Tips for Traveling With Children

Traveling with children can be a stressful time for parents, and surrounding passengers. Unlike environments that allow parents to simply “walk away” from a crowd if a child is disruptive, when traveling by plane, everyone is a captive audience with nowhere to go.

There are a few simple steps parents can take when flying with small children that can drastically improve the experience for everyone.

Before You Leave Home

  • Take one favorite stuffed toy or other “security blanket” for each child.
  • Explain to the child what to expect at the airport, such as crowds, standing in lines, security procedures, etc.
  • Go to the TSA website and find out what you can and can’t bring through security, especially as it relates to a child. Also, print a copy of your rights as a parent in case your child has to undergo a secondary screening.
  • Explain to your child what to expect on the flight
  • Print your boarding passes so you have one less thing to do, even if you are checking luggage

When you get to the airport

  • Tell your child what to expect with TSA screening and explain that they are friendly people who are doing this to help make the trip more fun
  • Make sure they have an activity to keep them busy while waiting for the flight (this could include access to their favorite toy or reading them a story)
  • Have an alternate plan in case your flight is delayed or cancelled (reservation phone numbers, websites, airline mobile apps, etc.)
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