airplane in air

The holidays are just around the corner and that means travel. If you live with a toddler and are planning a long-distance holiday trip, you will want to prepare for air travel in order to ensure the flights to and from your destination are as smooth as possible.

Flying on an airplane with a toddler doesn’t have to be stressful if you plan accordingly and are ready for any possible situation that could occur while at the airport or on the airplane.

Our tips for air travel with a toddler will help you prepare for your flight and hopefully prevent one or two headaches along the way:

(1) Nonstop Flights

You will want to opt to purchase tickets for nonstop flights instead of flights with layovers at multiple airports. You can save some money sometimes if you choose to fly with layovers but the saving might not be worth the inconvenience when it comes to flying with a toddler.

You don’t want to get your toddler comfortable and settled in on an airplane only to have to interrupt him or her for the next layover. You will not regret booking nonstop flights if you are traveling with a toddler.

(2) Aisle Seat

You should sit in the aisle seat and your child should sit in the middle seat or your child should sit in the aisle seat and you should sit in the middle seat. The reason is that there is a good chance you will need to go to the bathroom once or twice during the flight or even need to remove something from your luggage in the overhead bin for your toddler and you do not want to inconvenience the person sitting in the aisle seat each time you need to move around the airplane.

(3) Early Boarding

Parents and toddlers are often allowed to board an airplane before most of the other travelers. This might sound like a good idea, but do you really want to be on the airplane for any longer than necessary?

Instead, let your spouse board the airplane early and unload all the luggage and select good seats and then you should board the airplane with your toddler at the last possible moment. This will allow more time for your toddler to stretch his or her legs around the airport or another chance to use the bathroom before boarding the plane.

(4) Food & Drink

Be sure to purchase food and water or juice from the airport restaurants before you board the plane so you are able to feed your child if he or she is hungry. You cannot pack beverages in advance due to airport security rules concerning liquids but you can pack a healthy lunch for your toddler in advance if traveling in the middle of the day. You should pack your toddler something you know he or she will eat, perhaps the same thing you pack for a day at preschool or daycare, in order to ensure there are no tantrums on the airplane and your child isn’t hungry.

(5) Toys & Entertainment

You will want to bring an iPad or a table with one or two movies downloaded on it and maybe a few books for your toddler to read too. Do not bring tiny toys or toys with small pieces for fear of losing them on the airplane and being unable to reach them.

(6) Ear Pain

Your toddler’s ears could start to hurt during landing from the change in altitude. To counter this, pack bubblegum or a sucker or a drink with a straw because sucking helps to reduce the ear pain from landing. You don’t want your toddler to be in pain or for her or him to throw a tantrum near the end of the flight.

These tips for air travel with a toddler should help you to reach your destination and return home a little easier now that you know what to prepare for at the airport and on the airplane.