Air travel spells S-T-R-E-S-S by most everyone that flies today. The planning, packing, check-in, security, boarding, delays, and baggage can tire even the most seasoned traveler, add traveling with children, and the stress escalates. Sandi Galloway, an Associate with Final Touch Finishing School, has spent much of her adult life intimately involved with the airline industry. Here are her suggestions to make flying with children less stressful and safe.
- Before you start packing, check TSA’s website for helpful hints in traveling with children and restrictions for getting through security.
- Give yourself more time than you think you might need. Lines can be really long during the holidays and in the summer.
- Consider traveling early morning hours when flights may be less crowded and children are well rested.
- If you have small children, ask the gate agent if you can pre-board so that you can get settled before other passengers get on the plane.
- Stop at the airport store and pick up bottled water or juice for in-flight as these are not served immediately after take-off. It may be a while before the flight attendant is able to serve you.
- Check with your airline to verify carry-on restrictions. A child who does not have a paid seat is usually not allowed any carry-on luggage.
- Unfortunately, sometimes flights are delayed. Make sure you have plenty of snacks, extra diapers, formula, and other essentials in case of a delay.
- If you have very small children, please note that most airlines do not have a microwave for you to heat a bottle.
- Airline food is expensive and very limited. Make sure you bring healthy snacks from home for your children.
- Dress your children in easy to remove layers to adjust for varying temperatures on airplanes.
- Bring disinfectant wipes for hands and face, tray tables, and other things your children might touch.
- It’s very important that your child has a seat belt on at ALL times. Clear air turbulence can hit without warning. A small unrestrained child is at a much great risk for serious injury than an adult.
- On longer flights, purchase a seat for your child so that you can safely strap your child’s car seat down for them to sit in. You will appreciate the extra space and not having to hold your child the entire trip.
- Please remember that you will be sharing this flight with others. Bring your child’s favorite toy, book, and a brand new toy that they have never seen before to keep them occupied and happy.
Here are a couple of additional in-depth websites you might find helpful:
Air Travel With a Toddler
Flying With Kids
Prepare for Takeoff
©2014 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Written by Sandi Galloway and Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2014. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected] If you would like to learn more about social skills and the Art of Travel contact Final Touch Finishing School, Inc.