Travelling with Kids

With the holiday’s right around the corner, there will inevitably be time spent navigating airports.  If you have little ones, this can sometimes be a daunting experience.  Living across the country from my family (and a once in a lifetime trip to Australia earlier this year!), my two girls have taken their fair share of flights.  Although I’m certainly no expert, I want to share what I’ve learned so far!

No matter what time of day your flight is, fly in pajamas.  Or at the very least, something really comfy.  They’ll be happier, you’ll be happier.

That being said, pack your carry on with a change of clothes, for both of you.  Drinks can spill, diapers can have blowouts, and kids (or parents) can get sick.  It’s never nice to spend the last 3 hours of a flight in wet clothes.  Ask my husband.

Always get the bigger kiddos to pee before getting on my plane.  One less time in those tiny closets they call bathrooms is better for everyone.  (With one kid this is hard enough… once you have more than one, nearly impossible).

When booking your seats, sit near the back of the plane.  There are often more empty seats, you’re close to bathrooms as well as flight attendants if you need anything.  This one’s totally just personal opinion, and I’m sure some of you disagree, but I just prefer it back there.

I often keep all of our water bottles empty until after security.  I don’t find we drink a ton while checking our bags and getting through the airport anyway, and they’re gonna make you empty it when going through security.  One less thing to think of.  Also, empty bottles are a lot lighter than full ones to carry all that way through the airport.  Once you arrive at your gate though, you can fill it up and sip away while you watch the planes taxi in and out.

Pack a few snacks.  And then a few more.  While security will limit the amount of liquids you try to bring onto a plane, food isn’t an issue in your carry on.   Airport food can get pricey and not always super healthy or kid-friendly.  A few Ziplocs of cheerios or apple slices can save the day.  Or at least the hour.

Try and limit each kid to one small comfort item.  Our first few flights with my girls we carted an entire carry-on filled with stuffies and blankets and toys and dolls.  Try to travel light if you can – the space you are given on the plane is small enough as is.

Try to leave room in your checked bag for jackets/hats.  With how cold Calgary can get this time of year you may need the extra layers to keep warm, but once in the airport, you’ll likely ditch those coats.  Stuff them into the top of your luggage before handing them off to be loaded and pull them out again at the other end before heading back outside.  We’ve learned after about 3 minutes of trucking through the airport those jackets will be hanging off your arm… while you’re also trying to pull out boarding passes and hold little hands and pull carry-on baggage.  Again, one less thing to worry about.

If you can, arrive a bit earlier than you typically would to let the little ones walk through the airport at their own pace.  Rushing them never ends well and allowing them to get some energy out and maybe sleep on a plane is always a good thing.

Download your airline’s app (and make sure it’s up to date!) and bring a set of headphones.  Swallow the pride and allow for device time… coloring and puzzles are great in theory until you’ve picked up the same red crayon from under your seat 16 times in 20 minutes.

No one is judging – everyone is happier with your movie watching child believe me 🙂