6 Tips On How To Fly With Children And A Free Printable Packing List

When it comes to flying with kids your mind be full of all kinds of “how do I” and “what if” questions. I know because I’ve been there. I haven’t personally flown enough to make a pro but every time I did fly there were children involved.

The first time my husband and I had flown together (his first time and my 2nd time with like a 12 year gap). We were flying with our two children at the time who were 5 and just under 2. I did tons of research and over packed like crazy. We installed a car seat on the plane and had a lap child.

The second time we flew we took our 3 children and 3 of my nieces and nephews with us. So it was my husband, myself and 6 kids! It went really smooth compared to what I had conjured up in my head. 

The third time we flew. I mean I flew. I flew solo with our 3 children while I was 6 months pregnant. It was when we moved states in 2019. My husband got the long lonely joy of driving up a U-haul pulling a trailer with our vehicle on it by himself. Obviously nothing was preventing us from moving.

So I learned some more things on flying with children. Since I was the only adult watching over 3 children ages 6, 4 and 2. I definitely was baby wearing my 2 year old. Right on top of my pregnant bump. I’m pretty sure I looked a bit busy especially for being at an airport.

Obviously with shades on my head! I bet I forgot to take those off before getting out of the car at the airport. I was a bit preoccupied lol. Mind you this photo was probably taken on the plane at like 7am too.

But honestly we prep so much to keep our kids entertained and to make everything as easy as possible it really wasn’t that bad. My kids all did very well and my older even made a friend on the flight. They shared activities, snacks and tablets. It was super cute! My oldest still asks about his friend on the plane.

My oldest with his new little friend. That was his seat on the flight because my two year old and my newly turned 4 year old were scared to sit alone. This little boys mom offered to switch seats with her son so my son could sit next to him and not be scared. I love this mom for helping me out like that, especially when she knew I needed help right then!

So if I was to pick out my top 6 tips I’d tell anyone flying with kids to do. Especially if there are more children than adults the ones below would be them. I added some bonus tips at the bottom that are just helpful to know in advance. Even before booking your flight even. 

But now onto the tips you came here to read. If your here just for the free printable scroll to the bottom to find it.

Bring an empty drink cup

When you go through security your limited on the drinks you can bring. But once your through it they usually have a couple water fountains and you can easily fill up water cups with screw on solids for everyone. The. You don’t have to worry about being thirsty on your ride or purchasing over priced flight drinks for everyone that don’t usually have a kid.

Pack snacks + Ear Popping items

Kids are always hungry. If you didn’t know that already. You can purchase and pack you a ton of snacks for everyone. Just keep them within the size limit. Most are 4oz or 2oz restrictions. Check your flight restrictions first. 

Most kids pre-packaged snacks usually fall into this sizing. They do require you to pull all food items out of your bag so store them all easily together and easily to grab out during security. 

For ear popping. It’s going to happen at take off and landing. So make sure you pack at least two per kid. Lollipops, ring pops and gum work well for this. Just make sure to pack baby wipes for anything like a lollipop because it will get messy!

Then right before the plane takes off or lands give them to your littles and encourage them to go to town. The swallowing will automatically help them to pop their ears and save you from crying kiddos. 

Wear flip flops through security

Adults and children I encourage to wear easy off flip flops. So when you have to remove your shoes you can slip them off and then back on with out having to struggle with laces and what not. 

Not all airports require children to remove their shoes but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Then in each kids personal item bag I packed socks and shoes. So once we were on the other side and waiting we could transfer their flip flops to tied on shoes. This way you don’t lose a sandal on the airplane. That would not be fun to find mid flight. 

Store all electronics in one bag

I encourage you to bring some type of device to entertain your little when all your what nots have worn out. Or when they get restless. Don’t forget to pack them headphones too. Otherwise they won’t be able to hear their tablet and might cause a tantrum. 

Security does require you to remove all electronics from bags and place them into the security bins. So I have found it easier to have them all in one bag. So when the time comes you can remove them all and then easily place them all back in at the end. 

Pack each kid their own personal item bag

Any flight I’ve ever been on allows each paid seat to bring on one personal bag that is stored under your seat during take off and landing. I use this bag a hold all for all their snacks (separated into bags after security) their filled from the water fountain drinks cups and then tons of activities to entertain them on the plane.

I like to pack things so that they can easily grab out what they want to play with when they want to play with it and put back when they are done. I created an entire post sharing what we usually pack in our kids personal items bags to entertain them if you would like to check it out. 


Arrive Early

The last thing you want to be doing is rushing through security. Removing shoes and emptying electronics and food. Then have to rush to fill drinks and change out shoes. So I recommend that you show up as early as you can to keep it calm and allow for hiccups.

This allows you to take everyone potty before you enter the plane and hopefully don’t have to figure out how to use a tiny bathroom when your loaded up with kids you need to keep an eye on.

You’ll also get to choose the best seats for your flights waiting area. Preferably in the back where the kiddos can play and it run off so easily. 


  • If traveling with a diaper wearing babe you get to take a diaper bag on with you for free. It doesn’t count towards your personal item and doesn’t count as your purse. You can bring a purse, a diaper bag and one personal item bag for free!!! Use them before paying for a carry on. Plus you might be able to store it in the overhead compartment if those around you didn’t book a carry on.
  • You can gate check a stroller or carseat for free. Possible even both!
  • You will drop it off in the walkway to enter the plane right before you board. And when you get off it will be there waiting for you.
  • If your baby wear you do not need to take your child out during security. They allow you to walk through the metal detector and not their new machines while wearing your babe. They do require you to be patted down and test your hands for bomb residue but thats easy peasy. If your hands don’t red flag for bomb ingredients like mine did once. That wasn’t fun!

Now I hope that if you’ve made it this far that’s because something along the way helped you and you wanted to know more. If that’s the case then I’m so happy I was able to do that for you.

If you’ve made it this far because your searching for that free packing list printable then your in luck! To get this free printable you just need to join my tribe and you get access to my entire free resource library where you get access to the packing list.

Flying with children really isn’t as scary as it can sound. Just give your self grace and them something to eat. Trust me snacks always help when in flight. 

Until next time… Live a life you love!

Xo Jessica!

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