July 22, 2011

Airport Survival Guide | 10 Travel Tips

Tomorrow our family of 4 heads out on vacation. Getting to the family beach house involves one flight (direct, thank goodness) and a 3 hour drive. Caroline is not yet 4 but has flown more than a dozen times (that’s her first trip above). We’ve learned a lot – and most of it the hard way!

Since I’ve been dreading planning all week, I wanted to share some of my tips for arriving in one piece. Because, yes, we have been that family on the airplane. Because if all else fails, hide in the bathroom.

Before you go:

1. We start playing ‘airport and airplane’ a few weeks before the trip.  We talk about what you do, how you act, etc. Caroline loves to play this game and it just gets better and better each trip.  She now is a professional traveler and loves the snack portion of the flight!

Day of:

2. DON’T RUSH – slow is fast in this case. Everyone tends to lose their head in the airport. With kids, you just can’t do that or else you look like the traveling circus.


3. You might want to try to board last (if you don’t have many stow away items). Less time on the plane = less time for you (and fellow travelers) to get annoyed in tight quarters.

4. Divide and conquer. If you’re traveling with your spouse/significant other, sit across the aisle from each other and divide up the kids. It’s easier to entertain one-on-one, and you have more space if the flight isn’t full.

In flight:

5. Bring new toys or ones your kids haven’t played with in a while. Polly pockets are a fun game for preschool girls. I’ve spent an entire flight blowing up a balloon and letting the air out over and over.

6. Use your iPhone. Download favorite shows or find new apps to play in-flight.

7. Nurse those babies as much as you can during take off and landing. If you’re nervous about nursing (my guy never ate well in public) have a back up bottle and paci.

8. Take a well-stocked diaper bag. My kids inevitably have some sort of explosion mid-flight. And, surprise!, most planes don’t have a changing table in the bathroom. So make sure you’re prepared to change diapers and clothes on your lap.

9. LOTS OF SNACKS – Let go of worrying about healthy snacks, and let the kids eat what they want (within some sort of reason). It means less whining and gets everyone into vacation mode. Then pick it back up when you get home. And never pack whole bananas. They turn black and mushy in no time and inevitably make a huge mess.


10. It’s always easier to just let everyone else off first then take your time getting off. This way your stroller is waiting for you from gate-check!

What travel tips work for you? Do share!

Henry Happened

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Comments (3)

  1. One trick that worked for us was trying to schedule the flights during nap time/bed time- higher likelihood that our little one would sleep on the plane.

    When it’s not possible, we tried to skip/delay a nap so she’d be sleepy.

  2. great tips. We haven’t taken our 17 mth old no a long car trip or plane yet 🙁 Love how your baby is the carry on 🙂

  3. Pingback: Off to the Beach - Henry Happened

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