Being a new parent is challenging by itself. The late nights, constant feedings, and diaper changes can all be stressful. But what about traveling with a newborn or toddler? Many parents cringe at the very thought of boarding a plane with a tiny human, but some are braver than others.
It’s bad enough to constantly think about all the what-ifs with our children and important decisions like how to buy life insurance for a child. If you are faced with the daunting task of traveling by plane with a baby or toddler in tow, don’t worry.
Let’s take some stress off your shoulders and get you prepared for takeoff.
Top 3 Common Mistakes of Traveling With Small Children
#1 – Having Excessive Carry-on Luggage
You’ll be tempted to bring everything under the sun in the cabin with your family, but try to keep your hand luggage items to a minimum. The more you have to carry through the airport, the more flustered you’ll be by the time you board the plane. Keep it simple and clutter-free.
#2 – Maintaining Unorganized Chaos
In the worst-case scenario, you’re at security check-in, and you can’t find your wallet, your passport, or worse, your ticket. Staying organized with all essential documents readily available is key. Make sure you know exactly where everything is before you even step foot into the airport.
#3 – Running Late
The most significant piece of advice is to get to the airport with more than enough time before the plane starts to board. The last thing you want to do is run through the crowds, trying to catch your flight with a baby on your hip. That will make for a horrible start to your trip.
Top 5 Tips for Preparing for a Flight With Children
#1 – Small Stroller and Car Seat
Invest in a cheap umbrella stroller and small car seat you don’t necessarily need or care too much for. Whether at your local big box store or thrift store, get a stroller that has some storage space on the bottom and folds up small and easily.
#2 – Backpack or Fanny Pack
Having both hands accessible while traveling through the airport and not holding onto a purse or diaper bag is a game-changer. Get a backpack or fanny pack that can effortlessly be opened for easy access and has pockets for different sorts of items.
#3 – Small Toys and Devices
As mentioned above, keep it minimal when packing your carry-on luggage. Try to pack small toys, binkies, and blankets that your child favors. Also, you might want to keep any noisemakers at home so you don’t disturb the entire cabin on your journey.
#4 – Snacks/Bottles
Don’t forget to have plenty of snacks and bottles handy. Now is not the time to be conservative with how much or what kind of snacks your child has. Whatever they like, bring a good amount of it. This can be your lifeboat should a tantrum arise.
#5 – Naptime Travel
Many parents would agree that traveling during naptime is simply genius. Schedule the flight before naptime. That way, you give yourself some room to get onto the plane, settled, and hopefully be asleep for the majority of the flight.
Surviving Your First Flight with Your Child
In addition to planning for your flight, you should also plan for your travel plans after your flight.
Having a rental car with the appropriate rental car insurance already set up to drive from the airport to your lodgings can be a lifesaver so that you don’t have to stress about finding transportation when you arrive at your destination with small children in tow.
It can look like an enormous task to complete when you’re about to travel by plane with your child. There’s a lot to consider, and the experience can be overwhelming. However, being prepared, planning, staying organized, and keeping calm is all you need to be one of the brave parents that we all envy.
Carla Hughes writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuote.com. As a new mom who travels often, Carla has experienced flying with a young child and has quickly learned what makes this task seamless and less stressful.