How to survive a plane ride with kids (and Birdie Bean)

Hello, Birdies! Are you traveling this summer? 

No matter where this summer takes you, make sure that you’re prepared. We love taking our littles to new places, but with any kid under 10, traveling (especially plane travel) isn’t the easiest! 

Today we’re sharing our favorite tips to help you survive a plane ride with kids! 

Tip #1: Don’t forget to pack your Birdie Bean

Blonde girl wearing our tie dye dress set

Make sure that you plan exactly what your child is going to wear while traveling. Dressing your kids impractically is just going to lead to having unhappy children. Dress them in soft, comfortable, and breathable layers that you can take off if needed. We recommend Bamboo for the job! It’s soft, breathable and at Birdie Bean, we have plenty of styles, prints, and layers perfect for flying with kids. 

PJs are the best option and we recommend that you pack their favorite Birdie Bean blanket as well so they can snuggle up, use it as a pillow, or stay warm if the flight is too cold. Having a good quality blanket that your kids LOVE is more likely to ensure they get a nap and you get a chance to watch a movie or nap yourself! 

Tip #2: Fly earlier in the morning

Baby holding our waves blanket

Did you know that if you wanted to avoid delays and flight cancellations you should fly earlier in the morning?! YUP. You’re less likely to have your flight delayed if you’re on the first flight out. Another positive thing about flying early is that the flight has a better chance of being emptier. And most people just want to nap on early morning flights, kids included! 

Tip #3: Choose the right airline

It’s no secret that airlines are not created equally! And that’s especially true when you’re flying with kids. Normally when you’re looking for flights you’re probably going to look for the best prices, layovers, and entertainment. When you’re booking flights with kids it’s worth looking into the airlines that offer certain amenities to families and that are well-reviewed for traveling with kids. 

Especially for long-haul flights, look at airlines that offer cots for babies and help from airline staff if/when needed. 

Tip #4: Bring lots of travel snacks

The best tactic is to distract with food. Use lollipops – which are great for sensitive ears during take-off and landing – as a tool to prevent any crying fits that could occur at any point of the journey. Ensure that your sweet treats are sugar-free so the kids don’t become hyperactive.

Tip #5: Bring surprises!

Woman holding a baby with our tie dye lovey and blue palm tree

Bring a wrapped surprise for your kids when traveling. This works in two ways. Kids love to unwrap things and new toys and presents will hold their attention better than something they’ve already played with. Consider one of Birdie Bean’s newest loveys! They’re soothing and a cute reminder for your kids of where they’ve been! Shop here. 

Tip #6: Make a packing list

Toddler wearing tie dye pajamas

You don’t want to forget anything when flying… but you also shouldn’t overpack! Don’t forget that you have to load your carryons and your kids on the plane. When you’re packing for a plane ride, you can use this list as a guide! 

  • Comfort item: Birdie Bean Loveys are the ultimate comfort items for long travel days.
  • An extra comfy pair of Birdie Bean PJs (just in case!) 
  • Sanitizer, wipes, Pull-ups, and diapers. We recommend one diaper per hour of travel
  • A smartphone or tablet that is LOADED with your kid's favorite shows and movies. Entertainment is KEY
  • Kid-size headphones & a headphone splitter if you’ll have two kids watching on the same device! 
  • Plastic bags for trash
  • Water
  • Low-sugar snacks: Cheerios, pretzels, crackers, nuts, string cheese, and lollipops like we mentioned above! You just don’t know what you’re going to get on the plane, or if your kids are going to like it. 

Tip #7: Don’t board the plane right away

Unless your littles are fast asleep, don’t rush to be the first one on the plane. Let them stretch their legs and run around at the gate for as long as possible. This means that when you get on the plane, you can get your kids settled, and take off will feel quicker. 

Pro Tip: If you’ve taken our suggestion for bringing a wrapped surprise for your kids, let them know that they get a present after takeoff if they can sit still and behave well until the plane is in the air! 

Tip #8: Play pilots

If your kids are scared of flying, turn it into a game! Playing a game with your kids before take-off will also give you the chance to really talk to your kids about flying. It’ll also make it more fun, which will hopefully distract them from being scared. Just be honest with your kids, laugh, and make it into a fun game where they can pretend that they’re the pilot flying the plane. 

Most flight attendants are also more than happy to help ease your kid's worry about flying! We’ve never had a flight attendant that didn’t go above and beyond for our kids while traveling. 

Tip #9: Take care of yourself

Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. We like to think that if you take care of yourself, the rest will follow. Get to the airport plenty early so you’re not stressed and pack some of your favorite snacks as well. 

With these tips, we know you’re not only going to ‘survive’ a plane ride with your kids, but you’re also going to enjoy every minute of creating new memories and giving the love and gift of travel to your little birdies. 

Small toddler wearing our waves bubble (light blue with dark blue waves)

Now let’s shop some of your favorite Birdie Bean looks for summer!