Traveling with your kids: Are we there yet?

Air Travel

  • Buy your child a ticket if he's under two.
  • It's safer than carrying him on your lap and most children are accustomed to staying put in their car seats.
  • If you are traveling with your partner and children, have one adult preboard with carry-ons. Wait to board with the kids until the last boarding call. Usually, the less time spent on the plane, the better.
  • Choose a bulkhead seat. These are up front, directly behind first-class, and will give you a little extra floor space. When you make your reservation tell them that you are traveling with an infant. Check with your airline to see if you car seat will fit in the bulkhead seats.
  • Choose a low-volume flight. Call your airline and ask which flights are usually the least crowded. Extra space makes for a more comfortable trip.
  • Choose your carry-ons wisely. Overhead storage space is at a minimum. Check oversized or odd-shaped luggage. (Or you might need the help of all your seatmates to pry your luggage out at the end of the flight.)
  • Arrive early at the airport. Once you're checked in, ask if the airport has a special play area for kids.
  • Nurse your baby or offer a bottle during takeoff and landing. Older children can be offered a juice box or chewing gum to keep them more comfortable as the pressure changes.
  • Bring along some snacks. Non-messy snacks can then be enjoyed by your children during the flight.
  • Introduce yourself to your seat-mates. You might strike up a great conversation and find that the time passes quickly. They will also be less likely to be annoyed if your child isn't the perfect flier.
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