Being a family of 5 can bring on some anxiety with the thought of flying with kids. Not going to lie I sweat at the thought of going through TSA with 3 kids. However, Rick and I committed with doing more traveling with the kids. We decided we would scale back on some of the tangible items and put more of our resources in giving the boys new experiences.
I know travel can be tough so I wanted to share some tips that have helped me conquer traveling with 3 children.
I’ve also teamed up with Frontier Airlines to share their new promotion perfect for traveling as a family. KIDS FLY FREE! Yes, how amazing. You can read everything about it here, and be sure to book your next trip! In a nutshell – signup to become a Discount Den member, choose a Kids Fly Free flight, and then simply book.
I know for me that is a game changer because we have to buy 4 round trip tickets, FOUR! That can get pricey, soon it will be 5 tickets. Having the opportunity to save on my kids travel means more opportunities to experience new things!
Booking travel – Traveling with kids, I always choose nonstop flights unless it is not an option. This will save you the headache, so spend a bit more and book that nonstop flight, it is so worth it. I also try to get either early morning or evening flights; that way we have a higher likelihood of the kids going to sleep.
Picking seats – If it is in your budget I would suggest paying extra to choose your seats, unless you are flying Southwest. When we don’t choose our seats we end up all the way in the back by the bathrooms. We try to get a row to the middle of front of the plane to help us get in and out the plane quickly.
Most airlines charge an extra $10-$20 to pick your seats. Be mindful that getting off the plane, you will still have to wait a bit for the workers to bring the stroller up. We’ve had to wait sometimes an additional 20 minutes. We will have 1 parent wait while the other takes the kids to the bathroom.
Be on time – Whenever I think about running late for a plane I imagine Home Alone where they are running through the airport, it looks fun and no one is sweating. The reality is when you are running late for a flight is a horrible experience. We are sweating, tensed and trying to get through security. Naturally children don’t move as fast as adults, so that brings on additional stress. We’ve found getting to the airport early eliminates a lot of stress.
Pack lunches – This was a game changer for us. Airport food can be expensive, plus there are always lines. Before we leave I always pack each child their own lunch. I also stop at a store before heading back and try to make lunches for the flight home as well. Start doing this, it will save you some extra money. I keep it simple, PB&J, chips, fruit, juice box, and cookie. I also keep drinks to a minimum before flying so we can try to avoid a million bathroom breaks.
Going through security is tough as a family. We created a system so each of us has a responsibility. This way it makes going through TSA easier. As we plan on doing more travel, and considering paying for the pre-check to help us. However, in the event we don’t end up doing it this is the system that helps us.
Remember kids under 12 can keep their shoes on.
Quick tip – If you ever wonder if you should bring a stroller. DO IT! For us it is a lifesaver with multiple kids. It also has extra storage to hold our carry on bags through the airport.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Activities and technology: I know that we all try to stay strict with screen time, but for traveling we charge the tablets the night before. We also download movies and other games that are not wifi dependent. There is nothing worse than your child having a tablet but not be able to play any games due to them all needing WIFI.
I put in Calvins bag coloring activities, and for Cameron word searches and Sudoku.
Car Seat (depending where we are going)
2 Checked bags
Quick Tip – I often save new movies for our kids to watch on the plane. My kids will lose attention from a movie they have seen many times and this keeps them interested.
Stay relaxed – I’ve found the more we are tensed, the more stressful flying with kids is. Make it fun!
Hand Sanitizer is your friend – There are so many germs everywhere but there is something about airports/airplanes that make you feel it even more. I spray down our seats before flying and constantly have our kids use hand sanitizer.
Let the kids burn some energy – Before we get on the flight I typically find a corner they can get wild and crazy just to use some of that energy before having to sit on the plane.
Lower your expectation – You are flying with children. It will not be as smooth as flying with adults. So be patient and allow your children to enjoy their airplane experience.
All of these tips for flying with kids have made it easier for us travel. I would love to hear what tips have helped you? Share below.