Flying with Kids for Christmas

Flying with Kids Can be Fun

Traveling with the family can be a lot of fun – or a lot of headaches.

If you’re flying with kids – especially young children – the key to an enjoyable trip is a little pre-planning, but let us help. Check out these essential travel tips:

Before You Fly

Try to book non-stops, and fly at off-peak times of day. Avoid the hassle of changing planes and crowded, difficult-to-navigate airports.

Listen as FareCompare’s Anne McDermott talks with Kim-Marie Evans of LuxuryTravelMom.com, who has expert advice on traveling with the kiddies (and pay close attention to the part about the “free drinks“):  

Security Preparations

Let your children know what to expect in the security line; explain the body scan machine (if necessary) and reassure kids that although their teddy bear will have to ride the conveyor belt and get X-rayed, he will return again in seconds.

And parents, remember – no large amounts of liquids will be allowed through security, so refill those “sippy cups” after you go through the line.

Save on Kids’ Bags

Even a child’s small backpack can cost you $50 roundtrip if checked; carryons can save families a lot of money.

If you have too much to carry, free checked-bags are offered on JetBlue and Southwest – and see the FareCompare Baggage Fee Chart for more information.

Before You Head to the Airport

A busy, distracted and sated child is a docile child. Well, sometimes.

  • Be sure batteries are charged for DVD players, iPads, iPods and other electronic diversions
  • Pack favorite books, games, small toys and some drawing materials
  • Bring snacks and a lunch (unless you’re sure the child will eat the airline offerings and you don’t mind paying for them)

On the Plane

Changes in cabin pressure can be painful for small ears; a supply of gum and hard candies to suck on can help small children–even jittery adults.

When All Else Fails

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry and your child has a meltdown no matter what you do. What really rankles your fellow passengers is parents who seem to abdicate all responsibility for a screaming child, so hang in there, do what you can to soothe them and – never underestimate the power of a bribe for good behavior.

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Published: September 29, 2010