Flying is often the most convenient way to go on vacation, but there are a lot of things to consider. If you are flying with kids, there are even more things you need to prepare for. Here are 7 air travel tips that will help you on your next family vacation.
7 Air Travel Tips for Families
Know When To Buy
Airline prices fluctuate, often by quite a bit. I like to use Hopper to determine when I should hit that buy button. It gives you a prediction of whether prices will increase or decrease.
When booking a flight, you’ll often be faced with a number of different flights at varying price points. Although when you are buying, it may seem appealing to save money by taking the less desirable flight time, be sure to really think about that. I once saved some money by connecting flights twice, and on the departure day, I wished that I had paid a bit more to have a more direct flight.
When flying with kids, it’s also important to consider their schedules when booking flights. When my kids were little, I actually preferred having a small layover on cross-country flights so they could get out of their car seats and stretch out.
Follow Up on Price Changes
On our recent flight to Puerto Rico, I got nearly 30% of the price I paid for our flights back in credits for later use. That’s because the price actually decreased, and my airline offered me a credit (minus a fee). Not all airlines do that – I like to use Yapta to track price changes and see if I’m eligible for a credit.
Get Seats Together
When you book your flights, you should immediately make your seat assignments if you can. For airlines such as Southwest, where you can’t, it may be worth paying the extra fee to be sure you get on the plane early, especially if you have younger kids. It’s worth having the assurance that you’ll be able to sit together. Read this post for other tips for getting seats together.
When you fly with kids, you may find that there are quite a few items you will need in flight. Pack your carry-on bag appropriately, and keep items you definitely need in the seat under you. If you have kids that are still in diapers, remember to bring along more diaper changing supplies than you think you need, in case of flight delays.
Everyone needs to be entertained on a long flight, and it’s not a good idea to rely on the airline’s entertainment option. Sometimes the WiFi and/or TVs aren’t working, and if you don’t have a backup plan, it’s likely to be a long flight. Check out these airplane activities for kids which can help pass the time.
Research Your Airports
Before you leave, make sure that you learn about the airports that you’ll be visiting. If you have an early morning flight, research the opening hours to make sure that you don’t arrive before the airport opens. You should also check the various airport amenities you may need, including playspaces and restaurants.