10 Tips for Airplane Travel with Kids

We know being on-the-go with kids can be stressful. We rounded up 10 tips and hacks for traveling and flying with kids.

Traveling with kids may not seem like the ideal start and end to your vacation, especially if it involves taking a plane ride to your final destination. Between hectic security lines, people-packed waiting areas at the gate and close-knit seats on the plane with little to no legroom…we’re breaking down all the hacks you need to fly seamlessly with your littles. 

  1. BYOC (Bring your own car seat) 

For all the youngins, make sure you have a compact one that can fit on the plane seat! It’s worth the splurge (sometimes…these days, we’ll let you decide!) to buy an extra seat for your mini so they stay comfy and less fidget-y. 

  1. Don’t board with the entire family during your set boarding time

Instead of your whole troop boarding the plane in the very beginning, have one partner board the plane first with all the luggage and toys to get settled while the other stays back with the kids to let them run around and stay on their feet as long as possible. Board with your kids when the last group is called to avoid them being fussy and impatient on the plane for too long. 

  1. Try to keep your baby awake until after take off 

If your mini falls asleep before take off, it’s likely they will wake up when the pilot and crew make announcements. Dodge the crankiness and do what you gotta do to keep them up until after the loud speaker turns off.

  1. Book your flights around nap and sleep schedules 

Try your best to align the flight times to work around hyper activity on the plane. This will keep your kiddos in rhythm and flying will be breezy! 

  1. Snacks, snacks and more snacks

Who doesn’t love a good treat on a long flight? Make sure to pack fun and exciting snacks to keep your kiddo entertained. We recommend suckers, Little Spoon Smoothies or anything that’s fun to keep them distracted.

  1. Don’t bring the whole toy store 

Definitely bring a few of your little’s favorite toys, but don’t go overboard. Make sure to grab stickers, a small game, educational toys or even a tablet for them to stay busy and focused. Pro tip: Buy your little one something NEW and let them open it on the plane for maximum enjoyment / distraction in flight. 

  1. Stroll through the airport with a travel stroller 

Seriously, this is life changing. There are strollers that are made for this and you can take them through TSA *and* store in the overhead compartment instead of checking it (and risking damage)! They are super light, compact and if your little has a meltdown mid-sprint to the gate, you don’t have to drag them by hand through the terminal. 

  1. Ditch the diapers 

Pack what you need for the flight (plus a few extra) and buy diapers when you arrive at your destination. Not only will this keep your bag light but you don’t have to guess how many you may or may not go through during your trip! 

  1. Download shows ahead of time 

If you’re bringing a tablet or iPad, downloading shows or movies ahead of time is a MUST! Airport WIFI can be spotty and this will save you a few bucks so you don’t have to purchase connection on the plane or risk in-flight entertainment your kiddo may not like. 

  1. Sanitize to the max 

Grab the wipes, grab the hand sanitizer. Planes and airports are full of germs, so bring the supplies to your mini safe and clean at all times. 


Looking for more tips on parenting, nutrition & all the WTF moments of this life stage? Sign up for our weekly Is This Normal by Little Spoon newsletter.