7 Tips for Flying With Your Kids

Flying can be a wonderful experience, but when you have kids in tow, it can also be a challenge. The key to sane airplane travel with children is adequate pre-planning. To help you map out a successful flight from Newark Airport, we’ve put together some wise tips for flying with kids:

  • Explain what the process will be like. If your children are old enough to understand, tell them what to expect from airport travel. Explain everything from checking in to going through security. The more information they have, the less likely they will be to become surprised or scared.
  • Keep them with you at all times. The Newark airport is like a shiny object to many kids. Their natural instincts are to dart around, taking in everything they see. As a parent, you should prepare for this reality of traveling with children. Keep them near you, and never allow them to wander around the concourse unattended.

  • Bring a favorite book or toy in the carry-on. You have your devices, books, papers or music to occupy your time during a flight, and your child deserves the same benefit. Allow every child who is traveling with you to bring along a special item on the plane — anything from a stuffed animal to a tablet. As long as it’s allowed on the flight and doesn’t take up extra space, it should be fine. Plus, it will give your child something to do.
  • Stay on top of how your child is feeling on the plane. Kids don’t always tell us what’s going on in their minds or their bellies. Check in with your child periodically and resist the temptation to sit back in the airplane seat and rest. You’re going to have to do some hand-holding, especially if your son or daughter is anxious or experiences motion sickness.
  • Be firm about respectfulness of airport employees. Children should never be encouraged to be disrespectful, and that’s undoubtedly the case at the airport. Employees must do their jobs, and they shouldn’t be expected to babysit. Set the tone by showing your children how to behave with your own attitude.
  • Bring healthy things to eat for your kids. “I’m hungry!” Children exclaim it at the most inopportune moments, yet if you’ve strategized a bit you can whip a healthier snack out of your bag to avoid a total food-related meltdown. Cut-up veggies and fruits, cheese sticks, crackers, pretzels and dried fruits all make excellent alternatives to the unhealthier options you’ll find in the concourse.
  • Accept that not all kids like to fly. Maybe you think that flying is one of the most incredible experiences ever, but that doesn’t mean your son or daughter feels the same way. Acknowledge their fears or concerns without trying to sway them. They may change their mind in the future if you calmly try to see things from their point of view, rather than assuming they are attempting to be difficult.

Keep these family airplane travel tips at the top of your mind the next time you find yourself flying in or out of Newark Airport, one of the busiest in the United States.