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If you’re a parent passionate about travel, you’ve likely grappled with the challenges of flying with kids. 

The complexities of packing, navigating security, acquiring suitable seating, feeding your children mid-flight, and keeping them calm might make you question the wisdom of travelling with kids at all. 

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It may seem like an uphill battle, especially in the face of unsympathetic flight attendants, judgmental co-passengers, and the unpredictable nature of flight delays or cancellations.

But don’t let go of your travel aspirations just yet! Despite the challenges, traveling with kids can significantly benefit both you and your little ones.

This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen family bonds.

Let’s explore the reasons behind the question, “Why is flying with kids so hard?“. 

The challenges come first!…

Why is Flying With Kids So Hard?

Common Challenges of Flying with Kids

High Costs

One of the reasons why flying with kids is so stiff stems from the cost associated with it. Once your child turns two, separate tickets are necessary, and the additional fees for checked luggage, seat selection, and carrying essentials like strollers or car seats add up quickly.

Furthermore, keeping your children entertained and satisfied can result in extra food, snacks, and souvenir expenses.

Navigating Security

Airport security is often stressful and time-consuming, especially with kids in tow. Strict regulations, the potential for invasive searches, and the need to explain procedures to children can contribute to the stress.

Seating Dilemmas

Selecting appropriate seats for your family can be another hurdle. Finding seats together often requires advanced booking and extra charges. Furthermore, deciding on optimal positioning within the plane (window or aisle, front or back, near or far from the restroom) presents another challenge.

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The Stroller Quandary

Traveling with a stroller has its pros and cons. While it simplifies airport navigation and offers a resting spot for tired kids, it can be bulky, hard to handle, and subject to damage.

Feeding Challenges

Feeding babies on a plane can be difficult due to limited space, privacy issues, and onboard regulations regarding liquids or baby food. Air pressure changes can also affect your baby’s appetite and mood.

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Ensuring Comfort

Keeping your kids calm during the flight can be the ultimate challenge, as factors like noise, confined spaces, air pressure changes, or motion sickness can lead to discomfort and distress.

Tips to Make Flying with Kids Easier

While flying with kids can be daunting, it need not be a harrowing experience. Here are some strategies to simplify the process:

  • Plan in Advance: A key factor in a successful flight with kids is thorough planning—research to find the most suitable airline, flight, and seats for your family’s needs. Arrive early at the airport, and ensure you have all necessary documentation readily available.
  • Smart Packing: Keep your packing list essentials only. Organize and label your bags for easy accessibility. Pack extra necessities, healthy snacks, entertainment for your kids, and comfort items.
  • Follow the rules: Respect airline and airport rules to ensure a smooth journey. Be considerate of other passengers’ rights and privacy.
  • Flexibility: Be prepared for any changes or delays. Adapt to various situations and be open to new experiences.
  • Enjoy the Journey: Maintain a positive attitude, and try to make the flight enjoyable and memorable for your kids.

Benefits of Flying with Kids

Despite its challenges, flying with kids has significant advantages like it makes you slow down, allowing you to absorb more of your surroundings, culture, and people.

Photo from TODAY Parenting Team

Early bedtimes and early risings mean maximising your vacation time and fitting in more activities.

Kids often become conversation starters, opening opportunities to interact with locals and fellow tourists and also exposes kids to diverse languages, customs, and traditions, enhancing their knowledge and perspective.

Sharing experiences and creating memories together strengthens family bonds.

To round it up!

Flying with kids can be challenging, but careful planning, intelligent packing, adherence to rules, flexibility, and a sense of fun can make it a rewarding experience.

The benefits of slower travel, maximizing the day, social interaction, learning, and family growth far outweigh the difficulties.

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So, while thinking about why is flying with kids so hard, don’t let the challenges deter you from embarking on adventures with your kids. Instead, view these hurdles as opportunities to explore new places, cultivate new skills, and build lasting memories together.

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I'm Ian, a travel blogger with a background in publishing. My hobby is exploring new places, and here, I share my discoveries from quaint towns and bustling cities. Each trip inspires my next post, inviting you to join me on this exciting journey.