Traveling is something that most of us love, and it comes in so many forms! There are fun vacations, romantic vacations, staycations, and family vacations, just to name a few. In general, families with small children try to have their family vacations look more like staycations or short road-trips because, let’s be honest, airport security with small children is borderline nightmarish. This is especially true if you have more than one small child because then you have them running in different directions. Well, here are a couple tips to make airport security a little more manageable, so now you and your family can go to Disney World, even if you live in Kansas.
The number one way to make airport security less stressful is being organized. “But I am organized,” you say, “I know where all my tickets and IDs and bagged 3 oz. liquids are.” That’s fantastic, and certainly helpful, but this organization goes one step further. The nice thing about carry-on bags is that you can bring a fairly large tote, or messenger, bag with you on the plane without it being a problem. Make sure your children each have their own small backpack, that they packed themselves, with their books, games, etc. that they will want on the plane, but keep everything else in your bag. Using a travel bag or baby bag with a lot of compartments will make your life so much easier. There is no reason why your children should carry their own liquids or anything else that they might lose. In addition, if they only have a small bag, it will cut down on the complaining since their bag won’t be too heavy for them.
Another hurdle about traveling with children is keeping them entertained once you have gotten through security. If you have a long layover, you can take them to the children’s corner. In most airports there is an area where there are little slides, jungle gyms, and other things that your children can climb all over. This will also make them more tired once they get on the plane. That way they will be less antsy when they have to sit for a few hours. If you have only a short time until your flight, this is when the backpack comes in play. Make sure that they have packed their favorite books and/or games so that way they will definitely be entertained. Having your children pack their own carry-on bag, will make them more excited about playing with what they packed because now they feel like they got to have a say in the process. Another great attention-grabber is standing at the windows. Most children love there and watching the planes land and take-off.
Your roomy tote bag can come in handy again after you get through security. If you have space, having a couple extra books or games in your bag, for variety’s sake, never hurts. More importantly, it’s a great place to store snacks. Children get hungry faster than we do, and we all know that buying food on planes can cost you a fortune. Having healthy, kid-friendly, snacks like goldfish or pretzels–which are also very filling–will make them less likely to complain as well.
No matter what you do, flying with small children is always a little stressful, but being organized, and prepared, always makes things easier. Remember, it is all worth it in the end for those wonderful memories of those family vacations.