Have you ever tried flying with kids? In Winter 2019 we had the privilege to fly 3.5 hours from Ottawa to Orlando to spend 10 full days in the warm luscious sun. One of our big worries was the family we were flying with had 4 kids ( 2 girls 6 + 4 and twins 18 months old) The family was concerned that the kids would not be able to handle it.
This seems to be a common conversation with other parents as one of the main concerns seems to be flying with children. Air travel with toddlers and young kids is probably the most challenging thing you will face as a parent, although the destination will be worth it its still hard to make the decision to go.
One of the most common question we get is “what do I pack and how to entertain kids at the airport and during the flight”.
As we had a blast on this vacation to Florida, we did discover some great tips and we thought we would share them with you.
What to pack with kids!
When it comes to packing for kids, you may think “I need to pack everything in their room”! Well this is not the case remember that less is more. Take only what you really need! Don’t pack a bag full of toys that you know they will not use!
We always try to make it simple and always have, we go gone to the local store (Walmart + Costco + Dollar store) and get simple toys and tools to fill the bag to make It something simple to keep them occupied.
As strange as it sounds we encourage everyone to not take toys from home with them as they travel (other than the favorite stuffy). Here is why we say this.
· Toys take lots of space in your luggage.
· Familiar toys are boring, and they stay in your suitcase or in the hotel room most of the time.
· Toys get lost or broken. Tears guaranteed.
Should each child have their own carry-on bag?
We are a firm believer that each child should have their own backpack (or travel pull bag) with them. We have the kids pack their own bag with their new toys + stuffy to create excitement for the plane. We have found that having their own bag full of their stuff helps them settle in faster and can help calm a nervous flyer too.
What to pack for kids on the plane
Make sure your kids wear comfortable clothes which are somewhat stain-resistant. Always dress in layers and keep their feet warm as it can get cold on the plane. We also have in each of the kids bags a pair of shorts & T-shirt + flipflops so once we get 45 min out of our destination they can get changed so they don’t hit heat exhaustion once we land. This also helps break up the last little bit of the flight and build the excitement.
1. Pringles ( easy to open and close for the kids + they can still be eaten at the destination as they stay fresh.
2. Kids favorite chocolate bar + 1 thing of candy + Crackers + Apple.
3. Crayola Crayons (less messy then markers) with
4. Coloring book
5. Imagination book ( one that has 20 + pages but blank) we have our kids color daily in the imagination book on what they did that day .
6. Play dough ( you can get the small packs) this is easy to clean and fun for kids
7. Playing cards (Uno)
8. I know they are missing school, but you can also bring an activity book (or ask the teacher to provide some take home work to do on vacation. This has always been a huge time taker on the plain for us.
9. Electronic device (iPad or similar) This is great for music for them or even a TV show in the back ground (Download Netflix shows)
10. Pack a blankly or a spare one, make sure to prepare your child “here is your trip blankly” in the case you are worried they will lose the other one.
11. Baby wipes or wet wipes – TRUST US... this is IMPORTANT. and have a lot!
Enjoy! Have fun and make memories
Who knows when your next trip will be!
After our vacation with our friends and their 4 kids, it was not as hard as they imagined. The fear was greater then reality. All 4 kids including the twins did incredible. Even after our Air line kept us on the tarmac for over 2 hours then had us change planes. The guest around us all loved the kids and had fun keeping them entertained. If you get a grouch who hates kids and gives you the evil look .. just give them the smile and “I’m sorry nod /shoulder shrug and enjoy your flight!
Keep coming back for more advice and tips!