If you have ever flown with young kids, you know that it isn’t always easy right?! I have 3 young kids (7, 4 & 2), and they have all been flying since they were 6 weeks old….read on to discover my mistakes, my tips and what NOT to bring on the plane!

  1. Plan, plan and plan some more 😉 More wipes, diapers & snacks than you think you’ll need. Flying can do weird things to kid’s bellies, and you might get delayed. You don’t want to use your last diaper and be in a panic!
  2. Pack snacks that are easy to eat, not massive messy (popcorn is a nightmare) and not too much sugar or additives (think about that bouncing kid in a a confined space!). I always pack these little bowls with lids so that I can dish out snacks, and we can pack them in the bag if they don’t get finished 
  3. Pack a few fun, new toys. My rule is that we don’t take any favorite toys (if they get lost, will they be devastated?!), we don’t take tiny toys like legos which can easily get lost between the seats, and we don’t take toys that roll (if they drop they can roll right to the back of the plane in 10 seconds flat!)
  4. For babies, I always wore the baby through the airport instead of gate checking the stroller. It was so much easier to manage everyone and everything, and I could put the baby to sleep in the carrier when we were on the plane (note that most airlines won’t allow you to wear the baby during take off and landing). My all-time fave through 3 kids is this carrier
  5. We never take hand luggage on the plane, too much wrangling through the airport. We have 2 Patagonia backpacks for my husband and I, and if the kids want to take a backpack, that’s a bonus. Our kids are 7, 4 and 2, and I don’t want to rely on them to carry their own things yet. That works well when things are going smoothly, but when we land at our destination in the middle of the night and everyone is exhausted, too many bags is a nightmare!! This is my fave 
  6. Everyone gets their own reusable water bottle that we fill up AFTER security. Most airports have plenty of water fountains where you can fill up your bottles, and if saves on plastic water bottles. These are by far the best water bottles I have found for kids (and we have tried A LOT!) 
  7. Whenever possible, choose flights that are at the normal time your kids will be falling asleep. When we fly to Europe or Hawaii, we often get a red eye. We were terrified of this at first (images of our kids SCREAMING and keeping all the other passengers awake!), but for the most part it has been hugely successful. As our kids have got older, we have given them melatonin (ask your pediatrician first!), and this has really helped to get on the right sleep schedule, especially if there is a time difference at your location.
  8. We always travel with an iPad for each kid. We started off with amazing intentions, but realized that EVERYONE was happier when the kids were entertained 😉 and because the kids don’t watch or play with the iPads outside of travel, they are even more excited and absorbed by them! We buy 1 movie and download it to the 3 iPads before we leave, we download a few mvoies/shows from Netflix and buy a few new games/apps. And lastly, invest in some kiddie headphones so you don’t annoy your fellow passengers (planes are noisy, so that volume would need to be up high without headphones!) – these are our favorite 
  9. Pack a few essential medications. I’ve been on an international flight with an 18 month old with a 102 fever, and that is NOT fun for anyone. Now I make sure I take the smallest bottle of ibuprofen I can find, with a syringe and a medicine cup. Also, ibuprofen for adults is equally as important 😉 A sick mama is a cranky and impatient mama (speaking from experience there too!)
  10. And lastly….take care of yourself out there! Flying with kids can create a minefield of emotions and take ALL of your energy, but don’t forget to look after your own needs too. While it might be too difficult to manage juggling a latté through the airport, or you can’t stop for a glass of vino with kids in tow (!), there are little things you can do for yourself. Take some favorite essential oils with you, headphones in case you get the opportunity to listen to some music or an audiobook, and some really nice lip balm, because that just makes you feel instantly amazing right?!

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