Whoever said, “getting there is half the fun” obviously wasn’t “getting there” by flying with children! While family vacations are something we look forward to, the transportation part is usually the most stressful.

After over 50+ plane trips with my own kids, I’ve learned a thing or two and here are some of my top tips for reducing the stress of flying with kids.

Murphy’s Law Applies to Travel Too

As a parent, I trust you are familiar with Murphy’s Law… you know the one, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. You may not have invited Mr. Murphy on your vacation, but he loves to tag along.

It’s always a good idea to expect the best… but plan for the worst. There is no need to start your vacation by being stressed that you might miss your flight. Make sure you leave plenty of time for travel to the airport and for getting through security before your flight. Plan for traffic and other delays. Right now the Toronto airport is under renovations and it’s causing longer than usual lines for international and transborder flights.

When traveling with kids, or with any larger group, I recommend arriving at the airport no less than 90 minutes before a domestic flight or 2.5 hours before an international flight.

Pack Smart

When selecting your carry-on for the trip, pick your bag carefully. Consider all the little loose things that you’ll be carrying and make sure there are either pockets to keep them organized and easy to find or pack smaller bags to keep things together in your carry-on. Be sure you have room for jackets, books, or toys that can easily get left behind as you transition from one step of your trip to the next.

Keep Documents Handy

Something else to consider with your carry-on bag is if it has somewhere to securely store your documents where they are safe but still easily accessible. One way to reduce stress is to have one person in charge of all of the travel documents so they are always in one place. Everyone can hold their own paperwork at security or when ready to board, but once they are through, keep them all together. Not having to fumble around to find them will save you time and frustration.

Pack Some Power

Traveling with electronics? Make sure you have charging cords, outlet plugs, adapters, and ideally extra battery packs. One of the most helpful things to have is a splitter that allows for more than one device to be plugged in at a time. Should your flight be delayed, the outlets in the terminal will quickly be claimed by passengers wanting to be sure their device gets charged while they wait. Being able to ask if you can share the outlet, and both have access to power can be a lifesaver!

Nexus

If you travel frequently, this program is are worth its weight in gold! Nexus helps you speed your way through customs on your return from an international flight. The last thing you want to have to do at the end of a long and exhausting travel day is stand in a long line with a cranky child in tow.

I understand that traveling with kids can be stressful! It’s my job to make family vacations as fun and easy for Mom and Dad as they are for the kids. Sit back and let me take care of all the details… all you have to do is show up and enjoy your vacation! Email me to schedule a time for us to talk and get started planning your next getaway.