Flying can be a convenient and relaxing way to get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’—especially when point ‘b’ is hundreds of miles away. However, anything can change in an instant when flying with babies and young children. From crying due to pressure changes to just plain boredom, young travelers can add stress to any flight. Being great parents, you've probably got the basics down to a ‘t’, but did you ever think about gate check bags or audio splitters? Below are 10 items that you might want to bring (but didn’t think about) for your next family vacation.
#1 Gate Check Bag for Car Seats and Strollers
Ensure your gear makes it to the gate quickly with these gate check bags. Our picks are bags from J.L.; they’re airline approved and recommended by baggage handlers around the world.
#2 Children’s Latch Accessory for Car Seats
This simple latch allows you to quickly and easily connect a car seat to your rolling carry-on. The latch is pretty small and portable allowing it to slip into your baby bag or pocket. This tool is perfect if you're flying at times when your little traveler might be asleep.
Bottle check! Did you bring a warmer? A bottle warmer is the perfect companion to bring on any family vacation—you never know when you might be stuck without a way to warm your baby’s bottle. We like The First Years bottle warmer because it also doubles as a pacifier sanitizer. Pro Tip: Don’t forget to pack extra bottles.
Potty training young kids can be hard, and for them, frightening, especially in new and strange places. Ease the experience while traveling with a portable potty seat. Our choice is this gray one from Enovoe. The seat is the perfect size, making it easy to pack away in a baby bag or suitcase.
This one you probably already have, but did you grab a spill-proof cup? Make sure the cup is spill-proof—no one wants a messy trip, especially if you’re flight is a long-haul. Opt for these cups from The First Years, they are durable enough to be used repeatedly, but also cheap enough to toss away.
The longer the flight, the more things you need to bring to keep the kids occupied. A great place to start is with travel games. Amazon has a large selection of games—some are even magnetic so kids can play them without dropping and losing pieces. Along with travel games—Amazon also has a large array of children’s books for all ages.
Sometimes it’s easier to just let your kid play on a tablet. Instead of handing them your iPad or Kindle, get them their own Kindle Fire, Kid’s Edition. This tablet is built kid-proof and comes with Amazon FreeTime which allows kids to surf through 10,000 children’s books, apps, and educational TV shows.
Packing some snacks that are kid friendly and approved can save you money and tears on your next flight. Opt for bringing dry snacks to avoid any issues with TSA. Amazon has a great selection of snacks you can buy in bulk—if you’re in a rush, try to grab them from a grocery store or convenience store on the way to the airport to avoid overpaying.
Headphones can be a life saver for you from your chatty neighbor, but also a necessity for kids. If your child is planning to binge-watch season seven of Dora the Explorer, they will need headphones. Our favorite is this pair from Termichy. These headphones have two auxiliary ports allowing children to share. Just plug in an additional set into the share port for both kids.
This isn’t for the children … but for you. After a long flight with kids you might want to have a glass or two of wine – just a suggestion.
If your child is traveling alone make sure to check out our guide for Unaccompanied Minors.