Family Flying Made Easy

family flying tipsFlying with kids for spring break? Don’t panic!

Here are some family flying tips to get the kids, and yourself, to your destination without a hitch:

1. Shoe news: Good news first: Kids 12 and under no longer need to remove their shoes to go through security. Yippee! You, of course, will still need to remove your shoes, and your belt, and large accessories (I’m looking at you with the arm full of bangles). Dress for success and opt for easy clothing so you can sail through the x-ray machine with your kids.

2. Stroller sense: Unfortunately, kids still can’t roll through security; even wee babes need to come out of a stroller at the security checkpoint.  Then the stroller needs to be folded, and then put on the conveyor belt. Do yourself a favor: bring the lightest, easiest to fold stroller you can find

3. Food for thought: Unless you’re flying first class (you lucky things), don’t expect anything in the way of sustenance when you fly. Yes, there’s food for sale – but who know if its something your kids will like, or even if it will still be available by the time the cart makes it to your row. Instead, make a snack grab bag filled with healthy treats (some thoughts: fruit snacks, nuts, trail mix, granola bars) that kids can access easily after you sit down. And don’t forget to lay in real food for long flights. For breakfast, try packing individual oatmeal bowls (just $1 at CVS) and a spoon and request hot water once on board. Lunchables are easy to transport, and Whole Foods does a quick grab and go kids lunch, too.

4. Power Up: Checking bags? DO NOT pack your power cords, put them in your carry-on instead. Delays happen. Devices run out of power. Being able to recharge phones and devices? Priceless.

5. Unplug: Speaking of electronics, you’ll have to power-down for take-off, while waiting on the runway before take-off, AND during landing, so be sure to stash some non-powered fun for the family, too. Think MadLibs, cards, books, and even a few mystery dollar-store surprises to keep the kids on their toes.

Have a great vacation!

Melissa Klurman is an award-winning travel writer whose work appears in Family Fun, Working Mother, and Parents magazines, among others. She’s also a Montclair mom to a happy traveling 9-yr-old boy.

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