Preparing for Liftoff: Tips for Taking Flight with Kids
By Katherine Waters-Clark
Are you longing for a trip but nervous about flying with a baby? With preparation and planning, you and your family can enjoy traveling the friendly skies.
If the thought of taking flight with kids leaves your tummy turbulent, before you permanently put away your passport, read on. With a little planning, preparation, and perseverance, you and your family will have a great flight!
Map Out Your Flight Plan
Don't wait for great deals. Once you decide to travel, call your travel agent or get online. Investigate your airline's website; ask friends and neighbors with kids for information and advice about meals, movies, what works and what doesn't. Request a window seat, the bulkhead (more room), and a seat away from the bathroom. Arrange for transportation (from a friend, car service, or taxi) both to and from the airport.
Timing Is Everything
Book a midweek, off-peak flight. If possible, choose a flight that coincides with your baby's or toddler's sleep schedule. Before your flight day, focus on getting several good nights' sleep. A well-rested traveler is a happier (and calmer) traveler.
Depending on their ages, you may need to show your children's birth certificates or passports. Remember to update your own passport if you are traveling abroad. Write down important medical information (doctors' numbers, insurance, prescriptions). Store the list with your important papers. Keep all important documents you need to travel with you at all times and not in your checked luggage.
Allergies, Medicines, and Special Requests
Food-allergy sufferers can often request a nut-free flight. Check out the airlines' special (kosher, diabetic) menus online. The day of the flight can be confusing, even for the flight crew. Alert them again to your allergies well before takeoff so that they have time to clear the food preparation area of any peanuts, tree nuts, or any other allergens that will harm your child. If your child is on certain medications, pack plenty in your carry-on bag, along with a copy of the prescription.