Monday, June 10, 2019

My Tips & Tricks for Flying with Kids

We just got back from a super fun week in Florida!

But you know what's not super fun - when travel does not go as planned.  Our flights to Florida could not have gone better.

Our flight from Florida was not allowed to land in Atlanta (after circling the airport for a while - barf! - due to weather) got diverted to Birmingham with no great options to get us home.  I read that they diverted 50 planes on Saturday so I know there were a lot of travel turfs as we call them.  There were storms everywhere and not many answers for when we'd be able to get a flight home. 

Kevin took charge - rented us a car and car seats and drove us 8 hours home - our hero!  It was so good to sleep in our own beds.  But we still have not been reunited with our 4 suitcases, stroller and 2 car seats - MAJOR bummer!!  Here's to hoping Southwest comes through for us and we're reunited soon because we are missing a lot of stuff.

Now on to the fun tips and tricks for flying with kids.

We fly a couple times of year with the kids.  They're little traveling pros.  In fact, they were pretty unphased by all the travel chaos this past weekend and were super flexible.  I think it was hardest on the parents, as it should be - right??

Our kids are 3 and 6 and they each get their own backpack when we fly.  It might be their favorite part about the traveling.  I gather things for weeks ahead of time so that they'll have a variety of special surprises on travel day.

I like to save party favors, kid's meal toys, Dollar Tree finds, favorite candies, etc.

I try to make their surprise count equal and do a similar variety of things.  They both get things to eat, play with, art type of things, reading things and things to share.  It works great.

Here's their special surprises this trip:

Olive's Backpack (6yr old):
Stickers and blank paper
Hatchimal Mess Free Marker set
Nerd Rope
Push Pop
Mini Polly Pockets
Twisty Petz
Squishy Unicorn
Paw Patrol Party Favors
Trash bag
Snacks - Nutragrain bar, smarties, pretzels, cheerios, bubble gum and suckers
Kindle Fire (both kids share this)
Bunny & Blanket

Tips & Tricks:
The Twisty Petz were the favorite!  They came from Target.  They were fun to play with and parts were easy to keep together.

The Polly Pocket was very cute, but Olive was hesitant to want to play with all the tiny parts on the airplane.  They would be really easy to lose and hard to keep track of.  

Meijer had the stickers and candy.

I found the Mess Free Marker Pad at TJ Maxx for $2.99.  My kids love these.

The unicorn squishy came from Dollar Tree.  It was fun and super cute, but ripped easily.  It wasn't nearly as durable as the other name brand squishy toys I've seen.  I would not recommend them.

Fletcher's Backpack (3 yrs old):
Water Wow Water Reveal Pad (can fill paint brush with water bottle water)
Stickers & blank paper
Tiger squishy
Paw Patrol Party Favors
Nerd Rope
Push Pop
Snacks - Nutragrain bar, smarties, pretzels, cheerios, bubble gum and suckers
Trash bag
Puppy & Blanket

Tips & Tricks:
The Water Wow pad came from TJ Maxx and was so much fun!  Both kids loved it and it held up SO well.  It was $3.99 and I'll definitely be buying more.  The brush was so easy to fill with water from our water bottles and didn't need refilled very often.

The airplanes, candy and stickers were from Meijer.  They were metal and great quality.

We went to a family friendly event in the community and they were giving out free spinners.  I saved it for Fletcher's surprises and it was great!  I also saved our latest magazine subscriptions for the kid's backpacks. 

I always fly with plastic bags to use for trash, dirty clothes, or to contain messes on the go.  Each kid gets one in their backpack and then I put a few in mine.  I also pack a change of clothes for each kid, empty water bottles to fill at the airport, LOTS snacks, wet wipes, clorox wipes, hand sanitzer, paper towels and important documents in my backpack.  Kevin packs electronics, a book to read and charging cords.

I also try to save back a special surprise or two for the return trip home.  I just put them in a bag in my checked luggage and add them to the kid's backpacks when I'm repacking us to head home.  They get to play with all of their initial surprises plus one or two new things.

 What special surprises would your kids like to play with on an airplane??


  1. These are such great ideas! I still pack very similar things in my bag, except for the change of clothes. Jack went through a motion sickness phase so I learned to pack lots of bags for messes just in case. Luckily, he seems to have outgrown it. Have a wonderful week!

  2. I loved reading your list! I think I would like some of those things for myself! I used to do a similar thing, although your items are a lot more comprehensive! I would wrap the items and number them, and, depending on the length of the flight, they could open one every hour, or every half hour. Something like that. It’s amazing how much my kids loved it ❤️


    My favorite way to carry plastic bags!

  4. What a super helpful post- thanks!Will be flying for the first time w my 5 yo and 3 yo so these tips are handy.


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