Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time

Children LOVE the thought of an airplane flight. Young children love planes in general and older children love the adventure of a vacation. Flying is part of a fun family adventure. Children who are prepared and understand what they will encounter in new experiences learn more – and enjoy the experience more. You’ll have less complaining, whining and carrying on the more you prepare the kids.

Flower with teal background, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Flying with KIDS is doable. All you need is preparation!

Before the flight kids need to be prepared for airport security. Read how to get the kids prepared for what they’ll encounter during airport security.

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time – Boarding

First, board as early as possible. Some think that boarding early just means you have more time to spend on the airplane. I supposed technically that is true, but it also gives you time to get settled into your area with time to spare. The more relaxed you are the more relaxed your child will be. AND getting on early means there will be plenty of room in the above seat bins for your stuff.

**Side note – have you noticed how MUCH stuff and the huge SIZE of stuff comes on to the plane as carry on? There is never enough room for it all so beware boarding the plane too late!

Upon boarding, say hello to the crew. Have child help you find the seat number if you they can read numbers. When you find your seat, get settled.

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time – Be safe

Kids need to be safe on an airplane, just as they do in any moving vehicle. Just like in a car, the forces during turbulence are too strong for you to hold on to your child. Read here about proof of the dangers of unrestrained children during air turbulence if you aren’t sure about that. Interestingly, there are no rules or laws requiring them to be safe. Why is that, I wonder?

Make NO mistake. Children under two are SAFER when properly retrained on flights. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees stating,

” Preventable injuries and deaths have occurred in children younger than 2 years who were unrestrained in aircraft during survivable crashes and conditions of turbulence. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a mandatory federal requirement for restraint use for children on aircraft.”

All children need their own seat. It is not the law or required, but it is the safest way for them to travel. It also has the benefit of giving you free hands -which every parent needs! Car seats are fantastic but once  your child weighs 22 pounds you can use the CARES Kids Fly safe system. I used it for years and it is AWESOME!! It only weighs one pound and fits in a small bag and is infinitely easier to carry around than a car seat.

We used the CARES Kids Fly safe system for YEARS and I can assure you it is the greatest thing since sliced bread for traveling kids! The weird thing is that flight crews are not always aware that is is the ONLY FAA approved restraint system. Since it is the ONLY one…you’d think they would know about it, but almost every single flight we took it on required educating a, usually grouchy ‘know it all’ flight attendant.
Be prepared to show the FAA approved sticker sewn right on the back strap. For some reason that escapes me entirely, flight crews are NOT up on the latest in child safety gear for airplanes and will fight you tooth and nail about it. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. It is best for your child to be restrained in an airplane for the same reason YOU and that flight attendant need to wear a seatbelt. In the event of turbulence, or if (please, God) the child sleeps, they are safe and sound.

The company offers printable letters to have to show the crew if you need.  Go ahead and print on to have on hand.

Boy wearing CARES restraint system on airplane, Flying with KIDS - Tips for Flight Time, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time – Get settled

First wipe down the seat pocket in front of you AND the arm rests. (Read about the germy spots on planes here!) You’d be surprised to hear that the germiest  places on the plane are the seat belt metal connection and the knob above you to adjust the air flow. Use clorox and leave the germs behind!

Then you can use the pocket for the things you need to have close at hand. Put things like a snack, drink, diaper and wipes, book or toy in the pocket. You know you’ll need them and having them out means you won’t have to dig in your bags.

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time – Start Talking

Second, start talking. Yes, for most of the flight you will be the onboard entertainment, but especially until you are up in the air and electronics are allowed. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll spend most of the flight talking, explaining, singing, reading, etc. It is all good – happy noises are perfectly ok.

What to talk about? That depends on the age of your child. If your child is very young, explain all that is going on around you. Tell them all about the noises during take off. Explain the job of the flight attendants and all the buttons. Talk about how no electronics are allowed until the captain says OK. Remind your child they have to be buckled up for the entire flight just like in a car.

Older kids will enjoy hearing how planes fly. Do you know how that enormous and very heavy airplane full of people and luggage manages to actually fly though the air? Time to find out so you can explain the kids! 🙂 Read about how planes fly! Bring this cute book with you and build little brains. 🙂

Tweens and teams like to talk more than listen and listening is a great way to show you care. Just get them started talking about their favorite…book/movie/show series/sport etc, and listen. They’ll feel valued and special and close to you. Listening to those you love is a great way to pass the time on a plane.

If you are unsure how to get things started, try these icebreaker cards. Choose one or two and see what happens with getting a fantastic conversation started with your brilliant kiddos!

 

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time- Stay Busy

Third, stay busy. Sing, read, play games, hand out toys and snacks. Discuss what you’ll see out the window and what you’ll see when you arrive. Think about what the weather is like at home and discuss if it might be different at your destination.

Electronics can be a god send on a long flight. Consider tossing all your rules about how much time can be allowed on devices and let the kids have more. It is vacation after all. Don’t you indulge a little on vacations? A little more chocolate or wine than usual? Let the kids have a little more electronic time – they’ll be happy and so will you!

Father and son on a plane, Flying with KIDS - Tips for Flight Time, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Don’t leave your toy choices to chance. Choose the best toy for your travel experience!

You can bring the kids along and have the time of your lives!! Traveling with the kids just requires planning. You’ve come to the right spot for all the planning tips you need!

Flying with KIDS – Tips for Flight Time – Prepare kids for the destination

Time together on a plane is a great time to get the kids thinking about what they’ll see at your final destination. Talk about the culture and how it will differ from yours. Discuss jet lag and how you’ll feel. Review history and art!

For one stop shopping for the information you need on your destination – The Educational Tourist’s Adventure Series Travel Guides for KIDS

Adventures in London

Adventures in New York City

Adventures in Austin

Adventures in Nassau, Bahamas

Adventures in Canada

Adventures in Spain

Adventures in the Louvre

Adventures in Vatican City

Adventures in the Prado

Adventures in France

Adventures in the Galleria Borghese

The Educational Tourist in front of Alhambra at night, Hotel Europa, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Happy travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Flying with KIDS - Tips for Flight Time, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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5 Responses

  1. Laura Ambrey says:

    We also love the kids fly safe CARES harness, can’t recommend it enough. Good to know about the printable letter, although we haven’t encountered any problems so far.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      So glad to hear it!! It was brand new when we started using it and perhaps that is why we had such trouble. Sounds like the industry is more aware of it now. Fantastic product!!

  2. NatalieTanner says:

    Thanks for following us! I appreciate your comment.

  1. August 9, 2014

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  2. April 20, 2017

    […] Get more tips on flying with the KIDS. […]

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