15 Tips for Airplane Travel With Small Children

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COVID restrictions are lifting around the world and many people are considering traveling again. Traveling with small children can be challenging, whether you are traveling locally or abroad. I am no stranger to traveling with children. I first traveled with my son in 2016 when he was 2 years old. Since then, I’ve traveled back to Morocco as a mother of two. I was even pregnant at the time. We’ve also traveled to New York to visit family. My firstborn is a “wiggle worm” and it was hard to keep him seated for a long flight. My secondborn cried for hours on our way to Morocco. It was very hard but we appreciate that the other passengers were understanding.

15 Tips for Traveling with Small Children

  1. Feed your children well before the flight. This will save you less hassle and it will also ensure that they don’t have a tantrum due to hunger.
  2. Book seats in advance. Most airlines allow you to book seats in advance. Sometimes you will have to pay for it but it’s worth it most of the time.
  3. Call airlines ahead to ask for accommodations, food allergies, early boarding, and bassinets if you have infants etc. Most airlines accommodate children with food allergies and help parents with other concerns. Call them in advance if you have any concerns.
  4. Try to stay close to the bathroom. This is helpful if you have toddlers. I found it helpful to sit in the back for this reason.
  5. Book a night flight if you are going abroad. Booking a long flight at night is helpful because most of the time younger children will sleep through it.
  6. Bring plenty of snacks! Airlplane food is unpredictable. Pack their favorite foods and snacks including lolliops and treats they love for emergencies.
  7. Go to the dollar store and fill a little bag full of coloring books, stickers, playdoh, and anything else that’s TSA approved that would be entertaining for them. My children love putting stickers on their arms and legs during flights. They also enjoy coloring and playing with play doh. There are so many options at dollar stores. Get creative!
  8. Investite in a travel placemat. Not only is this good for germ prevention, but it’s useful if they want to draw or play with their playdoh. It’s also useful to use in restaurants later. We loved these https://amzn.to/3qEVV7H.
  9. Don’t hesitate to use screens.This is the perfect time to lift your screen time restrictions. When I was traveling with my toddler screens always helped calm him.
  10. Make sure you charge all devices before travel. This is easy to overlook when you are a busy parent. You may need the screens for emergencies or avoiding meltdowns.
  11. Download their favorite videos, games, apps etc. Sometimes airlines don’t have WIFI. We also download their favorite games and videos to their tablets.
  12. Check in whatever you can and try to limit your carry on luggage. My children always ask me to carry them. This is extremely difficult when you have a lot of checked in bags. The best option would be to carry backpacks and keep your hands free.
  13. Pack extra clothes . Always carry extra clothes for the entire family in case of accidents or if someone gets sick. Also, consider packing long sleeves or a light jacket. Sometimes it gets chilly on planes.
  14. Take advantage of the hot water for making things like oatmeal, macaroni and other meals for them. My children have food allergies and sometimes we don’t trust airline food. We’ve found oatmeal in cups work well if you add hot water to them. Most flight attendants will be happy to offer hot water for you.
  15. IGNORE the haters. At some point your child will probably have a break down. Ignore anyone around you who complains. Most of them don’t understand the struggle of traveling with small children.

Enjoy your trip!

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