Flying With Kids (the reality)


The first few times we flew with our son, he was young enough to be entertained by the safety pamphlet on the plane. I was sure that flying with him this time, at over a year and a half, wouldn’t be so simple.

You can bet that I planned out the perfect checklist for keeping him happy during our flight from North Carolina to Texas (including one 3-hour Atlanta layover).

Of course, you and I both know, that no matter how much you plan and prep, things can always go a different way. My dream flight turned into reality very quickly.


Toddler flying survival kit

The following was my idea of the perfect carry on while flying with kids. Keep an eye out for the “reality disclosure” at the end of each one. This my friends, is real life parenting at its finest.

1. Toys, blocks, puzzles
Pack him any small piece of entertainment you can fit into his baby backpack. Figuring this will be the perfect selection to keep him occupied on the flight.
Reality: Falls asleep immediately after takeoff.


2. Healthy Snacks On The Go
Granola bars, rice cakes, fruit… pack easy snacks hoping to avoid the over priced junk sold at the airport.
Reality: Spends a fortune on Macaroni and Corn.


3. Tablet or other Electronics
Pack the tablet for a last effort source of entertainment. Offering shows, books, and games..figuring there is no way he’ll get bored with this as back up.
Reality: You forget to charge it and end up with a low battery or have trouble connecting to wifi, rendering it useless.


In The End.

You may have clicked on this post hoping I would have some magic insider tips on how to keep your toddler happy on an airplane. The truth is, magic doesn’t exist in parenting. Motherhood is a series of events in which we do what we can to make ourselves feel prepared. Parenting is an adventure and what fun would it be if there weren’t a few surprises along the way?

For the record, even though things didn’t go exactly as planned, our flight still went very well. Our son did amazing and we were able to avoid any meltdowns. Now on to the rest of our family vacation!

In addition, a few things that truly have helped were:

1. Having a small stroller. It wasn’t our nice one so we didn’t have to worry about it getting ruined on the flight.
2. When he was small enough for it, I enjoyed having the baby carrier so I could wear him along the way.
3. And a pacifier. This helps with ear popping during the plane ride. If they’re smaller you can try feeding them during take off and landing. Or if they’re old enough try candies like lollipops!


Stay tuned for our adventures in Houston.

Have you flown with your kids? What have you found works best for entertainment? 

Heading out on a family vacation this Summer? Don’t forget to check out our tips on packing for yourself AND your kids

For even more, check out another take on flying with kids by visiting my friend over at Jesus and Wine!

2 thoughts on “Flying With Kids (the reality)

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