Elijah’s first plane trip was back in May when he was 6 months old. I did a post then on traveling with a baby, and I wanted to do another one now on our tips and tricks that we have flown again with a much more active one year old. Not only did we travel by plane again but for thanksgiving weekend, do the airports were so much busier, and it was still a huge success! So much so we booked 2 more flights!
1. Check those bags! (And fly Southwest!) I stuffed our diaper bag with probably too much stuff for Elijah for the plane, but we checked our two other bags. This is a huge benefit of flying Southwest Airlines with the free 2 bag check. You only have to roll those bags to the drop off (you could even do the skycap at the curb for less hassle!)
2. Stroller. We brought our big ‘ol jogger stiller with us and this one I’m still on the fence about. I saw plenty of families with just an umbrella stroller and the ease of security would have been a huge plus since it fits through the scanner unlike our jogger which we had to wait for them to manually check. However, once we checked the bags all we had was the diaper bag which the stroller conveniently carried for us. Plus it has a tray and cup holders for snacking and playing in their own clean space.
3. Snacks galore: A hungry toddler is never a good thing, and meals are always a little messed up when you’re travelling so make sure to bring lots of snacks to keep them satisfied. At this point in life, food is also fun so it doubles as a form of entertainment. Also, we brought some pouches with us as some of our snacks, and it seemed like sucking those things down during takeoff helped a little with the ear popping.
4. Book the flight around a nap. Elijah was ready for a nap right after we took off and ended up sleeping for around half an hour or so of our flight, and we were able to sit and have a cup of coffee while he napped in his car seat which we lucked out and were able to bring on because the flight wasn’t full. On the way back, no such luck, but he fell asleep looking out the window in Daniel’s lap and so both boys got a little nap together.
5. Something new, Something loved. Make sure to bring some sort of new toy, book, trinket, or snack that they have never seen or played with before. I got him a new toy truck and brought some post its and pipe cleaners as little trinkets to spend time figuring out. We also brought some tried and true favorites like some teethers to chew on and his favorite books.
6. Aim for being early with your roll with the punches pants on. Give yourself time for whatever gets thrown at you before your flight, and don’t freak when things don’t go as planned – just figure out the solution. And as for baby/toddler tantrums, they happen. Don’t stress over accommodating everyone else on the plane. Just relax and worry about making that little one happy. Eventually the plane will land and get to the gate!