Our kids have both been so fortunate to have a good bit of experience flying; our two-year-old took his first flight when he was six weeks old. However, up until this past summer, all of their flights had been to Colorado, which is about a 70-minute flight from Arizona. It’s pretty easy to keep a kid entertained for 70-minutes. But, when my folks relocated to Florida this summer, we knew that we had to level-up our airplane skills.

It’s always hard to prepare for everything when traveling with kiddos, but here are some of our family tricks for surviving air travel with our boys.

Tricks For Flying With Toddlers

  • If they’re between 2 and 3-years-old, bring their car seat on the plane. Yes, it’s huge. Yes, it’s a total pain in the butt to lug around. Yes, it’s totally worth it. Our two-year-old is super active and curious. We’ve taken his car seat on four flights now, and once he gets strapped in he’s a trooper just like he is in the car. It also makes it so much easier for him to get comfortable and hopefully snooze.
  • Stop by Target or the Dollar Store before the trip. I always love to stop by these stores and find some {affordable} things to keep the boys entertained. I always try to surprise the boys with what I get, to keep them more excited.
  • Pick flight times on their schedule. It’s hard because sometimes the cheapest flights are super early, or super late. Consider the tradeoff and consider your child’s schedule when booking flights. If your kiddos are well-rested and not hungry the entire travel experience will be much easier. If we have to pick one leg that has weird times, I always pick the trip home because by that point they’re usually off their schedule anyway.

What’s In Our Suitcase

Some of my favorite mess-free art activities to keep the kiddos busy. Color Wonder is great because I don’t have the risk the little one getting marker all over the tray table. Stickers are always a crowd favorite in our house. Scratch art is really fun and time consuming for the kids too. My oldest thinks its the coolest.

Crayola Color Wonder Markers and Paper, Mess Free Coloring, 60 Blank Coloring Pages & 20 Markers

Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad, Extra Large Sticker Activity Pad, Removable Backgrounds, 150 Stickers, 14.05″ H x 11.05″ W x 0.2″ L

Under the Sea Scratch and Sketch: An Art Activity Book for Imaginative Artists of All Ages (Scratch & Sketch)

These are some “special things” that I got for our last trip. The superhero toys were on clearance and were something that I wouldn’t generally buy for the boys. The LEGOS were a fun idea, but I wouldn’t recommend them on an airplane, unless picking up fallen pieces under the tray table is your jam. Sticky notes have endless possibilities.

LEGO Creator 3in1 Drone Explorer 31071 Building Kit (109 Piece)

Post-it Pop-up Notes, America’s 1 Favorite Sticky Note, 3 in x 3 in, Assorted Colors, 5 Pads/Pack (3301-5ALT-M)

Snacks are great because they provide some in-flight entertainment as well as they make sure we don’t end up hangry, especially on long flights.

CLIF BAR – Energy Bar – Crunchy Peanut Butter – (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count)

CLIF Kid ZFRUIT – Organic Fruit Rope – (Strawberry, 6 count)

Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Snacks Favorites Variety Pack, 36 Count, Pack of 1

These are the essentials! I always, always travel with anti-bacterial wipes. When we sit down I clean the tray table on the airplane and try to make sure that everything is as clean and germ-free as possible. I’m never as good at drinking water while traveling as I should be, and we discovered these Nuun electrolyte tablets that really help. Even though the boys are both potty trained, I still don’t leave the house without some wet wipes.

Nuun Active Effervescent Electrolyte Supplement Tablets – 1 Tube (Grape)

Sun Bum Premium Day Tripper Travel-Sized Sun Care Pack with Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, Sunscreen Lip Balm and Hydrating After Sun Lotion, Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection, Hypoallergenic

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo, 7 Ounce

Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear about some of your favorites for traveling in the comments!