Tips for Flying with Kids :: Part 1


Four children with their mom at an airport getting ready to fly.

I have four children and own a travel business, so can tell some tales of flying with children, like the time we ran out of clean diapers during a flight . . . .

To keep traveling more pleasant, here are some strategies I’ve found to be the most helpful for flying with kids of all ages.

Schedule Flight Time Thoughtfully

Plan flights at times your kids tend to be more peaceful. I prefer not to wake my kids up early for a flight, so they’ll be less cranky. I love to fly around 12:00 or 1:00 p.m. because it’s a time of day they tend to be resting.

If we are taking an overnight flight to Europe, I prefer to fly around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. Flying then lets the kids enjoy a few shows or a movie before (hopefully) falling asleep for several hours.

Choose the Right Seats

I like to put my kids by a window because looking out provides entertainment. It keeps them from leaning on others to try to see out the window. Plus, having a window to lean on makes sleeping easier.

As far as which part of the plane to sit in, I prefer to sit near the airplane bathroom, if possible. That way if my kids need to use the bathroom, which is usually several times during the flight, they can do so quickly without disturbing others.

I dislike paying for seats on airplanes, but I’ve found it to often be worth it when I’m traveling with my family. It to gives us peace of mind knowing we will all be together.

If my husband and I are flying together with our kids, we typically book three seats in front of other three seats on one side of the plane. This way we can easily talk to each other and pass anything in front/behind each other. I also like that we can put any kids that struggle with moving a lot of kicking the seat in front of them behind another family member so they won’t make a stranger’s flight stressful.

Airplane at an airport

Know How to Spend Time in the Airport

When we travel with our kids we make sure to be at the airport with plenty of time. This is especially true for DFW airport! Once we are checked in for our flight and through security, my kids and I walk around as possible since we’ll be sitting during our flight.

>> RELATED READ :: Travel Toys :: For Trips on Planes, Trains, and Automobiles <<

I typically buy water or use water fountains at airports to fill my kids water bottles from home with. Then once we are on our flight I usually pour any water we are served into my kids water bottles to avoid water spilling all over us and so they can drink water anytime they need to.

Right before we board our plane we have everyone in our family go to the bathroom.

Board the Plane Strategically

If I’m traveling alone with my kids I like to get on the plane as soon as my group is called to make sure I get the overhead space we need for our bags and that we get settled peacefully before there are other passengers all around us.

If my husband and I are together, we prefer one of us board as early as possible to get our stuff somewhat settled on the plane and the other gets on as late as possible with the younger or the most active children, so those kiddos more time to move around and are seated on that airplane as little as possible.

Dress Kids Properly

Airplanes can be burning hot or freezing cold. I recommend dressing your kids in super comfortable clothes that can layer. I prefer clothes kids can easily unbutton or unfasten in the bathroom, since those airplane bathrooms are so tiny. It’s also nice for them to wear shoes they can get on and off easily so they can remove them during the flight but put them back on when going to the bathroom.

>> RELATED READ :: The Complete Packing List for Traveling with Children <<

It’s also useful to pack an easily accessible extra outfit in a large baggie. This is convenient  in case they need to change during a flight for some reason (especially little who may have an accident or an older child who may spill food or drink). After putting on the new clothes, you can use the baggie to store the old dirty clothes.

Look for Part 2 (to be published soon!) of this article where I share tips of what to bring on the airplane to entertain kids and to help them sleep during long flights.

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Proud to be raised in Burleson (shout out Kelly Clarkson), Jami was even the Elk mascot for her beloved Burleson High School. Jami's greatest pleasure comes from exploring the world and learning about all the beautifully unique people in it, so she started a business in the summer of 2021 taking groups of women around the world! Her business, Women Exploring the World has already taken women to experience Christmas markets in Bruges, Brussels; Paris, and London. They've also taken women to Costa Rica, Italy, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Scotland, and to Norway to see the Northern lights. Jami's greatest gift is her family, Corban, her beloved hubby; Jessy (born 2011); Maggy (born 2013); Lilly (born 2015); and Jude (born 2018). Besides running her travel business, Jami spends her days having adventures with her kids, homeschooling them part-time, assistant coaching PE, attempting to keep her brother and sister labradors out of trouble, keeping her son from killing their cat, and supporting her husband at his Edward Jones office downtown Fort Worth. Jami is a woman secure in God's love for her. He is her first love.


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