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How To Fly with a Young Child

By Guest Contributor

By Brian Sargent of Looky, Daddy!

1. Make It a Party.
Don’t just pack a bunch of new toys in your carry-on, wrap them like presents first. Buy a party hat. Say you’re celebrating National Don’t Throw a Fit Day.

2. Pack Well.
Toys, food, and blanket. And make the food your child’s favorite. The food pyramid does not apply on travel days. If your kid would love five ziploc bags of CheezIts in a row, bring ’em. And a lollipop for dessert. (Feel free to pack a book for yourself if you like to feel disappointed.)

3. Do Not Preboard.
There is no reason on Earth your kid should be the first person to get on that plane. Get on last. That way you’ll shorten the most boring part of flying: Sitting at the gate. Plus you’ll get to see the expression on the guy’s face who, until you got on, thought he had a whole row to himself.

4. Meet Your Neighbors.
Kids kick chairs and make noise, but they are slightly less inclined to do so if they’ve met their potential victims. Especially important is the person directly in front of them. You know, the person whose chair your child’s tiny little feet at the ends of his stubby little legs naturally touch. Introduce your kid to that person right away. And then have your kid buy her a beer. She’ll deserve it.

5. Don’t Go.
Airline tickets are through the roof, and it’s really not worth all the bother. If your Great Aunt Mathilda wants to see her nephew so bad, tell her to pack herself up to see you. And to bring presents. It is National Don’t Throw a Fit Day, after all.

Guest Contributor
About the Author

Guest Contributor

We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.


We often publish pieces by guest contributors. If you’re interested in being one, please drop us a line at contact[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • amy

    September 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    good stuff here! I have to go to UK with the kiddos next trip and I like yr tips!

  • Angella

    September 18, 2008 at 12:53 am

    We’re planning a Mexico trip with our kids (6, 4, 2), so this is PERFECT.

  • Zoot

    September 18, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I have always opted for the “Don’t Go” method myself. I simply don’t have the patience. It would be ME throwing the fit by the time it was all said and done!
    Great list!

  • Carolyn

    September 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    We just returned from a 9-1/2 hour flight that was preceeded by a 1 hour layover and another 2 hour flight… and I can say from experience that all of your tips are perfect. Especially #2 which made me laugh out loud – particularly the part about bringing a book. So true.

  • Kaethe

    September 23, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I like number 5 best, but if you can’t get out of it, I recommend going red-eye.

  • Shanna

    May 22, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks so much for the lighthearted tips. I have a flight with my 27 month old, in 3 months, from Columbus, Ohio to Lebanon (the country) that will take us 3 layovers and 24 total hours from start to finish. I need prayers!!

  • yashira

    September 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Ok I have a 7 month old and we are going to florida on saturday. The tips you guys gave me are really good. I just hope I can do it I am going to be by myself and the flight is 2 1/2hrs its not long but for a baby its eternity!! I hope I can make it!!! If you have anymore tips PLEASE email me asap my email is I leave in 2 days so i need all the tips i can get!!!