Flying with Children
Flying with children takes some extra planning but your grandchildren
will never forget the trips you took together.The anticipation of a
plane ride can be very exciting for children, but once they are on board
that excitement can turn to anxiety, boredom, or super
However, if you take some time to plan ahead for the
trip, just like with a car trip, you can avoid some of the 'Are we there
yet's? and 'Gran, she's kicking me's!
A little preparation can make your trip, your grandchild's trip, and
the trip of all the other passengers on the airplane a little smoother.
What to Pack to Take on Board
- Before you pack anything to take on board, check
what the regulations are for size of carry on bags and what is allowed
to be carried on. Although what is allowed by law, especially in the
form of liquids, hasnt changed in a while, the rules could change at
any point. Go online and read the rules specifically before packing.
- Allow children who are old enough to help pack to
decide with you what goes into their carry on bag preferably a
backpack so they can carry it themselves. Dont make it too heavy. Pack
it with books, coloring books and crayons, electronic devices such as
handheld gaming systems and mp3 players, a deck of cards and other
things to keep them occupied during the flight.
- Pack snacks, but dont make them too messy. Granola
bars, pretzels, dry cereals, nuts and fruit are good choices. Dont
assume you can get snacks on board. Many airlines have stopped serving
them, and those that do serve small portions that are usually pretty
- Beverages must be bought after going through
security. Be wise about how much you allow younger children to have,
however. Getting to the bathroom on an airplane isnt always easy.
- Pack a small first aid kit including Band-aids and Dramamine, just in case.
- Children's ear canals are small, and rapid changes
in pressure can cause earache. Have some chewy candy or chewing gum
ready to give them just before take-off (as the plane taxis onto the
runway) and just before landing, when the Captain announces the final
approach. The chewing motion helps to keep the ear canals open and
equalize the pressure in the ears.
Safety in the Airport
- Explain to the children what will happen when they
go through security. They may have to tell someone their full name, take
off their shoes, or even have their carry on inspected. Letting them
know that this might happen beforehand can make it easier on them when
if it does.
- Tell them to stay with you at all times.
- Go to the bathroom with them never let them go in alone.
- Explain to them that they cannot leave their bags
unattended. You dont need to necessarily explain that its security
risk. Theres no need to frighten them. Just tell them that you dont
want it to get lost or stolen.
- Show them the type of person you want them to contact if you should get separated.
Keeping Occupied During the Flight
If youve packed their carry on bag correctly, you
should have plenty to keep the children occupied. Flying with children
can feel very long to them.
- Suggest that they start off with a book or
coloring, and save the electronic devices until later in the flight.
- A portable DVD player is an awesome way to keep
kids occupied while flying. Sure they show in-flight movies sometimes,
but the movies dont always interest the kids. Having their favorite
movies to watch can really help keep them entertained.
- Be aware of the battery life of your electronic
devices. They will run out on a long flight. Some airlines now have ways
to charge your equipment if you have the right devices.
- You may want to take the time on the flight to read
a book or get some work done, but make sure you take some time to talk
with your grandkids and play some games. Theyll appreciate it and
youll probably end up being glad you did.
Driving with Children
Traveling with Children
Flying with Children