Tips for flying with kids during the holidays

Via @alexandramctigue

The holidays can be stress-inducing for a whole slew of reasons, but holiday travel with kids seems to represent the absolute height of stress for most parents. You've got long lines, bad-weather delays, extra luggage...we could go on forever!

Though flying with young kids will never be a walk in the park, we do have a couple tricks up our sleeves to make your holiday flight at least a little easier:

1. Schedule your flight at an ideal time for your child. If you're lucky enough to have a kid who will fall asleep out in public, schedule a flight during their nap time and you'll be golden. If you have a more particular napper, fly during a time they'll be happy and then have them nap upon arrival.

Via @jetsettingkids
2. Check all possible luggage at the front desk. Though you do have the option to check strollers at the flight gate and bring small carry-on duffle bags, we say drop off all you can as soon as possible. If you have a snoozing newborn, carry them in a front carrier. No need to be dragging mountains of luggage across the airport!

3. Board the plane as late as you can. We've always thought it was a little backwards to have parents with small children get on the plane first. Though it's nice to get settled in, the less time spend in confined area, the better. If you have a reserved seat, stick to the back of the line so your kids have less time to get bonkers before takeoff.

4. Greet your neighbors and try to keep a friendly face. If there's any time you need to make friends with strangers, it's now. Even the holiday Scrooges should warm up if you make enough effort to kill them with kindness. Chat with your neighbors and they may help you out in a moment of crisis later in the flight!
Via @whole_kids
5. Bring on the treats. Flights are the time to bring out all the foods and toys that are usually reserved for special occasions. It could make a difference between sanity and epic breakdowns! Pick up some of your kids' favorite candies and sacks, as well as some new inexpensive toys to keep their interest. (Thank you, Target $1 section!)

6. Bring time-consuming food/activities. Speaking of treats...stick with the ones that will take your child a LONG time to eat. Big lollipops, very chewy taffy will be your lifesaver when you need a spare minute to go to the bathroom. We also have found tons of time-consuming activities on Pinterest, i.e. playing with magnets, Post-it notes, stickers, window clings, Play-doh, etc.

7. Give the kids a technology binge. Normally we are pretty restrictive about screen time, but during a your heart out, kids! Load the iPad of even your phone with videos and games that can be viewed offline, then let your kid watch to their heart's content.


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