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03 October 2011

flying tips?

And on a different note, do any of you have tips for flying with kids? I'm getting ready to head up to Seattle to visit our friends Tiffany and Chris (thank you Southwest airlines for having your anniversary sale!)! And while I have flown plenty of times before, this will be my first time flying with kids. Ever. Yup, that's right. All this travel my kids have done up until now has been by car. So while I'm excited Max gets to finally fly in an airplane (we've been to the airport many times with him, he's just never been able to get close to the planes), I'm terrified because I have NO idea how they're going to do. I'm less worried about Max... Nick is the handful. (and in case it helps, Max is 5 and Nick is 16 months)

So... any tips? I've been doing research and reading everything Southwest has on their website about flying with kids. But I want to know what you have figured out by trial and error. Like, where's the best place to sit on the plane? Anything I can do that will make it easier to get through security? Things to do to keep the kids close and occupied during layovers? TELL ME!!

And thanks:)


  1. Have some new toys that they have never played with. Give it to them on the plane. That will keep their interest.
    Strollers are a must and can be checked at the gate.
    When they tell you that parents with kids can board first, DON'T. Wait until you possibly can and then get on the plane. This way they won't be in cramped quarters any longer then they have to.
    Put some movies or TV shows on your iphone. they are worth the price on itunes.
    Good luck
    Toni Walker

  2. Food! Pack lots of snacks. I try to get some new things they will like. When Caroline was around Nick's age is when I got one of those pill dispensers from the dollar store that have a little opening for every day of the week. I'd put a goldfish (or other small snack) in each compartment and let her figure out how to get them. It was one way to make the snack time take longer. Does Max like bendaroos? They can be pricey. Sometimes you can get them at Michael's with a coupon. Whit loved them at that age (and still does!) I also had Caroline carry her own backpack on our last flight to lighten my load a bit. Good luck!

  3. I'm eager to see how it goes, because I'll be flying for the first time with Sammy in November. I've been told by several friends that the stroller is the best thing ever because it doubles as a luggage cart, but then other people have told me to ditch the stroller and wear the kid[s] for as long as possible, if only to have your hands free. I've also been told that the dollar store is a fabulous place to get cheap/fun toys that they've never seen before (and when they lose their interest in them, you don't feel bad about getting rid of them because they were cheap). Whatever you do, be sure to pack a spare outfit for yourself--that's one thing you don't want to be caught without. Also, have the kiddos drink water or something upon takeoff and landing--that's supposed to help their ears adjust to the pressure changes. Good luck!

  4. I am with Andrea! Food is great. And mini dvd players can go a long way too.

  5. With Southwest you don't have assigned seats, so boarding as early as possible is actually easier, I've found. They may be a little more anxious to take off, but at least you know you can get seats together. When I flew in September I had Lynny in a carseat and George on my lap. Car seats are required by law to be next to a window, which was good because it provided something to look at during taxi-ing, and prevented the temptation to get out into the aisle. Also, sit near the bathrooms (either front or back of the plane) for easy access when Max has to go. Recline your seat as soon as possible to optimize your own personal space (this is true of flying in general). Coloring books are great, especially because kids love using the tray table for anything. Bring an empty cup with a lid for when they do drinks on the plane; the boys will inevitably want something, but you can avoid trying to find somewhere to put those obnoxiously short cups where it won't get bumped and spill. Handheld video games are allowed after take-off if your kids are into that..mine aren't, but it's good to remember. And checking in online 24 hours before the flight time is good because you board earlier the earlier you check in. Good luck!

  6. Your friends are awesome. Thanks for getting them to share some really ideas with you (and me).