Your In-service Guide to Flying With Turned-Up Kids

On our flight to Abu Dhabi

Does your heart beat really fast any time you think about traveling with kids? Mine used to. Okay, it still does, but I’m getting better at managing the stress! I’ve come up with some tips that work for me, and that may help you out as well!

9 tips for flying with turned-up kids:

  1. Wear something comfortable. I often look around the airport and see all the cute ladies in dresses and heels, sashaying down the moving walkways. Not me! The way my son is a flight-risk, I always make sure to wear something close to a track-suit and tennis shoes where I can take off running after his butt if I have to. Which is very often.
  2. Put the kids to work. Make them share the load. Lug a carry-on. Drag a suitcase. Every able man, woman and child has to work! Plus, it’s fun for them and they like to help. It will keep them busy!
  3. Gate-check strollers. Take those strollers right on up to the gate. They will help you lug all your crap and keep your little ones buckled in place while you travel through the airport. Plus, they are readily available at the gate when your flight lands.
  4. Load up the snacks. My kids eat. A lot. Eating is just as good as a tablet app and can keep them busy for at least 20 minutes. I have a never-ending stash of goodies in my bag!
  5. Keep the activities rolling: If your kids are like mine, one activity only last 5 minutes. So I usually plan for 10 activities and keep them rotating throughout the flight. As soon as they bore of one, I have one more right up my sleeve!

    4 different activities spanning 10 minutes during our return-trip from Abu Dhabi. True story.
  6. Purchase an extra seat. Lap babies are no fun! If you have the extra cash, it’s totally worth it to grab the extra space. You’ll need it, especially if you have a little one that loves to kick and move about (99% of toddlers).
  7. Choose a window seat. If you have a toddler that is a flight-risk, choose a window seat to box them in. There is nothing more annoying than running up and down a tight, crowded plane aisle, looking silly while chasing your junior escape artist in-training.
  8. Send love notes to your neighbor passengers. Well, not really. But I have gotten in the routine of apologizing in advance for all the turnt-up ruckus my kids are sure to keep up. I find that I usually earn a couple of extra patience points from my neighbors and they go out of their way to say “no problem!” and then usually follow it up with how they have young kids, or know someone with young kids and totally understand. Instead of throwing us daggers throughout the flight, they normally smile with understanding. They really just love when you care about them. *wink*
  9. Order in-service wine. For yourself. You will thank me later. And if your kids seem to be bothering your in-flight neighbors, purchase a glass for them as well and watch in amazement how fast their sour mood lifts!

Do you have any additional tips for flying with turned-up kids? Let us know!

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I am a career-driven mother of 3 dedicated to the health, spiritual, and emotional well-being of moms.

One comment

  1. A friend of mine recommended wrapping each new “activity” in wrapping paper. So a pack of crayons… individual wrap each of those suckers. Pack of toy cars? Individually wrap each car. It’s a little extra work up front for you, but which kid doesn’t love unwrapping “presents”. And it doesn’t even have to be new items, you can wrap the toys they already have.


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