It’s fair to say that air travel with children isn’t always easy. Even the shortest of flights can sometimes pose problems. However, there are a few things you can do to make your family’s air travel experience a little easier and definitely more enjoyable.
The best way to avoid unexpected problems is to make sure you pack all the necessary carry on essentials. This will, of course, vary according to how many kids youíre traveling with and their ages.
A good thing to do is make a list of everything you may need. Think of unforeseen situations like a child getting sick or a baby teething. If your flight is short then you donate have to worry as much but for long international flights it definitely helps to be prepared.
You not only need to make sure you have all the essentials for during the flight, but also be prepared for any unavoidable delays at departures or arrivals.
Here’s a list of some things to consider when packing your carry on bag:
Food for Babies & Toddlers – Take your diaper bag as you would normally do but make sure its stockpiled with foods such as various crackers, cheerios, or dried fruit and other healthy snacks. Also, youíll want to make sure your toddler doesnít have too much sugar on flight, especially a long flight. For baby, take along any baby food or formula you normally use. Itís always good to take a little extra but you donít have to overdo it. For example, if youíre flight is 6 hours then you may want to take enough supplies for 8 or 10 hours (just in case).
If you have kids that need special attention or medications you may want pack these essentials separately, or into one bigger bag so youíre not digging around for it during the flight. You may also want to pack some medicine in case your child develops a fever or headache.
Food for Preschoolers & Older Kids – Keep in mind that not all kids enjoy airline meals so take plenty of snacks in case they choose not to eat the in – flight meals. Pack a variety of fun and nutritious snacks such as granola bars, pretzels, cut up fruit, etc. You can also purchase some of these things on flight.
Drinks – You’ll be able to get drinks on most flights but for times like delayed take offs or landings, make sure you have some bottled water or juice on hand.
Change of Diapers & Clothes – Pack a bag full of diapers adequate for the length of the flight. Don’t forget to include wipes, changing mats, and diaper rash cream. It’s a good idea to pack extra wipes to wipe sticky hands and faces too.
And make sure you pack an extra set of clothes, not only for the kids but for yourself too. It is no fun sitting on a long flight in the same clothes your child has thrown up on. These things do happen and kids sometimes get motion sick on flights. So when packing a spare set of clothes add one for mom and dad too. Also, pack a few empty plastic bags to put soiled clothes in.
Games & Toys – Pack a few bright toys like teethers, stuffed animals, along with a favorite book to keep them happy. Make sure all toys are lightweight and safe. If your child is bringing along a handheld electronic game ask the flight attendants what period of time this can be used on flight. Electronic devices can interfere with aircraft navigational or take off safety system. Explain this to your child beforehand.