Flying With Kids? Make Your Trip Easier With These Travel Tips

Flying with kids can be intimidating, but it’s often not something that parents can get around – especially during the summer months when there’s family to visit and vacations to be had.

At South Bend International Airport, it’s our goal to make your flying experience as pleasant as possible. We make sure that you’re equipped with the information you (and your children) need to have a smooth flight.

Keep reading to find out how to prepare for a flight with your kids, and what to do once the plane leaves the tarmac. 

Make a Plan Before You Leave

Making sure that the trip is smooth sailing depends heavily on the amount of planning you do. That means there are steps to take long before you leave the house on the day of your flight. Those steps include:

  • Flying from a smaller airport. 
      • When you fly from a modestly-sized airport, you don’t have to worry about a long drive or outrageous lines at security. 
      • You can also count on a shorter wait time to board your flight, which means less time spent finding things for your child to do. 
  • Buying a separate seat for your child.
      • It’s very tempting to forego buying a seat for your child who’s under two years old, but in most cases, you’ll thank yourself for doing it. 
      • That seat meant especially for them can house their car seat, which is someplace you know they’re always comfortable. 
      • We fly with Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, and United. It’s wise to check out the policies of the airline you’re choosing to fly with to make sure your car seat is approved for air travel.
  • Preparing your little one on what to expect.
      • Children feel better when they understand what’s coming. To prevent fear of the unknown, talk to your child (if it makes sense for their age) about what will happen while flying. Show them a map of SBN’s terminal, explain the different people they’ll see and the jobs those people do, and all the different parts of the plane. It could be a great learning experience! 
  • Go along with their natural schedule. 
    • Consider when your child wakes up, what times they get hungry, and what times they nap/fall asleep, then make travel plans with those details in mind. Sticking to the routine as much as possible is always a safe bet. 

Know What To Do Prior to Boarding

Just like the steps to take before leaving the house, there are things to do to make the boarding process simpler, too. Check out these tips:

  • Check your seats.
      • If you can, purchase assigned seats – the peace of mind in knowing that you’re guaranteed to sit with your family is very helpful. 
  • Let the kids burn off their energy.
      • There are always empty places at the airport for your child to move around. 
      • They won’t be able to do too much of that on the plane, so the best time to get the wiggles out is before groups start getting called to board. 
      • Consider arriving a little bit early for your flight from South Bend International Airport and walk the concourse. Kids, especially toddlers, love to see the planes out of the airport windows — and those extra steps will burn off their energy!
  • Time bathroom breaks smartly (or use Pull-Ups).
    • Take bathroom breaks strategically and let your kids know that they won’t be able to use the bathroom at the very beginning or ending of the flight. 
    • If you’re worried about accidents for your potty-trained toddler, you can always use Pull-Ups.

Be Prepared for Anything on the Plane

Now that you’ve left the house and prepared to board, it’s finally time to get on the plane. Here’s how to make your trip with children as pleasant as possible:

  • Make sure electronics are charged. 
      • Downloading movies and shows ahead of time will also be a lifesaver. The allure of a favorite TV show can be very distracting.
  • Pack more snacks than you think. 
      • Airplane food can be fun and exciting, but kids may want more than an airline offers in flight. They’ll appreciate it if you pack their favorite snacks so they have an exciting variety to choose from. 
  • Pack a comfort item.
      • Whether that’s a blanket, a stuffed animal, or a pillow, pack something that will bring comfort to your little one if they get scared or nervous in new situations.
  • Think of their ears. 
  • Stick to the sleep schedule. 
      • This is a lot easier to do on short flights rather than long flights. If you’re going on a long flight, consider a redeye so your child will sleep through the night (and the flight)! 
  • Bring a new toy. 
      • One of the best ways to keep a young child entertained is by introducing a new toy. Keep this in your bag until it is needed. It is a great way to distract your child and bring out smiles.
  • Try to relax. 
    • Your kids will pick up on your tension, so try your best to go with the flow. If you’re worried about your child crying, know that it’s louder to you than it is to anyone else, because most adults travel with headphones. 
    • Flight attendants will try to make your experience better. If you need to take a bathroom break, many flight attendants will jump at the chance to hold your baby. 

Ready for Takeoff?

When you fly from South Bend International Airport, you can expect a stress-free experience for you and your children. We offer nonstop flights to 11 destinations with connections worldwide. To book your next trip, check out the airlines who fly with us.

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