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Tips for flying with the grandkids

Jun 20, 2012, 9:32 a.m.

A summer vacation with the grandkids: what could be more fun? However, you have to admit that it's been a few years since you've flown with small children...and the aircraft as well as the rules and regulations have changed considerably since your children were young. As a refresher course, here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are flying with children:

  1. Avoid peak travel times. When traveling with small children, avoid the peak business travel times of early morning and late afternoon, Monday through Friday. The more people there are in the terminal, the more distractions and room for error. There are also longer lines at the security checkpoints during these times.
  2. Seat the child away from the aisle. Seating a small child away from the aisle with a responsible adult next to him or her keeps the child from being able to get up and wander up and down the aisle. You also don't want the child grabbing potentially hazardous objects, like silverware or hot coffee, when they are passed down the aisle.
  3. Bring plenty of treats and toys. Unexpected delays are more the rule with air travel these days than the exception. Bring plenty of safe toys and finger food in plastic bags to keep your little one entertained no matter how long it takes to get to your destination.
  4. Plan ahead for emergencies. Having a small child with you makes coping with an emergency more complicated. Be prepared for this unlikely occurrence by going over the plane's safety instructions and having a clear plan of action in your mind should you need to evacuate the plane quickly. Remember also that if it is necessary to use the oxygen masks, put yours on first and then help your grandchild.

Flying with toddlers doesn't have to be stressful or complicated. It just requires a little advanced planning. A little thought before the trip will insure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable flight.

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