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Tips to make flying with children less stressful

If you’ve ever taken a vacation where you had to travel with kids, to Myrtle Beach or anywhere else, you know that the old saying should really be “getting there’s half the battle.” And flying with children can be especially taxing—you may save a little bit of travel time, but lose some flexibility.  

Planning ahead can help make the flight a little less painful—so check out the tips below on traveling by air with kids:

Packing:
• If your kids are old enough, have each carry a small backpack filled with their toys for the flight.
• If you can, add some of the other things you need to their bags, such as bottles, diapers and wipes. Even very young kids can carry a small backpack filled with their own diapers to save on space.
• Remember that airlines watch carry-ons very carefully these days, so don’t try to bring one bag with everything in it. It would be awful if the airline made you put your carry on below because it was too large
• Bring extra clothing for all the children and for you as well. Trust us, you do not want to spend the flight covered in ... well, any of the things parents of kids sometimes find themselves soaked in.
• Make sure to bring plastic bags to place your wet or stained clothes in within your carry-on bags so they don’t ruin anything else in the bag.

Before Boarding:
• When checking in, always double-check seat assignments.
• Make sure you and the children are in shoes that are easy to get on and off for going through security.
• Make sure everyone uses the bathroom before boarding.
• Well before boarding time, go to the front desk and ask for a stroller tag so that you are ready to go. Do not ask when it is time for boarding.

Food
• Bring food in resalable containers, rather than disposables. You can save leftovers for unexpected waits.
• Avoid foods that are sticky, messy or crumbly. Make sure juice boxes are small and have spill-proof cups.

Toys
• If you have more than one kid traveling with you, give each child a small pack of crayons to help reduce fights over the pack.
• Bring books that you can read to them or they can read themselves.
• Buy cheap notebooks that they can draw and write in.
• Remember to charge any electronic devices and toys or bring extra batteries.

Take-off and Landing
• During take-off and landing, make sure to have your kids chew gum. For many kids, it helps to explain to them what’s happening—some kids will want to watch out the window. For others, it’s best to play a game to distract them.
• When the plane lands, you may want to let the other passengers get off first. Not being rushed by passengers behind you can make it easier to make sure you have everything when getting off the plane.

Look, we know there’s no magic pill that makes traveling with kids a snap—trust us, if there was such a thing, it would come with every Ocean Reef Resort reservation! But we do hope this lists helps you plan for a smoother trip next time you fly to Myrtle Beach with kids.

Posted 6/14/13

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