Five Tips: Breeze Through the Airport with Kids

photo courtesy of Callie Riesling via

Flying can be a stressful proposition as a single adult; flying with a small child (or two, or three…) is madness.

Getting through security while juggling car seats, carry-ons, purses, carriers, and those germ-infested grey bins would stretch the patience of even the most peaceful parent. I’ve taken a few trips with my four-year-old daughter and learned about a few things I think you’d like to know.

Keep the Beast Fed

My daughter is a snacker. She’s not picky per se, but she loves a nice selection of foods all at once. While she’d be entirely content eating all the carbs all day, I try my hardest to make sure she has some fresh fruits and veggies while we’re on the go. To that end, I use a small tackle box that I can easily throw in my backpack or purse while we travel. Stay away from soft fruits like berries (you will forget to clean it out) and stick to harder snacks like grapes and carrots. Freeze-dried fruits are another option, although (trust me) they’re awful for their teeth.

Stay Chargedtravel

I use this travel cable organizer to keep my charging cables easily accessible. It’s much sturdier than my previous go-to, the sandwich bag. I have room for a couple of external batteries, all my cables, headphones, and my camera battery charger. SO worth it. It’s a bit bigger than I expected it to be but it fits all the bits and bobs I need it to so count me as a satisfied customer. 

Car Seats? 

I’ll preface this by saying that my daughter is four and a half years old and we’ve been traveling in airplanes since she was two and a half. For the majority of our plane rides up to this point, we’ve taken her spare car seat onto the plane with us. Once your child is two years old you must purchase her or him a seat anyway, you might as well make it comfortable. travel

We normally also gate check our umbrella stroller to help carry everything through tight connections and trips to the potty. We haven’t used a stroller in several months so, for our upcoming trip to Europe, I’m skipping the stroller and car seat and going with the CARES Harness. The harness is slipped over the child’s seat and helps keep them safely restrained for the plane ride. CARES is available on Amazon but can be kind of pricey; the harness fits children who are between 30-40 pounds best. For our trip, I’m renting the harness instead of purchasing. 

Stay Hydrated

I bring my stainless steel water bottle with me almost everywhere. I switch to a smaller one while I travel because I have enough to lug around. Almost every airport I’ve been in recently has had a water station near the water fountains for refills (and if not, I fill up at a soda fountain). DO NOT fill your water bottle at home. Wait until you get past security to fill it up. DO NOT bring flip top straw-type bottles onto the plane unless you’re ok with water splashing once you open it in flight. My daughter has the kid’s Contigo cups and this happens every time. Don’t be like me. Bring a screw top bottle. 

Keep It Together


For me, the most stressful part of travel is keeping all the bit and bobs together. Passports, boarding passes, luggage tickets, cell phone… the more people involved, the more overwhelming it can be. I used to keep a little folio that I could stuff things into but grew tired of having to carry the folio and my wallet. I’ve happily switched over to this travel wallet.



Many people don’t understand why someone would drag a child across the country, let alone the world. The difficulties of travel with kids, in my experience, is minimal compared to the adaptability and new life skills they acquire in a new environment. If we want greater understanding between people, getting out and meeting other people is a great start. 

If you need more resources on traveling with kids, I recommend Tiny Globetrotter, Award Travel 101, and Scott’s Cheap Flights to help you pay for it all. If you’re looking for more in-depth travel tips and destination profiles, check out my personal blog, Drea Did It.

photo courtesy of Kim Thai

Do you have any trips planned? Where are you headed? Let me know in the comments! 


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