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Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight

Our staff and readers offer their best tips for flying stress free with kids.

By Today's Parent staff
Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight

Flying with kids

Taking to the skies with the little ones this holiday season? Try some of these ideas from our staff and readers for a stress-free flight.

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Nadezhda Prokudina/iStockphoto

Online check-ins

"There are a world of unforeseen delays that could potentially keep you from checking in on time. To avoid the risk of having your family split up throughout the plane, check with your airline to see if they offer online check-ins. Some companies allow you to check in and pick your seats up to 24 hours before your flight." — Kate Stewart, Assistant Editor

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Mark Bowden/iStockphoto

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Ask for what you need

“Whatever you need — whether it’s a seat closer to the bathroom, or a plastic bag for a dirty diaper — ask for it! Your baby, you and EVERYONE on the flight will be happier if you (politely) request something to make your flight smoother.” — Kate Hawkins, Nain, Nfld

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Sean Locke/iStockphoto

Bring the fun

“Pack an activity kit with new colouring and activity books, crayons and card games for each child. The ‘new’ factor will keep them busy, and they can take the kit to restaurants and other boring-to-kids places on your trip. On the ride home, carry on postcards you got while on vacation. Have them write out messages to friends and family and deliver them when you get home.” — Nadine Silverthorne, Online Managing Editor

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: June Lloyd/iStockphoto

DIY Bingo!

“We came up with Flight Bingo. We make up our own bingo cards of things we might see on the plane, and take them along. Before we know it, we are already landing and our son is still trying to find someone wearing green shoes.” — Katrina Mackay, Calgary

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Catherine Lane/iStockphoto

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Bring your own car seat

“When travelling with kids under three, if the airline allows car seats on board — go for it! Even though they are cumbersome to lug around, they keep little ones contained and my kids always fell asleep more easily when they were in a familiar seat. We also never do pre-boarding: I find those 20 minutes or so while everyone else gets on and settles in to be a bit dicey with children.” — Karine Ewart, Editor-in-Chief

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Glenda Powers/iStockphoto

Watch out for those ears!

“The pressure changes during takeoff and landing can cause earaches, which doesn’t help — especially if your child is a first-timer. At landing and takeoff, give your kids something to drink or suck on to prevent their ears from popping.” — Haley Overland, Online Writer/Editor

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Leslie Banks/iStockphoto

Take a back seat

“Book seats at the back of the plane: If you need to take care of a smelly diaper, you are much less likely to get stuck behind the drinks cart. And you are more likely to get an extra seat beside you.” — Carolyn Snider, Winnipeg

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Andrew Nokes/iStockphoto

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Get techy

“The VINCI tablet saved our lives on a recent three-hour trip with our toddler. It has cute age-appropriate games, lullabies with trippy sleep-inducing visuals and e-books. It’s also surrounded by sturdy, grab-able housing that a little kid can grip without getting grubby fingerprints all over the screen.” — Leah Rumack, Deputy Editor

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: June Lloyd/iStockphoto

Cat's cradle

“On our last flight, we bought a book on cat’s cradle and did a ton of string games — so fun!” — Kristy Woudstra, Online Editor

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight Photo: Wojciech Gajda/iStockphoto

More family fun!

Flying with kids: How to have a stress-free flight
This article was originally published on Oct 10, 2012

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