Flying With Kids Checklist

I have flown so many times I can't count them all.  Within the US and and internationally.  For the last 20 years I have traveled and loved it.  Where should I go next?

Flying can be memorable.  For example, Penny Hardaway sat right in front of me, he's really tall.  I met the lovely Hillarie Burton sitting at my gate.  Oh, and Neil Clark Warren was an aisle up from me on the right!

Once, TSA gave my baby a pat down.  I had a sick child throwing up the whole way home from Hawaii.  A child with no TV working and we had no access to power outlets all the way to Paris.  A man dropped to the ground in front of me going through customs - dead, heart attack or fainted, I'll never know.  Flight changes and cancelations can seriously mess up your day.  Layovers that turn into hotel stays come with food voucher perks!  A smile, yes ma'am and thank you go so far.

When flying with kids now, the whole game changes.  Forget that novel you've been dying to read or those podcasts or movies.  A latte to sip and Sudoku to solve is out.  This is work now.  And most likely some embarrassing situations.

Below are things I've learned about traveling with kids.  Maybe it's just my system and my prodigy, but it works for us.  Hopefully, what's written here will help your trip go smoothly.

In Your Carry-on

(Generally, I use zipper pouches or plastic baggies to separate certain items - meds in one place, essential oils in an oil carrying-bag, bathroom trip stuff goes together, food in one bag, and so forth.)

  • Ear Drops (for cabin pressure changes or landing)

  • Saline Spray (I use X-Clear, to clean out your nasal and sinuses and get rid of sickie bugs, also moisturizes after breathing recirculated air)

  • Bandaids (unexpected blisters, or scrapes and scratches, instead of glue to temporarily fix something)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Spray sanitizer (for bathrooms or waiting areas, we like the Young Living Thieves spray in a small bottle)

  • Ginger/Peppermint Candies (upset tummies from new foods or airsickness)

  • Tylenol/Advil (and any other OTC or prescription meds for adults and kids)

  • Upset Tummy Meds (if a candy doesn't work)

  • Cough/Congestion Syrup or meds (I like Hylands products, but watch the ounces allowed, bigger bottle with a little syrup is ok, colds literally come out of no where)

  • Tea Bags (we bring SleepyTime, Echinacea and peppermint tea, the airline will bring you hot water and a cup of ice - great for a non-sugar drink in their water bottle)

  • EmergenC/ Airborne (or other Immune System boosting supplements to take while traveling)

  • Daily vitamins (if traveling internationally or a super long trip)

  • Gum (Spry is my choice, good for teeth and popping ears)

  • Nail Clippers (you'd be surprised how many ways you'll use them)

  • Tweezers (splinters do happen, or lost little toys, etc.)

  • Baby Wipes (messy fingers or faces, spills, wiping down a table)

  • Disinfectant Wipes (to clean all the surfaces around your seats - armrests, TVs, window, etc.)

  • Ziplocks (a couple in different sizes for wet clothes, leftover food, broken toys, dirty socks, etc.)

  • Candies (as good behavior rewards, if your plane is delayed or you need a distraction)

  • A couple little surprises (when things go south, Mom's got it covered)

  • Water bottles (EMPTY bottles at first, then fill inside the gate)

  • Snacks (think protein, a fave and something fun, keep them full of goodness that's not sugar)

  • Socks (airplane and airport floors are filthy, bring a pair everyone can just wear around)

  • Change of clothes X2 (spills, accidents, delayed flights)

  • 2 more diapers than you think

  • Zip-up hoodie (for each kid, tie around the waist if not wearing)

  • Tissues (sneezes, messes, and more)

  • Their own ear phones (standard airline ones might not fit or be comfortable)

  • Back up charger or two (don't get caught without working electronics, unless you've raised perfect children - remember, the plane's TV does NOT always work)

  • iPad or tablet (get a couple new games and download a new movie)

  • Lip balm (again, recirculated air dries ya out)

  • A few small toys/games (like playing cards, Rory's Story Cubes, Uno, Flexi Puzzle, mess free Color Blast pad)

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste in a Ziplock (brushing on the plane is a distraction and healthy, plus, unexpected flight changes happen too often)

Essential Oils

We use Young Living essential oils.  I never leave home without a few in my purse.  They are are my first go-to.  Here's the list of the oils I take when traveling and some of the reasons I find for them. 

  • Peppermint - upset tummy, nausea, digestion, headache

  • Thieves - germs, immune system

  • Purification - ear aches, infected booboos

  • Lavender - bumps and bruises, sleep, calming

  • Stress Away - duh, stress!

  • DiGize - digestion, upset tummy

  • Deep Relief - neck pain, headache, sore muscles

  • RC - congestion

  • Oregano - any sickness, infection

(Never use essential oils inside your ears.  Most oils are for external use only.  Certain oils can burn your skin if not applied correctly.  Please, properly educate yourself on the use of essential oils before using with your children.  Not all oils are created equal.)

Other Travel Tips 

  • Everyone stay hydrated.

  • Roller bags are lifesavers - adults and kids use one.

  • For older kids, a sling backpack can double as a doll carrier or leaves them arms to help the family.

  • Wear your baby, be handsfree.

  • Dolls and stuffed animals need a place of their own - a sling, inside a bag, sometimes they fit through the roller bag handles - the person carrying the toy needs to be handsfree.

  • Potty before everything - before you leave the house, before you stand in the check in line, before you stand in the long security line, before your plane takes off, before you land, before you leave the airport. This kills time and hopefully there will be no emergency runs.

  • Walk around a few times, if on a long flight.

  • Focus on what you and your child need, not the strangers giving you looks - but yet, be respectful of other's space and comfort.

  • If you stress, they'll stress.

  • Take deep breaths, give the trip to God, He's in charge, everything WILL work out.

  • If you don't have it and really need it, you CAN buy stuff inside the airport - AND people are very generous on board if there's a problem, especially moms and Grandmas. *winks*