Summer Traveling Tips: Flying with 2 Young Children

Airports are notorious for being a hassle to navigate. From gate changes to delays, traveling by plane is not for the faint of heart-especially with young children. I will be traveling by myself with my two children (5 years old and 11 months old) in a few days, and here’s what I’m doing to have a successful trip!

 

I scheduled our flights for after my kids’ bedtime in the hopes that they will sleep on the plane. The worst case scenario is that they don’t sleep on the plane, and will get their sleep once we arrive to our destination. We have two separate flights that should each last around two hours with a layover around one hour. I figure the layover is just enough time to stop at the bathroom and get to our next gate.

 

I will be packing a diaper bag and my daughter will carry her own backpack. Along with a change of clothes for everyone (just in case) I will pack my daughter’s tablet and headphones in case she does want to be awake. I also intend on bringing a full container of formula just in case we get delayed or are forced to spend the night in a hotel. Our formula dispenser only has compartments for three bottles, and I want to be prepared in case something unexpected happens.

 

I plan on bringing a fair amount of snacks to keep my little ones happy if they do end up awake during our flights. For my daughter this means granola bars, goldfish, and fruit snacks (for a sweeter option). My son only has four teeth, so he is limited to more baby-friendly snacks. His snacks include Gerber puffs, little crunchies, and yogurt melts for a sweet option.

 

I’ve also decided to forego the carry on bags. They were included in the price of our checked bags, but ultimately I don’t want to be wheeling a carry on bag through the airport while pushing a double stroller. My husband-who is a proud Eagle Scout- helped me to pack minimally and to make smart choices about what to bring in the backpack that I will carry. I’m thankful for his input because I was stuffing the backpack full instead of strategically thinking through how many of each item I would need.

 

We will be bringing my son’s car seat with us, and luckily the airline doesn’t charge to check the car seat at the front counter. Once we arrive to our destination we will be able to pick up the car seat along with our suitcases. This ensures I don’t have to have my family purchase another car seat and it’ll be nice because I’m already familiar with the ins and outs of our car seat. I’m pretty sure most airlines allow for checked car seats, and it’s a lifesaver!

 

If you’re traveling with your kids this summer, I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. Whether traveling by plane or car, summer is full of the promise of new adventures, and it’s truly a joy to have these new adventures together as a family!

Samantha is a stay-at-home mom to Lily and Isaac. She is originally from San Antonio, Texas but moved to Iowa when she started attending the University of Northern Iowa. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Special Education, and loves the opportunity to mentor other parents in the special needs community. She enjoys knitting, reading, and baking in her free time.