So airport travel can get junky. Fast food here and a bag of chips there. You’ll always need something quick to eat at the airport, you’ll always be stressed out about the kids misbehaving on the plane and those cramped spaces can wreak havoc on your adult-sized body. Here are some things you can consider before you board your next flight with the little ones in tow.
Economy class isn’t the healthiest place to sit, and these tight places can be more than a slight discomfort for a few hours of your life. The taller adults may suffer even more because the small quarters prevents them from being able to properly stretch out leaving their joints sore and achy upon arrival. Furthermore, fatigue or jet lag caused by your inability to get comfortable comes with its own set of health risks.
Nothing prevents stress like coming out with your head in the game, and this is especially true for parents. There can be a ton going on when you fly by yourself, but when you have the kids you absolutely can’t forget things like diapers, binkies and electronics or everyone is in for a rough flight.
Start your packing by making a list a day or two before you leave. It’s always a good idea to have a record of your clothing so you don’t leave anything behind (and you have the proper pieces packed for your trip) but taking the time to write all the essentials down also prevents you from forgetting a favorite stuffie or, gasp, someone’s charger. If anything is missing, you now have time to figure it out. You’re welcome.
Carry It All On
Not everyone cares so much about this type of thing, but for others, having a bag get lost is absolutely the worst that could happen. What are you going to do without your underwear and how are your kids going to function without a spare clean shirt?
Your ability to carry all you need on the flight with you will, of course, depend on your destination, the season and how long you will be traveling for. You’ll have to be strategic about it, leave some things behind and possibly even sit on the bag so you can zip it shut, but not only will you eliminate your chances of your belongings getting lost, you also won’t have to pay any checked baggage fees. Score.
Remember, some of the essentials can be found at your final destination. Hit up the front desk for shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrushes and more and leave your toiletry bag at home.
This can be a big challenge for families traveling with kids, but they can actually be at an advantage here. If you bought a ticket for your child (anyone above the age of two) they also get a carry-on bag. Although it may be tough, remind your little ones that not every Matchcar or Barbie doll needs to ride the plane with you, condense all the goodies and use each child’s carry on bag to store the things you can’t fit in yours.
The airport is overflowing with salty, sugary, overpriced goodies, so if that’s what you’d like, then you are in the right place. Parents traveling with their kids, however, may be in desperate need of alternative options. As much as we’d love to bring fresh fruits and veggies to keep their little tummies satisfied during long days of travel, they don’t keep very well—especially stuffed into the bottom of a backpack.
You can easily find space for things like trail mix, granola bars and dried fruit like raisins, so bring those along. Also, don’t forget the water! Although you can’t take liquids through security with you, your whole family can still stay hydrated by packing water pouches and filling them up at fountains in the terminal.
No travel is completely stress free, but these simple tips can help you relax so you can enjoy (that’s right, enjoy!) time in the airport with your kids.