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5 Essential Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel with Kids

Whether you’re embarking on a family visit or jetting off to Disneyland for an exhilarating adventure, the prospect of traveling with kids can be a tad daunting. The extended security lines, meticulous bag checks, and the prospect of cramped airplane seating can be less than ideal for both parents and little ones.

Fear not, though, for with some thoughtful planning and strategic thinking, you can transform your family travel experience into a far more enjoyable and stress-free adventure. In this blog post, we’ll divulge five indispensable tips that have proven invaluable in helping numerous families make their journeys with kids not only bearable but genuinely enjoyable.

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Tip 1: Compact Stroller

When it comes to traveling with young kids, navigating a bustling airport without a stroller can feel like a daunting task. That’s why opting for a compact travel stroller is a game-changer. These ingenious travel companions fold up into a size akin to hand-carry luggage, fitting seamlessly into the overhead compartment on the plane.

The advantages of a compact travel stroller become evident right after landing. Picture this: you have a peacefully napping child, and you need to traverse the airport to reach your next gate or the baggage claim area. Or perhaps you’re faced with the prospect of enduring customs lines. In such moments, your trusty compact stroller emerges as a lifesaver, ensuring your child’s comfort and your peace of mind.

We have a soft spot for the Uppababy Minu, an ultra-light, compact stroller that has become our go-to travel companion when journeying with kids. The Minu boasts a plethora of convenient features, from its effortless folding mechanism to its plush seat padding and easy recline function.

UPPAbaby Minu V2 Travel Stroller
$399.99

The Uppababy Minu V2, a reliable and comfortable travel stroller, outperforms the competition when it comes to navigating uneven terrain. Its one-handed folding mechanism is a favorite among parents, making it a popular choice for everyday use as well.

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03/11/2024 07:37 pm GMT

While Uppababy holds a special place in our hearts, there’s no shortage of outstanding brands in the market. Our friends have also had excellent experiences with alternatives like the Doona, which seamlessly transforms from a car seat to a stroller and back again, or the Nuna TRVL stroller.

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Car Seat to Stroller in Seconds
$550.00

Doona stands as the pioneer in complete and seamlessly integrated travel systems, effortlessly transitioning from car seat to stroller in mere seconds. Its ingenious design enables you to move about the city with ease, all while ensuring your sleeping child remains undisturbed during transitions, whether it's getting into a car, taking a bus ride, or climbing stairs.

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03/11/2024 08:46 pm GMT

For those traveling with two children or twins, the Uppababy G-Link V2 is a worthy consideration. It even complies with the current stroller regulations at Disneyland, where size restrictions apply. Keep in mind that larger strollers like the G-Link V2 won’t fit in the overhead compartment, but you can conveniently check them at the gate. The airline crew will have your stroller ready and waiting for you when you disembark, ensuring a smooth transition from plane to destination.

Tip 2: Smart Snacking Strategies

When it comes to traveling with kids, you can never overemphasize the importance of snacks. Our approach typically involves having a substantial meal (whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner) before embarking on a flight or hitting the road. Even if the flight includes a meal service, having a backup meal at the ready has consistently proven to be a wise move – after all, who can resist the allure of airplane cuisine, right? 😅

Moreover, we time our snack distribution with consideration for those moments of airplane ear discomfort (known as ear barotrauma). As the plane takes off or descends, the change in air pressure can lead to pain and discomfort in the middle ear. To counteract this, we encourage the kids to munch on a snack during these crucial phases of the flight, ensuring their little ears remain happy and pain-free.

Tip 3: Entertaining Your Little Travelers

Ensuring your kids stay entertained during the flight is essential for a smooth and stress-free journey. To achieve this, pack an array of activities to keep them engaged throughout the trip. Consider including items such as coloring books, puzzles, tablets loaded with age-appropriate apps or shows, and their cherished toys. Don’t forget to equip them with headphones to maintain a peaceful cabin atmosphere for fellow passengers.

Here’s a neat trick: bring along a small toddler backpack for your child to carry, allowing them to fill it up with their preferred travel companions. This empowers them to choose their own toys (with some gentle suggestions) and gets them excited about the journey. The possibilities are endless, ranging from small stuffed animals, dolls, stickers, pop-it packs, art supplies like Crayola mess-free coloring pages, books, to their favorite iPad or tablet for added entertainment 😄.

As a bonus, consider bringing a surprise for your kids – a wrapped toy that they can open on the plane. Kids adore unwrapping surprises, and a new toy will capture their attention, at least for a little while, providing an extra dose of excitement to their travel experience.

  1. SAVITA 3D Stickers for Kids & Toddlers 500+ Puffy Stickers
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  2. 2 Packs Pop Fidget Sensory Toys
    $7.99
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    03/11/2024 08:03 pm GMT
  3. Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring Kit (120ct), 100 Coloring Pages, 20 Mini Markers
    $25.17

    Unleash your child's creativity without the worry of mess with the Crayola Color Wonder Mess-Free Coloring Kit. With 100 Coloring Pages and 20 Mini Markers, this kit provides endless opportunities for creative expression. It's not just a coloring kit; it's also an excellent choice for a creative birthday or holiday gift for kids and toddlers. Let their imagination run wild with mess-free coloring fun!

    Buy Now

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    03/11/2024 08:08 pm GMT
  4. What Should Danny Do? on Vacation! (The Power to Choose)
    $13.69

    "What Should Danny Do?" is an interactive book that empowers children by showing how their choices shape their lives. In a captivating "Choose Your Own Story" format, it follows Danny, a young Superhero-in-Training, as he faces everyday decisions. As kids explore different storylines, they learn that their choices for Danny affect his day and, by extension, recognize the impact of their own choices on their lives. This book is a valuable tool for teaching children about decision-making and its role in shaping their destinies.

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    03/11/2024 08:15 pm GMT

Tip 4: Entertainment On the Go

Before embarking on your journey with the kids, take some time to plan ahead and pre-download their favorite shows and music videos for offline viewing. Load up your phone, tablet, or iPad to keep them entertained, especially during those lengthier flights. Ensure that your device is fully charged and ready for action.

For a more immersive experience, consider getting kid-sized headphones or noise-canceling headphones for your little ones to wear while they enjoy games or shows. On a previous trip, I had to let my daughter use my Bose Active Noise-Canceling headphones because I wasn’t prepared. Since then, I’ve done my homework and discovered Puro Sound Labs, a company with a remarkable mission to protect kids’ ears and prevent noise-induced hearing loss in today’s youth.

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03/11/2024 08:49 pm GMT

We rely on their PuroQuiet Bluetooth headphones, which inherit many of the fantastic features of their popular Puro BT2200s Bluetooth headphones. The added active noise-cancellation feature is a game-changer, especially on noisy flights, trains, or car rides. Both headphone models safeguard kids’ hearing by limiting the volume to under 85 dB while also blocking out a remarkable 83% of ambient noise, delivering a superior listening experience.

Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiet Plus Volume Limited On-Ear Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
$109.00

Experience peace and clear audio with the PuroQuiet-Active Noise Cancelling Headphones. These headphones come equipped with an ANC switch that effectively reduces daily noise and background sounds by up to 22 dB, providing a quieter environment without the need to raise the volume to unsafe levels.

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03/22/2024 10:35 pm GMT

But who are Puro Sound Labs, you might wonder? Their journey began when the founder’s daughter, Niki, was diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss, partially deaf in both ears, later in life. The cause? Prolonged exposure to loud noises through headphones. They discovered that this condition was preventable, and they were determined to make a change.

With extensive research and a heartfelt commitment, they realized that 1-in-5 teenagers face the risk of losing their hearing, just like Niki. This led them to create headphones designed specifically for kids, aiming to protect their hearing. Today, Puro Sound Labs’ headphones have earned recognition as one of the top choices for children’s headphones, as highlighted by the New York Times. Their mission is to safeguard kids’ hearing and create a safer listening experience for young generations.

Tip 5: Timing Is Everything - Travel During Nap Time

Whenever possible, aim to schedule your flights during your kids’ naptime when traveling with them. Encouraging them to nap, even if only for a portion of the flight, can significantly enhance the overall experience for everyone involved.

I recall a memorable trip to Hawaii with our one-year-old. As we boarded and settled into our seats, I noticed concerned glances from nearby passengers. However, upon landing, the couple in front of us turned with smiles and a thumbs-up, saying, “that white noise was such a great idea; she didn’t even cry!” My inner self celebrated with joy.

Here are a couple of additional tips to make the most of this strategy:

Tip #1: Tire them out as much as possible before the flight. Take leisurely strolls around the terminal, explore gift shops, and engage them in activities like counting how many Starbucks they spot.

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03/11/2024 08:18 pm GMT

Tip #2: Carry a compact, portable white noise machine to assist young children in falling asleep. During the flight, hold it near your kids and keep the volume at a considerate level for the surrounding passengers. White noise serves as a neutral sound that helps mask abrupt noises and promotes better sleep, ensuring a more peaceful journey for all. ✈️💤

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