individual bags in your carry-on in order to be able to find things easily.

“Take bottles and food on the plane”, by Viajablog

Although certain substances are not allowed on the plane, you won’t have any problem taking along water, milk or food for your baby. Although you will have to follow the norm of a maximum of 100 milliliters per container, as well as carrying them in sealed bags.

If the child is old enough and eats solids, it’s also advisable to carry their own food. They might not like what’s served on the plane or the inflight service might not coincide with their appetite. In this case, it’s best to opt for something that doesn’t require flatware; some cookies or a sandwich will be enough.

“Take along a variety of small toys”, by Familias en ruta

It’s important to have a plan for keeping children occupied while they’re awake, but be smart: pack toys that don’t take up much room, are diverse, and don’t make noise (in order to avoid bothering those around you).

Additionally, as Familias en ruta explains, “it is advisable that they take short walks in the aisles in order to stretch their legs, and explore who they are sharing the flight with, and maybe meet other boys and girls”.

“Have a bottle handy to avoid the ear pain due to pressure changes”, by Magia en el camino

As you know, ear pain on planes is a problem for adults and especially for children. The advice given by Magia en el camino, as well as many pediatricians, is to give the child a bottle. The suction will alleviate the pain as well as help keep them hydrated.

“Make up a story”, by Vivir Fuera

Children love stories; storytelling creates an atmosphere for the trip and the flight itself. This way we can help children create an idea about what is coming and they will be entertained. “Children’s imaginations have no limits; sometimes all they need is a little stimulation”.

Following these tips, flying with children will be a pleasure.

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