Flying with Kids / Kara’s Tips

I have earned some serious frequent flyer miles over the last 8 years flying back and forth from Milwaukee to Boston and pretty much consider myself an expert in flying with one to two kids. I’m afraid to say though, I can’t offer you much advice if you have three or more kids. Once your family exceeds a row, all I can say is I wish you luck and will help you if I ever see you at General Mitchell and carry a car seat down the runway for you. 

But, if you have one or two kids, this post is for you!! I have some really great tips that I have learned along the way when it comes to flying with your kids.

10 Tips on How to Fly with Children:

Tip #1, if it all possible, start flying with your children as soon as you can. Eventually their little minds remember the experience and get super excited to see and be on the airplanes.

Tip #2, if you are traveling with an infant, nurse or give bottle/pacifier at takeoff and landing. Totally helps with the ear popping. If your child is older, give them a lollipop to suck on. I allow the sugar in these situations (let’s be honest, in many other situations too.)

Tip #3, don’t be afraid to allow screen time. My daughter Emmy just turned two and right before we flew to Boston last week I ordered her a pink tablet and kid headphones. Best thing I could have ever done for myself. I downloaded some movies on each of their tablets and it made the flight much much more pleasurable for all passengers.

Tip #4, if you can, pick an early flight over a nighttime flight. I have found my kids do much better when I wake up them up at the crack of dawn, versus them landing at their destination well past bedtime. They end up falling asleep on the plane, then you have to wake them when they are SO not ready to wake up at 11PM. A night sleep, regardless of how long, is better than a very over tired kid who has been up all day in my opinion.

Tip #5, don’t be afraid to ask or accept help. Often times when I travel with the kids, it is without my husband. And for some reason, either one or both of my kids lose their minds right before we board the plane. This past week, Emmy literally screamed on the floor as Southwest called the A boarding zone. Some sweet woman in the A zone saw me with my double stroller collapsed and offered to carry my stroller down. I said no about three times because I didn’t want to trouble her but she insisted and I am so glad she did.  I can’t imagine trying to get a screaming toddler down the runway with all our bags AND a stroller.

Tip#6, check bags and carry on light. When I used to travel with Jackson, I would pack an obscene amount of diapers, wipes and change of clothes. I basically was bringing a Coscto size box of diapers on the plane. I barely used any of it. My advice, pack light and risk not having enough if you ever get stranded at the airport. Bring a few diapers in your carry on, a small package of wipes, one change of clothes and some snacks. Chances are you won’t be stranded at the airport and will make it to your destination without a hitch.

Tip# 7, sit near the back of the plane. I find that I bother less people, which in turn, gives me less anxiety, if my kids lose their you know what on the plane. I also like being close to the bathroom in case Jackson needs to go. Which of course, he needs to go every single time we are in the air even if he went right before.

Tip# 8, focus on your family and don’t worry about being judged by others. I remember when I first started flying with Jackson I felt really insecure and that other moms or people were glaring at me thinking I was making bad parenting choices. Don’t worry about what other people may be thinking, and just do what you think is right, even if that means giving your kids candy to keep them quiet on the plane. You’ll get no judgements from me! Flying is hard, especially with kids.

Tip# 9, let your kids fly in their jammies. Who cares what time of day you are traveling, they will be so comfy in them. And, it makes life even easier if you are leaving early in the morning. Just wake them up and go!

Tip# 10, pack the car the night before. So, this is a new one for me. I used to always wait to pack my luggage the morning of, but this recent trip, I had the car packed and ready to go the night before. When I woke up, I just had to get myself ready, pack my phone charger, get the kids and go. It made my morning SO much easier!

Well, there you have it. 10 tips to help make flying with your kids a little more manageable. Hope these help you on your next family adventure!

Do you have any traveling/flying tips? Would love to hear them!


Kara Plowman // I’m a native Bostonian living the American dream in the Midwest. I’m a wife to Andy, Mom to Jackson, Emmy and our pug pup Bo, and a reality TV junkie. When I’m not working or spending time with family you will find me getting my nails done, shopping, cooking/ baking or sending memes to my besties. I love all things fashion, beauty and interior design! I rely heavily on Instagram for my inspiration. I have fallen in love with the Lake Country area and all it has to offer and am thrilled to be a contributor at The Lake  Country Mom! // Follow on Instagram


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  1. Jessica Lindquist says

    So true Kara! We have tried nearly all of these tricks over the years. I am always so grateful for the random kind stranger when you need them and least expect the support!

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