You decide to go on vacation with your family, you think of where to stay, the amenities offered, activities, landmarks to hit, events to attend, the mind swirls with so many possibilities! You make lists, pick and choose activities leaving some scheduled time for spontaneity (oh the irony!). Planning guru that you are you’ve totally prepared for all the things you’ll do and see. While I can tell you are for sure going to knock this vacation out of the park, getting there (and back) is typically the most nerve-wracking part when you’re contemplating how to travel with the kids.
Here are some tips to make getting through the airport as painless as possible.
Infant to Two Year Olds
To get through the airport your going to want a sling, carrier or stroller. One of those strollers that you can mount your car seat onto are fantastic here. They’re dual purpose, you can use them as a cart to help carry your other things through the airport and you can check them when you board.
This one on Amazon is highly rated and not too pricey >> Car Seat Stroller.
When my son was almost a year old we used one of those backpack carriers, getting a child in and out of it can require some practice if you’re the only adult but it was great that he got to look around and see everything, which kept him happy. Also, we could concentrate on wrangling our luggage with free hands and checked our car seat at the check in counter, we didn’t bring a stroller on that trip and it worked out just fine! The backpack doubled as the diaper bag and made sense as we hiked around San Francisco where a stroller would have been more of a liability with all the steep hills there.
On all airlines I’ve been on, children under two ride free on an adults lap and checking of the car seat and stroller are also free. Always double check with the airline you’re using and ensure you know their rules.
Ages Three to Five and Beyond
The older little ones are easier in some ways, they are thrilled to have their own suitcase that they can roll around, so you don’t have to worry about carrying their things; though be prepared if their little legs get tired, you may end up having to carry them and their suitcase! Sometimes it helps to stress the importance of them staying close and being a good helper by taking care of their new awesome suitcase like a big kid! Depending on the type of trip your taking you can bring a light stroller or check with your hotel and see if they have one you can reserve.
Extra Tips And Tricks
If your worried about checking your stroller and car seat there are bags made specifically to cover them so they don’t come back to you covered in a whole new world of germs, ick!
I also recommend that if your child can walk, making a bracelet or tag to pin on your child with their name and your phone number and your flight info. You never know what could happen, airports are busy places and I’d rather be overly cautious and crazy prepared than wish that I had been.
On The Plane
First and foremost, have a plan when taking off. The pressure in our ears can range from uncomfortable to downright painful when ascending and descending and we’re adults that understand what’s happening and how to fix it.
Ways To Help “POP” Their Ears
When my son was an infant I made sure I had a bottle ready, even if he wasn’t hungry I’d squeeze out a little milk to force him to swallow. If your little one uses a pacifier this will be an easy solution, my son never liked them so I had to come up with other ways. Any drink will help, you can try hard candy or gum if your child is old enough. When I was 5, I flew with my mother and I remember her peeling an orange and telling me to take a bite and try to suck all the juice out, such a clever idea! It kept my ears from hurting too much and gave me a challenge to focus on.
I hope this helps you to get through the airport and take off a little more prepared and with ease as you travel with the kids.
Check out my article about things for kids to do on a plane below!
Things For Kids To Do On A Plane