Do You Have Any Advice For Families Packing Luggage For Young Children?

Do you have any advice for families packing luggage for young children? Packing for a trip by air with children takes a little bit of extra planning. Try to anticipate and pack for unexpected delays. Traveling...

Traveling as a family by air can present challenges to even the most experienced traveler. First, check with your airline as to how much extra luggage you are allowed to take if you are traveling with young children. If you are traveling with a baby, you are generally allowed a stroller or car seat as part of your free baggage allowance.

Packing for a trip by air with children takes a little bit of extra planning. Try to anticipate and pack for unexpected delays. Most airport toilets have adequate changing facilities for babies, but they can be crowded and cramped to use. Make sure you have books and toys to occupy your children, both on the plane and at the airport. A portable DVD player or CD player is something your children will appreciate.

A lot of what you pack will depend on the duration of your trip and the ages and number of your children. These days many airlines have cut back on meal service on all but their longest flights, or have limited options as far as children's meals are concerned. Put some healthy no-sugar snacks in your carry on bag, stored in resealable plastic sandwich bags or containers.

Giving small children something to eat or drink during take off and landing can also help to alleviate the symptoms of cabin pressure changes - often a scary experience for a small child. Likewise, sucking on a pacifier can have the same soothing effect for a baby and help minimize the popping of the ears.

If you are traveling with small children and need to push a stroller, a backpack or bag that leaves your hands free is an excellent idea. If you are traveling as a family, spread each family member's clothes around different cases - that way, if a bag goes missing, everyone will have a change of clothes.

If you are traveling with kids still in diapers, you may want to ensure you have the following items with you: diapers (Your diaper bag is part of your free allowance; see question 1) and cream, baby powder and a changing pad. For kids who are bottle feeding, the following are useful: spare bottles and nipples, pacifiers and plenty of baby formula. For older children, give them a sense of responsibility by suggesting they pack their own bags and be responsible for safe keeping of passport and tickets.

If you are traveling within the United States with a baby under 2 years old, you are not required to purchase a ticket for the baby. If you are lucky enough to have a free seat next to you on the plane, you can use your car seat for the baby, otherwise on a full flight, you are stuck with a baby on your lap for the duration of the flight. It may be worth paying for a ticket for the extra space. And if you do pay for a seat, you may then be entitled to take a piece of luggage for the infant.

Try to get bulkhead seating if you are traveling with small children. You will be at the front of the plane within easy reach of the toilets and galley, and you generally have a little bit more legroom as well. It's easy to communicate with the flight attendants at the front of the plane, too.

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