Tips for Flying Alone With Young Kids

flying alone with young kids

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Flying Alone With Kids

The prospect of taking one or more little ones on holiday seems like a daunting task at the best of times- let alone when you’re travelling on your own!

But don’t let these fears put you off… follow these simple tips for a smoother journey and rest assured that when you arrive at a Tots destination, you’ll have everything you need.

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Flying Alone- Make the right choices

Flying alone kids airport

  • Select the right airport for your family- consider travel to the airport and what family facilities you’ll find when you get there. If you live in the UK you can check our handy guides to family friendly ENGLISH AIRPORTS and REST OF THE UK AIRPORTS which contain everything you need to know.
  • Book an early flight- there will be less turbulence, quieter airports, plenty of time to catch a later plane (should the worse case scenario occur) and your kids will be tired so are more likely to sleep for the journey. Peace at last.
  • Speaking of which, try not to let your children sleep in the car on the way there or at the airport, so they’ll be all tuckered out by the time you board.
  • Check what family friendly facilities the airline has available- we’ve also prepared some handy blogs on this, such as our Guide to Flying Ryanair With Kids
  • Don’t add any extra worry to your journey- pick a destination that means when you all arrive, you can really relax. Tots to Travel aim to provide this at all of our destinations, ensuring that you’ll find all the equipment, activities and other essentials ready from the get go!

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Flying Alone- Pack Sensibly

flying alone kids suitcase

  • Don’t overpack- it’s simply not worth it! Lugging a case through the airport is bad enough, and you can always get hold of other bits once you’ve landed.
  • Bring practical luggage- a huge backpack might not look sexy, but will be worth every penny when you’ve got two free arms to clutch escapee toddlers.
  • Pack a hand luggage bag that suits your family- child that constantly needs changing? Nappies on top. Constantly hungry child? Snacks on top. Child that gets bored quickly? Toys on top. You get the gist.
  • Don’t give your kids too much to carry. You don’t want to be dragging that blasted trunki yourself, or separating sparring kids who’re squabbling over who gets to sit on it.
  • If you’ve got a baby, bring a baby carrier. It’s perfect for when you’ve got to ditch the pushchair, for using the pocket to easily reach your phone or even for containing baby whilst you go to the toilet. Needs must.
  • DON’T WEAR ANYTHING WITH METAL or let your child wear anything with metal. There is nothing worse than being stuck in the security queue trying to undress a screaming toddler or trying to pull off your own shoes without squashing the baby, within minutes before the scanners. Trust me, it’s just not worth the hassle.

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Flying Alone- At the Terminal

Flying Alone- Airport facilities

  • *Secret top tip*Look flustered at check-in (not that this will take much effort). There’s nothing like an individual haggard parent to help secure free upgrades or priority tags.
  • Make sure all of your gadgets and liquids are at the top of your bag, for easy travel through security.
  • If you have to stop and rummage, but have nowhere to put baby, put a security scanner tray on the floor and sit baby in it for a few minutes whilst you get sorted. Judge all you like, but that sucker is going nowhere…
  • Give yourself plenty of time, and allow little ones to have a proper run around before you board.
  • Find out what the airport can offer you- if you need something, ask. Most airports are more than happy to help and might even have special parent lanes or family areas that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
  • If your child has a strop, smile calmly. Don’t let them know you’re rattled! Being stressed will just make things worse. Just keep calm, regardless of the situation and try and distract them with other things that are happening in the airport.
  • If you have a real tantrum situation going down, get someone in an official looking uniform who is happy to oblige (pilot, security guard etc.) to have a few ‘stern words’ with your child, to scare shock them into silence. I have witnessed this genius practice myself, and hilariously, it’s actually really effective. Muahaha.
  • Make everyone go to the toilet before you board, even if they say they don’t need to, as you won’t be able to go again until the plane has reached full altitude.

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Flying Alone- On the Plane

Flying alone- on the plane

  • Board according to your family- if you know it’s best to get on and settled, then opt to priority board. If your kids are real livewires then let them run around and don’t board until the last minute, so they’ll be tired enough to sit still during the flight.
  • Tell the cabin crew you’re travelling alone, and they’ll do what they can to help. Whether it’s watching your child whilst you pop to the loo, or grabbing some extra napkins after a spillage, they’ll be happy to help you out.
  • Be selfish- let your child sing or clamber or whatever you need to do to keep them happy, and don’t worry about what other people think. Better to have a singing child than a crying child!
  • If your child does cry, remember that most people onboard will have kids of their own and know what it’s like, so don’t be embarrassed. Keep calm and do what you can to make your little one laugh. Getting stressed won’t help and sobbing kids its allll just part of the parent package, unfortunately. They’ll stop eventually (won’t they?!).
  • Half an hour before descent, get everyone ready. Pack bags, go to the toilet, find lost socks, so that you’re ready to get off the plane as soon as you land.

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Flying Alone- You’ve landed!

  • Check where you can collect your pushchair from so you don’t treck all the way to baggage reclaim only to find out it was by the plane door!
  • Ask someone to help you lift your bags off of the baggage carousel.
  • Organise a transfer before you leave, so you can herd everyone straight out of the airport and into a car without worrying about queuing for taxis or getting a good price. When you initially book your holiday, try and choose a destination with a short transfer time (you’ll be knackered by now).
  • Enjoy the rest of your holiday! Time with your kids is so precious, so cherish the moment.

flying alone mum and baby

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Other Blogs You Might Like:

Ten Key Tips For Plane Journeys With Toddlers and Babies

The Ultimate Guide to Flying with a Baby

Coping With Airport Delays When You Have Young Children

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Visit to see what baby and toddler friendly options we can offer your family!

Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more…

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All Images are sourced from Pixabay commercial free image domain.
Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson is the Social Media Manager at Tots to Travel, Mum of 2, lover of France & Greece, talented knitter and loves any kind of crafting with her girls.

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