Flying with kids is always an adventure. Seriously its never the same and what worked one time might not work the next, but these are my thoughts and what has worked will for us so far.
- If its a long flight (especially if its a red eye) take the car seat, and don’t even think about doing a lap infant. Trust me on this one it is worth the extra cost to pay for their seat. The worst flight of my life involved a sick lap infant on a red eye from Seattle to JFK. They know their car seats and if they are at all like my kids will fall asleep in them, its a comfort zone thing. On a related note get one of those wheelie carts for your car seat! They are a little pricy but worth EVERY PENNY! We basically use them like strollers in the airport and strap the kids in them, and push them right through.
- Embrace the red eye! I know some people hate them but I have always liked them. I feel like it sets you up for the new timezone you will be in. We plan ahead with this for the kids, either keeping them up late or getting them up early for a few days before the flight so that they are a little closer to adjusted. This worked surprisingly well on our way to the UK, but on the way back we didn’t do it and it was a total mess.
- Get to the airport early. I know this seems like a no-brainier, but give yourself more time than you did prekids. Everything just takes longer with them so you might as well give yourself the time so your not stressed out.
- Let them watch as much TV as they want. Ellie watched Frozen on repeat (without the sound because she wouldn’t wear headphones) the whole flight home from the UK and it kept her happy.
- Snacks and some special treats are essential distractions when things get rough. I’m all about handing out candy if it keeps them quiet.
That’s all I have for now! I’m sure more will come up as we take more flights so I will keep you posted on how my thoughts change!