Travelling by airplane can be a bit of a challenge. I travel from Alberta to Nova Scotia once a year and it is a 4.5 to 5.5 hour flight, and that’s if I’m lucky enough to get a direct flight.
I usually book the red-eye, hoping that my kids will sleep for most of the flight. And it usually works!
You will want to allow plenty of time at the airport for check-in. I recommended that you arrive 2 hours before your scheduled flight. Having kids along can easily add extra time to your trip. You never know when you will need to make an unexpected pee break or need to change a diaper. You may also have extra items gate check, including a stroller, car seat or play pen.
When you travel with kids you will be allowed to pre-board. You will be one of the first passengers to get on the airplane and assistance will be available to you if you need it. When it is time to get off the airplane, wait in your seat until everyone else and gets off, you will avoid a traffic jam. And there will be someone available to give you a hand once the aisles are clear.
What to pack in your carry-on:
- Rock shaped crayons (so they won’t roll off the tray) + a colouring book or sketch pad.
- iPod with stand + headset.
- Snacks (sliced apples, carrot stick or cheerios).
- Wet wipes
- Digital Camera
- Car seat – for a 2-4 year old.
- Copies of birth certificates – It’s become quite common for families to have more then one surname. Whatever the reason, you’ll want to be able to prove that, yes, these kids are yours.
- Favourite toy or blanket.
- Image you are going away for a long weekend and pack your diaper bag accordingly.
Favourite Toy or Blanket: Make sure to pack your child’s favourite toy or blanket in your carry-on luggage. They will want it on the airplane and if your checked luggage gets lost, then your kids will still be able to go to sleep with their snugly toy. They should pack a toy that is small and washable, and keep in mind that it could get lost or left behind during your trip, so, it may not be best to bring along their absolute favourite toy.
Dress comfortably: It’s a long trip so you want them (and you) to be comfortable. Airplane’s can be chilly, you may want to dress in layers so you can add or remove a layer when needed.
Bring a change of clothes for your child + a plastic bag + wipes: If your child is sick on the airplane you will want clean clothes for them to change into + a plastic bag to put soiled clothes into. It’s not uncommon for kids to get motion sickness.
Medicines: Put together a small pack of non-prescription medicines, band-aids, Gravol, Tylenol, things that your family typically uses.