Traveling during the Holidays is one of the craziest times of year. With more people traveling and potential flight delays and cancellation due to weather, traveling during November and December can be a headache. Add kids to the mix and you’re sure to have a headache!
For the last 2 years, we have traveled for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year we are only traveling for Christmas. With a going to be 21-month-old one trip during the Holidays will be nice!
Today I want to share some tips specifically about flying with kids during the Holidays. Our little man has flown a lot in his young life. He flew almost 20 different times in his first year of life and the number is continuing to grow.
Tips for Flying with Kids During the Holidays
Tip #1 Book Flights Early
This tip isn’t really going to make your flight easier (unless you’re flying an airline with assigned seating), but it could save you some money. I love booking my flights with Southwest, I can book as soon as we know the dates we want to travel and if the price changes I can change my flight and get the difference in credit.
Tip #2 Fly at Odd Times/Days
When you’re looking at booking your flight consider booking on less peak travel days. Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day often have cheaper flights and less travelers.
Last year we flew on Thanksgiving Day and the airplane was only half-full!
Tip #3 Have Extra Space in Your Bag
Packing light is always a good idea. During the Holidays, it’s almost a must, because you know you will end up bringing more stuff home than you took on vacation. (We have had to purchase additional baggage before to get everything home and that is not ideal.)
Tip #4 Plan Extra Time
During the Holidays the number of people traveling tends to go up so plan extra time. Even if things (parking, bag check, security) go faster than expected. It’s always better to have extra time to kill in the airport, instead of cutting it close or missing your flight.
With kids the whole airport experience can be overwhelming (especially if they haven’t flown often) so be prepared for everything to take a little longer. The additional people who come with holiday travel can overwhelm even the well-seasoned kids.
Tip #5 Be Happy
It’s the holidays though flying is stressful be happy. Being happy goes a long way with people working and especially with your kids. Even if you’re not feeling it put a smile on!
Tip #6 Bring Snacks
Make sure you bring snacks, kids with full tummies are happier than hungry kids. Some of my favorite snacks to take for our toddler are fruit snacks, crackers and fig bars. The main thing is to bring snacks that your child is used to eating, but maybe doesn’t get all the time.
Tip #7 Have New/Holiday Entertainment
Depending on the length of your flight you might want to have a few different new or holiday toys/activities. Stickers, Coloring books and other small toys all work great to help keep kids entertained.
Another option is to download a new/ holiday video to a tablet and let your kids enjoy a movie mid-flight. Just don’t forget the headphones! (This awesome headphone splitter works great so multiple people can listen.)
Tip #8 Bring a Jacket/ Blanket
I feel like anytime you fly the airplane can either be hot or really cold. I have noticed that planes seem to feel colder on night flights. I would suggest bringing a jacket or blanket for you and your little ones just in case the plane is cold. It’s the worst being stuck on a long flight when your freezing!
Tip #9 Don’t Forget the Wipes
Having Wipes when we fly is a must! (with a toddler we often need them for diaper changes.) Even if your child potty trained having wipes when flying is so helpful. We use wipes to wipe faces, hands, tray tables, spilled food, the window; the list could go on and on but you get the idea. Wipes are a must!
What other tips do you have for flying with kids during the holidays?