Parents share their best hacks for flying with kids – from car seats to strollers

Parents share their best hacks for flying with kids - from car seats to strollers

Airplane travel can be stressful as many of us worry about long queues, delayed flights, cancellations and uncomfortable seats.

But the struggle gets even bigger when you go on holiday with children.

Not only do you need to look after your needs, but you also need to make sure the kids are fed, comfortable, safe, and hopefully even quiet.

Happy, over on reddit, experienced parents and travelers shared some clever ways to make flights easier when you have small children with you.

One new father wrote: “My wife and I are traveling by plane for the first time with both our children (two years old and four months old). Do you have any advice on best travel practices and professional tips?

“We fly six days from New York to TX. We have selected flights without stopovers. We booked three seats with my four month old on my lap.”

In the comments, people shared their best advice with the parent.

You can check in the stroller at the boarding gate
(Image: Getty Images)

Keep your pushchair up to the gate

One person said: “Keep the stroller with you until the gate.

“You’ll want to have it for both kids and you can check it at the gate when you leave and pick it up at the gate when you arrive. You’ll have to wait a few extra minutes to get it, but it’s worth it to have.”

Checking in car seats

One user commented: “Most airlines check a car seat for free for every child with an accompanying parent. So you should be able to check two car seats. I would contact the airline.

“You check them like you would luggage and they’ll pack and label them there.”

Check in car seats and use the stroller at the airport
Check in car seats and use the stroller at the airport
(Image: Getty Images)

Priority boarding

They said: “Most airlines will let families with small children board first. This is where you have to make a decision.

“You can start early and may not feel so rushed, but keep in mind that once you’re settled in, you’ll have to keep the kids occupied a little longer now.

“Some will recommend waiting longer in the terminal. We prefer to board earlier with our children, but they are a bit older so we can get them to work with snacks and iPads.”

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Snacks and shows

The parent added: “We usually let ours pick a favorite pre-flight snack and download movies or shows for them on Netflix.

“Our older two are now some seasoned travelers but we will be traveling with our one year old for the first time in June so there will be some extra small toys and snacks for her.

“Watch out for signs of popping ears in both children, but especially the four-month-old.”

Traveling doesn't have to be stressful
(Image: Getty Images)

Ear bang problem

Another parent had a tip to help pop the ears.

She said: “One of the best things you can do for your children and fellow passengers is bottle-feed or breastfeed during takeoff and landing!

“The sucking motion helps their ears regulate the pressure changes and it will make everyone happier.”

For older children it also helps to suck on a carton of juice or milk.

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Choose airplane seats wisely

They added: “For seating, place one parent in front of the toddler and the other next to the toddler.

“It keeps you from bothering a stranger with kicking feet, and parents can take turns doing toddler duty/taking a break.”

Leave special hugs at home

One mother wrote: “If your two-year-old has a ‘love’ like a special stuffed animal or blanket, don’t bring it!

“Buy a separate one just for travel. It’s the ‘adventure blanket’ or whatever you call it.”

What is your best advice for traveling with children? Tell us in the comments…

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