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Family vacations are always a ton of fun, but getting to your destination can often be stressful because the logistics of flying with the family are complicated. You have double the baggage, double the tickets, and double the documents to worry about.
The kids are likely either really excited about their flight or downright terrified. Either way, it’s a lot to deal with. Here are five ways to make your flying experience less stressful for the whole family.
Reduce your wait times
Sometimes the most stress occurs before even getting on the flight. Kids don’t like waiting around and will often get bored and irritated by standing in lines.
Make sure you do everything you can from home before heading to the airport to reduce waiting times. Check-in, pay for baggage and book your long-term parking in advance.
Doing this will save you tons of time once you get to the airport and save you money on airport markups.
Talk to your kids
Don’t make air travel a surprise or shock for your kids. They will behave much better if they know what to expect and understand airport etiquette.
Watch cartoons or videos specially made for kids that walk them through the whole process from going through security to interacting with people on the flight. Shows like The Airport Diaries present the experience in a relatable way for kids.
Flying can be a daunting experience and is often a scary time for kids. By helping to prepare them in advance, they will have a less stressful time when the day comes.
Book an early flight
Aim to book your air travel as early in the day as possible. Early flights usually aren’t as full and have statistically fewer delays.
Flights in the afternoon or early evening are more likely to have delays at either takeoff or landing due to the saturation of flights. An early flight also means an early wakeup for the whole family.
The kids will be exhausted and likely ready for a nap once you board the plane, meaning they are less likely to get fussy and bored.Flying soon with your kiddos? Here are some of the best ways to avoid disaster on airplane journeys with children.Click To Tweet
Don’t rely on in-flight meals or comfort items
Unfortunately, when you’re on a flight, you get what you get. The kids may not like the food that the airline offers or the available entertainment options (if any).
Don’t set your expectations too high in terms of the airline, providing everything your child needs for the flight. Pack the essentials to get them through, such as healthy snacks, a tablet or smartphone loaded with movies or games, and a small travel pillow and blanket for long-haul flights.
It’s also a good idea to bring specialized kid’s headphones, as the ones supplied by the airline may not fit.
Seat your kids off the aisle
Avoid putting your kids in aisle seats. They are more likely to mess around from these, and it’s also more dangerous for them.
With the beverage cart coming up and down, they could get their hands caught, or worse, burned from hot liquids or food.
If you fall asleep on the flight, your child may get up and run around if seated on the aisle. Keeping them off the aisle will keep them safe and prevent them from causing any disturbances.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.