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14 Best Flying Hacks for Parents

14 Best Flying Hacks for Parents

On social media there is never a travel day that goes by where I’m not told how ‘brave’ or ‘crazy’ I am to by flying with kids. At first I felt proud that I was doing this special thing for my children and I wanted to share all the flying hacks for parents so they could feel empowered to take their kids on a vacation.

But, I soon realized that the parents commenting on my travel savvy children weren’t looking for advice, they were looking to justify their choice not to travel with their kids. So, this article is not for them.

Instead, I write to you, the parent that yearns to take their kids on a plane but is silently fearful it will go terribly wrong. When you have never done something before it’s easy to build up the situation in your head and imagine dooms day scenarios. I want to set your mind at ease with these 14 flying hacks for parents after taking my daughters to 14 countries.

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flying hacks for parents and children

Stress-Free Skies with Kids

Are you committed to taking a family adventure but dreading the flight with your little ones? Fret not! I’ve got you covered with the best flying hacks for parents, ensuring your journey is as stress free as your destination.

In this guide, you will learn my practical, tried-and-tested tips that transform air travel from a hassle into a breeze.

Flying Made Fun for Parents and Kids Alike

Navigating airports and keeping kids content on flights can seem overwhelming. That’s where our not a secret anymore flying hacks for parents come in. From pre-flight preparations to in-flight entertainment and everything in between, these tips are designed to alleviate the common stresses of flying with children. My aim is to equip you with all the tools you need for a peaceful, enjoyable flight experience for the whole family.

Embark on a Hassle-Free Journey

You’ve been thinking about taking this trip forever. A lot of time and money has been spent planning the perfect itinerary so you can have an amazing family vacation. Whether you’re a first-time flyer with a toddler or a seasoned traveler with a large family, these flying hacks for parents are your ticket to a relaxed and memorable air travel experience.

Flying Hacks for Parents

It’s easy to get caught up in a tense moment while traveling with kids and react poorly. As parents, you’re reading this for for smart, practical solutions to make traveling with kids less stressful and more fun.

Here are my 14 best flying hacks for parents, each designed to address the unique challenges of family air travel. Let’s jump in and make your next flight with kids totally chill and calm.

less stressful flying hacks for parents

1. Organize Travel Documents Efficiently 

Keep all your essential documents in one place for hassle-free access. A dedicated phone wallet can be a lifesaver, ensuring passports, boarding passes, and IDs are always at your fingertips. This flying hack for parents simplifies check-ins and security checks, making your airport experience smoother.

Pro Tip: We use an amenity kit bag from a previous flight to store our travel documents.

2. Choose the Right Seats and Flight Days 

Selecting seats wisely can make a huge difference. Opt for front row seats if motion sickness is a concern, and the back for quick bathroom access. Also, flying on less busy days like Tuesdays or Wednesdays can offer a more relaxed journey.

Parent Hack: When traveling with siblings you can split the kids up to avoid petty fights.

3. Make TSA PreCheck Your Friend 

Enrolling in TSA PreCheck is a game-changer for families. It’s a flying hack for parents that speeds up the security process, letting you bypass long lines and reduce airport stress, especially with excited little travelers in tow.

Bonus: Get Free TSA Pre-Check and Free Clear with the American Express Business Platinum Card.

4. Pack Smart with Packing Cubes and Kids Luggage

Maximize your luggage space and stay organized with packing cubes. Give kids a sense of responsibility and reclaim space in your own suitcase by getting the kids their own luggage. When kids have something to focus on it gives them less opportunity to demand your attention which makes moving through airports much easier.

Read Also: How to Pack for Vacation Like a Minimalist

packing up for travel

5. Keep Kids Entertained with Busy Boxes and Stories 

Long flights require engaging entertainment. Pack a busy box filled with small toys and puzzles, and download captivating audio stories. These flying hacks for parents keep kids entertained without resorting to constant screen time.

See Also: Plane Themed Phone Games for Kids

6. Ensure Comfort with Inflatable Footrests and Neck Pillows 

For in-flight comfort, an inflatable footrest can be a lifesaver, especially for little legs. Add a cozy neck pillow, and your child can enjoy a nap comfortably, making the flight more pleasant for everyone.

Don’t Forget: Travel Potty Seat for Toddlers

7. Use Saran Wrap for Spill-Free Flights 

Avoid messy spills by covering cups and bottles with saran wrap. It’s a simple yet effective flying hack for parents, ensuring a cleaner, fuss-free mealtime in the air.

Pro Tip: Bring your own hand sanitizer to keep kids healthy while traveling.

8. Invest in a Multi-Purpose Travel Backpack

A versatile backpack that can hold snacks, toys, and essential travel items is crucial. Look for one with multiple compartments for easy organization.

My Favorite Backpack: Moms Who Expat Travel Backpack

flying hacks for parents is to invest multi-purpose travel backpack

9. Make Snack Time Fun and Nutritious 

Pack healthy, engaging snacks that are also easy to eat. Think finger foods, fruit slices, or small sandwiches. Turning snack time into a fun activity can be a delightful distraction for kids.

Pro Tip: Bring items that take a long time to eat like sunflower seeds, jolly ranchers, or jaw breakers.

10. Prepare for Ear Pressure and Motion Sickness 

Ear discomfort during takeoff and landing can be mitigated with chewing gum or sucking on lollipops for older kids. For motion sickness, natural remedies like ginger chews can be helpful.

Money Savings: Be sure to by gum before you get to their airport where the price is astronomical.

11. Bring Along Pain Relief and First Aid Essentials 

A small first aid kit with pain relief medication, band-aids, and antiseptic wipes is essential. It’s a practical flying hack for parents, preparing you for minor injuries or headaches.

Our Must Have: Cherry cough drops seem to distract and deflect bad behavior during a flight.

12. Utilize Technology Smartly 

Leverage travel apps for streamlined flight information and digital boarding passes. In-flight Wi-Fi can be a great tool for keeping older kids occupied with educational content.

See Also: Complete Guide to Using a Cell Phone on a Plane

utilize technology smartly

13. Pass the Time With a Walk

Most people feel essentially chained to their chairs during flights. While it is true that you need to stay in your seats if the seat belt light is on, the rest of the time can be used for stretching your legs on walks.

Bonus Tip: Long haul flights commonly have a snack bar set up in the back of the plane.

14. Embrace Screen Time (When Necessary) 

Sometimes, a little screen time can be a savior on long flights. Preload tablets with movies and games, but use this flying hack for parents sparingly to avoid overstimulation.

Read: Rules About iPad Use on a Plane

With these 14 best flying hacks for parents, you’re now equipped to tackle air travel with your family confidently. Remember, each journey is an opportunity for adventure and bonding.

Making Family Flights a Joyful Journey

Seal Your Travel Success with These Flying Hacks

As we wrap up our journey through the 14 best flying hacks for parents, remember that every tip and trick shared here has my personal stamp of approval. Embracing these strategies can turn potential travel stressors into moments of calm. With a little planning and these flying hacks in your arsenal, you’re all set to create memorable family adventures in the skies.

Travel Success with Flying hacks

Embrace the Adventure, Embrace the Memories

Air travel with kids doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these flying hacks for parents, you’re well-equipped to handle any challenge that comes your way. Whether it’s keeping documents organized, ensuring your little ones are entertained, or managing in-flight comfort, each hack contributes to a smoother, more enjoyable flight.

Your Next Family Flight Awaits

So, as you prepare for your next family getaway, revisit these flying hacks for parents and see how they can be adapted to your family’s unique needs. Each flight is an opportunity to tweak your approach, learning what works best for you and your kids. And remember, the ultimate goal is to create happy, lasting memories with your family. Happy flying!

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FAQ: Flying Hacks for Parents


  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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