Tips for Flying with Toddlers and Young Kids

Planning a trip with kids can be intimidating and terrifying for many parents. Planning a trip where you fly with kids can be flat-out frightening. Many parents pause traveling when they have babies and small children, and the thought of a family trip can be overwhelming. While a family vacation may not be the same as your adventures before children, it can still be just as amazing, but in a different way.

From what toys to bring to what snacks are best, your first time flying with kids can leave you wondering what will be best to keep your kids entertained and enjoying your vacation. Here are five tips for flying with toddlers and young kids you need to know before your next flight.


  1. Make Sure Your Little Ones Are Well Rested

Taking a toddler anywhere can be a challenge. Taking a tired or cranky child anywhere can be exhausting and unbearable. When booking your flights, be aware of the times of day you are booking. Many parents want to think their toddler will sleep on a plane, but with the tight space and changes in altitude, it can be challenging for little ones to fall asleep and stay asleep. Do your best to plan your flights when your toddler is at their best. Ensure they have a good night's rest the night before to lessen any meltdowns from your toddler being over-tired.


  1. Make Bathroom Stops Before AND After Your Flight

During the Potty-Training years, parents are used to those last-minute “I have to pee now” and run for the bathroom stops. Plan to take your kids to the bathroom before boarding and immediately after getting off the plane. More than likely, you will still have to take your child on the plane, but this can cut down on running to the bathroom during take-off and arrival. Most parents try taking their kids to the bathroom before but forget to take them directly after. This can cause them to run to find a bathroom when they have their luggage, which can be a mess.


  1. Pack Essentials to Be Easily Accessible

When packing for a toddler or young child, most likely, your bag will be stuffed with toys, snacks, and entertainment. Don’t let the essentials be an afterthought or stuck at the bottom of your bag. Make sure to pack essential items such as diapers, favorite toys, and wipes in a place where you can quickly grab them in an emergency.  Even if your child is out of diapers, pack a change of clothes and wipes in case of an accident.


  1. Explain To Your Kids What To Expect When Flying

Flying can be frightening for kids. Going into a big airport, walking through security, and getting on a plane full of people can be a lot for a young child to take in. Not knowing what to expect can cause kids anxiety and leave them overwhelmed in the process. To help them relieve stress, explain to your kids what to expect when flying. Spend time with them the weeks before explaining the whole process of what they can expect. Talk to them about what will be exciting, like looking out the window, and what will be scary, such as going through security.


  1. Bring Your Car Seat

Your toddler is already very familiar with their car seat. Bringing along your child’s car seat is the safest place for your toddler to be on a flight and can give them a place to sit where they are already comfortable. Having your toddler secured in their car seat can keep them from wanting to get up or roam the aisles. 


What To Pack When Flying with Toddlers and Young Kids


Of course, you will want to pack snacks and toys when flying with toddlers and young kids. But knowing which snacks will keep them full and the best entertainment for keeping a toddler busy can take time and effort. Before packing your carry-on bag, here are a few items you will want to bring to keep your kids entertained on your flight.


  • Bento Box with Snacks

When shopping for snacks when flying with toddlers and young kids, one of the most important things to remember is to keep the sugar levels low. The last thing you want to do when flying is to bring along a sugared-up toddler. Pack a Bento Box with natural, nutritious foods to keep your little one fueled and not crashing from a sugar overload. Peanut Butter Sandwiches, chicken, pretzels, and fresh fruits and veggies are great for packing in Bento Boxes and to keep little tummies full.


  • Open Ended Entertainment

The best types of toys to bring for toddlers on flights are open-ended toys or toys that can be played with in multiple different ways. Duplos, coloring books, crayons, and sensory and fidget toys work great to keep young kids busy on planes. One of the best open-ended toys that you can bring on planes is Play-Doh. Play-Doh is fun for kids and is endless in the possibilities of what kids can make. Before going on your flight, take a trip to the store and get a few new toys to surprise your kids with on the plane. New toys are always more fun for kids and keep them entertained longer.


  • Electronics

One of the best ways to entertain a toddler or young child during a flight is by letting them watch their favorite movie or show on their tablet. When we take electronics on flights, we try to use them as a last resort, so they are only on them part of the flight. Allow your child to play with some toys and have a snack for the start of the flight, and when they start to get cranky, pull out the tablets to keep them calm and happy. Electronics can be great as a last resort to keep kids entertained. Make sure to charge your electronics ahead of time. Don’t forget to bring a portable charger to power the batteries.


  • Extra Essentials

When packing for a flight with toddlers and young kids, make sure to pack plenty of the essentials. If your child is in diapers or needs anything specific, pack extra in case of a layover or delayed flight. Fight changes happen, and always make sure to pack a few extra in case of emergency.


Flying with toddlers and young kids doesn’t have to be painful. Remember, the flight begins your trip and can be enjoyable, even when flying with a toddler. By planning ahead for your flight with toddlers, you can have a great start to your next adventure. Have you had a chance to fly with your kids? Let us know your best tips for flying with toddlers
November 17, 2023 by todd Mascarenhas