Let me start off by saying I SURVIVED!! I have had serious anxiety about flying with my children. It’s not that my children don’t behave, it’s the fact that they are two and four, and can be very unpredictable when they are off their schedules. I thought I would take some time to write what worked, and what didn’t. Hopefully, this helps all my momma friends that might be experiencing that same anxiety.
1. Pack snacks. So I was told to pack lots and lots of snacks, and I did. However, my children don’t like eating at all when flying. Heath didn’t eat anything! He drank a TON but refused to eat anything! Nolan would drink and suck on a sucker but again that was literally all they would do. So I would suggest packing snacks, and if they don’t eat them you can toss them at a lay over.
2. Dinner on international flights was super yummy! My kids loved the pasta. We were told by friends that you can call in advance and ask about kid meals. We had no luck in getting kid food, however our flight attendants told us that we could. So I suggest calling your airlines and asking.
As for the adults, we flew to Europe and they gave us wine (as many cups as you’d like!) Without charging. When we got on the AirFrance flight after our international flight, we were given wine, water, and sandwiches all for FREE too. It was mind blowing that everything in Europe was FREE and then on the American flights you had to pay for food on regular flights.
3. Toys. I wouldn’t even waste my time. We bought the boys both new toys and had them packed ready for them to play with and they really didn’t play with them long enough to wag them across the world. I’d say bring a couple of little toys, but don’t pack a bag full of them. I also ended up tossing the toys that they had zero interest in at our lay overs, so I wouldn’t have to wag them anymore!
4. On some flights (The bigger airplanes) have built in TVs stuffed full of movies. My kids loved this! So remember to pack headphones for every flight. I say this because, our flight from San Fran to LA had TVs (wouldn’t have guessed that) but then our 4 hour flight from LA to Nashville didn’t. So you never know. All international flights do have TVs from what I have been told.
5. Pack your kindle, IPAD, Kid Pad etc! Nolan only gets his kindle when we travel, or are in the car longer than 2 hours. We do this so that we can use his kindle as a “secret weapon” it has proven to be a good strategy.
6. If your children are younger than 3 I suggest you bring the car seat! We brought Heath’s car seat and attached it to the GO GO baby, and it was the easiest, smartest thing I have done so far! I honestly don’t know how we would have carried everything in the airport if we didn’t have the car seat and GO GO baby. If Heath wasn’t in the car seat being rolled, we piled our backpacks on the car seat and rolled them. (Brilliant!) On a side note, when flying air France they would not allow me to bring the car seat on the airplane. Instead, they make you strap the baby to your lap, with this seat belt device. Which in all honesty makes sense.
7. Toddler Tula, or baby carrier!! We have a toddler carrier, and that thing was money! I had Heath on my back if he wasn’t being pulled in his car seat! Much easier than trying to carry him, or bringing a stroller.
8. No mess Crayola coloring book! The boys played with this ALOT I bought them off of Amazon for way cheaper than at Target.
9. Dollar Tree dry erase board! Nolan played on the dry erase board I bought at the Dollar Tree for about 3 hours (No joke) He would use it, and set it aside, use it and set it aside. Highly recommend purchasing one. (Heck! It was only a dollar!) While you’re at the Dollar Tree make sure to pick up some Play Dough, my kids played with a small thing of Play Dough for about 30mins to a hour (which is a lifetime on an airplane)
10.Red Eye! Try your very hardest to catch a red eye if you are flying international, my children both slept 80% of the flight and if they weren’t sleeping they were watching the TVs
11. Pack an extra pair of clothing! I’m not even joking when I say we didn’t even make it on the airplane, and both the boys sat in a gummy and had sticky stuff all over their butts!!! Bring clothing for yourself and your children. Heath kicked water all over me, on our second flight! (It dried so I didn’t have to change, but I was so happy to have that option after that happened)
12. Bring your IPAD, Kindle, etc chargers the airplanes have USB chargers now! Everyone that we flew on this trip had them!
13. Make sure if you fly AMERICAN that you pre-download the movie app. TRUST me don’t try and download it on the airplane!! I FAILED to download the app in the midst of our crazy move, and had to figure out how to download it on the airplane was a NIGHTMARE. Here’s the link with all the information.
14. You can buy WIFI on American but it’s expensive. (I’ll admit I bought it, I didn’t pack must entertainment for myself. So when the boys passed out, I was very bored!)
15. One of my biggest concerns was diapers and flying. I ended up packing 18 diapers one for every hour, and then some just in case our bags were lost along the way. I used about 10 of them, and our bags were not lost. It was a good just in case tho!
16. Don’t forget to pack an extra paci, blankets, lovies etc.
17. Having matching lime green bags, made life soooo EASY at baggage claim! I also numbered our bags, and had a sheet telling me what was in everything. Packing in duffle bags made it easier to pack a lot and fit it in a car in Europe too.
18. Get a checked bag for your car seat. Nolan’s car seat made it but the bag was very dirty.
19. Jet Lag- It’s VERY VERY VERY REAL! I’m going to write an entire post on Jet Lag and toddlers. So stay tuned!
At the end of the day, I had zero issues. My children were very well behaved. I think I expected the absolute worst, and I was very surprised at how well they both handled the 18-hour journey to Europe! I was a proud Momma!! Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help!!