Airline Travel Tips

iStock 73952937 SMALLMost airlines offer early boarding for passengers traveling with children and/or those with special needs. But should you take advantage of it? Early boarding means more time in the seat waiting for the plane to take off and more passengers squeezing through the aisles with luggage, which could be quite aversive. Below are some helpful tips to consider regarding early boarding, as well as ideas on how to make your traveling time a bit easier and hopefully, a lot more fun. 

Prepare your young traveler for where you are all headed. Before even getting on the plane, print pictures of the location you are going, the accommodations you will be staying in, various modes of transportation you will be taking, etc. Talk about the fun you are going to have! Put your printed pictures together in a scrapbook to refer to on your trip to help remind your child of what to expect. This may be especially helpful if you have multiple destinations during your trip.

Work together as you board the plane. If you are traveling with another adult, have that adult board with luggage to secure luggage space on the plane and/or save seats (if there is no assigned seating), while you allow your child to explore the airport as long as you possibly can before boarding.

If you are traveling alone, speak to the airline attendants in advance and explain that you would like to reserve seats/luggage space, but board towards the end, so the experience is a more positive one, not only for you and your child but potentially for everyone else on the plane.

Ask to move about the cabin. Some airlines allow you to get up from your seat and walk around the plane more freely (when the seatbelt fasten sign is off) than others. You may want to check the airline’s policies if you have a child who would benefit from getting up from his/her seat intermittently.

Bring the fun. Pack your carry-on with new and highly preferred toys/games/snacks that may increase your child's engagement throughout the duration of the flight. Also, try downloading new applications, songs, movies, or games that can help keep your child busy while flying to your destination. Make sure all items/food/activities are those that your child does not regularly have access to - it makes it all that more exciting! Be sure to check out our Pinterest for our favorite kid-friendly travel activities! 

From all of us at FirstSteps we wish you safe, fun, and easy travels!

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