NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2021. THINGS HAVE CHANGED A LOT, AND MOST AIRLINES DO NOT HAVE THESE REQUIREMENTS :)
After 35+ flights with kids and counting - we have a thing or two to say about flying with kids... however, the pandemic has changed a lot! So let's hear about the changes...
We have heard the term “the new normal” quite a bit lately. Travel is going to look a lot different for us well into the future, and that’s especially true for those of us with children. We are here to give you some tips and tricks to make the flying part of your journey a bit easier!
Let’s start from the beginning with some great spots to book flights with some of our personal favorite airlines:
Frontier Airlines: This airline has a membership fee that you can sign up for making you eligible for free kids flights, up to age 12! Their covid policy states you must wear a mask at all times, sign a health acknowledgment, and do a quick temperature screening before you board.
Allegiant Airline: A budget airline with routes to Arizona’s, California’s, and other Escape Campervan rental locations! The covid policy states you must wear a mask at all times.
Southwest Airlines: They will always have our hearts! They have the best customer service we’ve seen. If you are able to find a good-priced flight, it is well worth it! The covid policy includes leaving some seats empty and you must wear a mask at all times.
Book the middle seat- This will help be sure you have both of your kids next to you.
Have their own suitcase -This, of course, helps you by not having to carry all of the things but this also will help keep their hands busy rather than touching everything at the airport! Our favorite kid’s suitcases are iFly Luggage and bags are Walker Family Goods
Grab a “Lug a Bug”-Our most challenging task is maneuvering all of our things at the airport with kids to the car/shuttle and checking in our bags. Between hiking packs, suitcases, bags, car seats, and of course the kids – it’s truly overwhelming sometimes! A lug a bug can help keep your kiddos safe on the bag and it’s a fun ride! Zip it up once you check in your bag and be on your way.
Frustration on all sides- We had a family in front of us on our last flight that were struggling with their little 3 year old to keep on her mask.... the flight attendant was frustrated walking by "It's been a year of this.. it's not a new thing." and walked away. The mother looked back at me and said "She just hasn't had to for anything yet."
Honestly, I can really feel the pain on both sides. While this has been going on for a long time and there are very clear rules about flying now.. parents are still dealing with kids that this is new to. After I gave her a new mask from walmart above (Rather then the paper ones at the airport) the little one calmed down. This story brings me to my next point:
Practice Mask Wearing at Home-
Make it fun! Don't make it about you. Our girls from day one weren't thrilled about the mask situation either... but once the oldest realized that it's another way to style her outfit and the youngest figured out it keeps her face warm, it's great! :) haha! Find the thing that works for you... Ideas: have Mask Movie Night ! If they want to watch their new favorite movie they have to keep the mask on. Everytime they take if off, pause the movie. - If you are actively eating in the airplane you can put your mask down... So have some popcorn during this movie, pop in a piece and practice chewing while the mask is back up. Seriously you'll thank me on the plane for this:)
Eating on the plane - If you need snacks or your kiddo's do you can! Just be sure and put the food in the mouth and the mask back up. We aren't being bossy - we just want you to be prepared, promise :)
Have extra masks- Be sure and have multiple masks packed for the airport and the entire travel time. You will find the kids tend to toss or misplace them during the travel process! Check out Old Navy’s adjustable, stylish ones they run $12.50 for 5. There’s also a great comfortable brand called This Tribe of Three that day drops on masks. If you are lucky enough to snag one they are so comfortable for kids! They run about $10.00 each. Amazon also has some options, but be sure and read the reviews. In all, have them ready in every pocket! For extra coverage, there are also face shields for you and your kids.
Carry sanitizer wipes - These are a great idea to pack so sanitizer isn’t spilling in your bag. Or get those ones that hook to the outside. Our girls loved having a fancy princess one hooked to their backpack :)
Things we've found to be different than other flights:
*You must wear a mask at all times over your nose.
*No one is service food or beverage (beides possibly water for charge)
*Some restaurants are closed in the airport... thankfully Starbucks was open :)
*There are some seats open in the plane.
In the end.. it's not that different :) You got this - so be kind and enjoy!