Guest Post: 3 Ways To Make Flying More Enjoyable For Kids


It’s time to take the kids to see Grandma on the West Coast. That means a fairly long plane flight. Remember the days when you didn’t have kids and you boarded a plane? It wasn’t a big thrill to see a Mom with a couple of kids come on board. Now some people are going to react to you the same way. The best thing you can do is keep the kids happy and quiet. What can a parent do to make the plane flight more enjoyable for the kids? Here are three tips to keep the kids settled down during a flight:


1) Have some entertainment. The children can each bring a small backpack with some of their favorite toys and things which bring them comfort. One child may want their teddy bear. Another may want their Gameboy. For a long flight, bring an iPad with a set of headphones. The kids may want to settle down with a movie, and if so, have a couple of their favorites loaded. You may have seen Monsters Inc. or Shrek many times, but if it keeps a child quiet and settled down, it’s well worth bringing. Bring packs of crayons – enough so that each child can have their own. Even better, bring several doodle pads with a coloring stick which the kids can erase and re-use. Bring along books that you can read to the kids – that might entertain all the kids at once. If you have a Kindle, load a number of children’s books on it – it compactly gives you a lot of reading choices.


2) Make sure food is available. These items can also be put in the backpack for each child. Make the snacks their favorite. Make a lunch for each child, and put it in a closeable bag, with that child’s name on it. Be sure the snacks are identical – you don’t want a squabble because one child has a treat the other one wants. Buy some small individual chewing candies as well – a treat passed out by Mom has a special flavor to it, and can soothe a cranky child. Not to mention, hard candies take a long time to eat. In addition, avoid foods that are sticky, tend to crumble, or can be messy. For liquids, either use spill proof cups, or preferably juice boxes small enough to finish in one sitting.


3) Make sure the kids know what is happening. Before going to the airport, sit and quietly talk with the kids about what they will encounter. They will be exposed to a lot of stimulation just getting through the airport – baggage lines, the tension of the security checkin, getting to the plane, and all those people. This would be enough to make the kids nervous and agitated if they didn’t know it was coming. They’ll likely still get tense, but it will be lessened if you tell them what to expect. The best outcome is that the kids get through the airport experience and board the plane in a calm state.


Emphasize the adventure of plane travel, so they will be looking forward to that part. Of course, don’t forget to explain what happens during a plane flight, especially the takeoff and landing. The moment when the pilot revs the engines and then releases the brakes could be very frightening for a child. If they are told that this is a normal part of the flight, it can help. When the Mom sits quietly during takeoff and assures them that everything is fine, it will keep the kids calm and relaxed.


Flying with kids can be a rewarding experience, when children are introduced to the fun of plane travel. Spending time thinking through the proper preparations, and explaining to the kids what it’s all about, will go a long way to make that plane flight pleasant – both for the family and those sitting nearby.


While Patricia Hogenes works as a paralegal for a law office, her real loves are her 3 kids, and her latest travel adventure. She has been writing freelance articles 10 years, on topics as varied as law and legal matters, adolescent drug treatment, and health topics such as diabetes. She currently writes for


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