Traveling through any US airport can be incredibly difficult these days, and add children to the mix and it’s exponentially worse. There are definitely some things you can do to make things better – here are a few tips for navigating an airport with children.
Navigating an Airport With Children
Talk to the Kids in Advance about Airport Travel
If your children are old enough to understand, prepare them for the trip. Explain to them that they’ll need to go through the scanner on their own, and that their jackets (and in some cases, shoes) will need to be removed. Some kids get really nervous when they go through security because they don’t know what to expect.
Review the Latest TSA Rules Before You Leave
The TSA rules are always changing, so make sure that you know what the latest rules are before you leave. At this time, some airports are piloting a policy where kids won’t need to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.
Pack Your Carry-on Bags Appropriately and Prepare for Security
After reviewing the TSA rules, make sure you pack your bags appropriately. Especially pay attention to the rules around liquids so you are completely prepared. If possible, put your kids’ jackets in a suitcase to save time at security – even if you have to stuff them in your carry on once you are in the airport. Strollers must go through the x-ray machine, so make sure you can fold the stroller easily. Any stuffed animal or other toy your child is carrying will also need to go through security, so try your best to put that in your carry on. Remember to also take care of yourself. If you have sunglasses on your head, large jewelry, or scarves/sweaters on, try to toss those in your bag before you reach security.
Leave early enough that if there are any hiccups, you won’t have to worry about missing your flight. Bring along plenty of activities for your child to enjoy in case the flight is delayed – tables, coloring books, and reading books are great for this!
Any other tips?