How I Survived Flying with Kids

Let me start off by saying I survived flying with my kids! I 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 the time to write what worked and what didn’t. Hopefully, this helps all my momma friends who might be experiencing that same anxiety.

A boy on an airplane on his kindle with earphones.

What To Bring On The Airplane

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 layover.

2. 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 tossed the toys they had zero interest in at our layovers, so I wouldn’t have to wag them anymore!

3. 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

4. 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; 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.

5. 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.

 6. 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 (I 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.

7. Dollar Tree dry-erase board! Nolan played on the dry-erase board I bought at Dollar Tree for about 3 hours (No joke). He would use it and set it aside, use it, and set it aside. I highly recommend purchasing one. (Heck! It was only a dollar!) While you’re at the Dollar Tree, make sure to pick up some Play-Doh. My kids played with a small thing of Play Dough for about 30mins to an hour (which is a lifetime on an airplane)

8. 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)

9. Bring your IPAD, Kindle, etc. chargers. The airplanes have USB chargers now! Everyone that we flew on this trip had them!

10. 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 good, just in case, tho!

11. Don’t forget to pack an extra pacifier, blankets, lovies, etc I’ve even gone a step further and put my children in PJs for the entire flight.

A woman standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge with a baby in a baby carrier on her back.

Things You Can Do Ahead Of Your Flight

1. Dinner on international flights was super yummy! My kids loved the pasta. Friends told us 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 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.

2. Red Eye! Try your very hardest to catch a red eye if you are flying internationally, my children both slept 80% of the flight, and if they weren’t sleeping, they were watching the TVs

3. Make sure if you fly AMERICAN that you pre-download the movie app. TRUST me; don’t try to 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. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

4. Make sure you purchase chargers that will work in the country you’re visiting. 

5. Having matching lime green bags made life so 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 and fit in a car in Europe, too.

6. Make sure you purchase a carseat cover so you’re carseat won’t get dirty!

Things to think about after your flight

 Jet Lag- It’s VERY VERY VERY REAL! Read here how our jet lag went when we moved to Slovenia.

At the end of the day, I had zero issues. My children were very well-behaved. I expected the absolute worst, and I was very surprised at how well they 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!!

  • Terri Hurst
    December 7, 2016

    Loved reading about this big adventure! Good information. You prepared for everything & it paid off. Glad you made it without any big problems. You are a wonderful Mommy.

  • Cheryl Sisk
    December 7, 2016

    This is awesome information Brittany! Love you guys and can’t wait to see/hear about more adventures!

  • Kristal
    December 7, 2016

    Love this so much! You are awesome! I cannot wait to read more! Miss you girl!

  • Denise
    December 7, 2016

    This was wonderfully written and extremely informative . I truly had complete trust in all your pre-planning which apparently was an essential tool which benefited you the most. It also says a lot about expecting the unexpected and being prepared for those moments. Im so happy this trip was a lot easier than you prepared for. I’m looking forward to hearing what you did to prepare for jet lag if you can even prepare for jet lag and how you handle that. Looking forward to reading more about this wonderful adventure you have opened up to sharing with us all .

  • Debra
    December 7, 2016

    So interesting. Glad you guys made it safe. Looking forward to more of your blogs.

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