Fly Over States

We head out to the East Cost on Thursday (follow our trip on instagram and twitter, don’t miss a minute!).   So this means another cross country flight, sleep schedule adjustments, meals on the run, you know, the usual.  (If you are keeping track, this trip will let Lucy join the 10,000 mile club.  That’s right, 7 months old and she’ll have flown over 10,000 miles.)

I’d love to write a mom blog post on “how to” fly with kids.  I’ll give you the highlights below but the truth is two years in, I’m no expert.  I still panic, over pack, freak out and generally stress out everyone around me.  But I keep getting back on the plane.  Even at the end of the last cross country trip when A and I swore that we would not get back on the plane with the kids for at least a year,here we are, jumping back on a plane.

So my “expert tips”?  Here’s what I got:

– go the airport early.  I mean ridiculously early.  Give yourself time to lug every piece of baby equipment you brought with you from the car to the parking lot shuttle from the shuttle to the sky bridge from the sky bridge to the ticket counter (by the way sometimes the elevators are broken – so you know, two kids, a pack and play, two car seats and some luggage meets an escalator.  Like I said, go EARLY.)  You’ll want to get food (more on that later) and then let any mobile traveling child run their little hearts out.

– Food.  Bring it, buy it, do whatever is necessary to keep the kiddos happy.  Nurse on demand? Sure.  More cheddar bunnies?  Why not.  Chocolate chip cookies for lunch?  Yes please.  Bring lots of snacks.  They almost never have milk on the drink cart either, so plan ahead.  (You can bring sippie cups of milk and water through security, which will help you save money instead of buying it at the terminal.)

– Security.  If there is a family line, use it.  Don’t be ashamed, don’t feel bad that you will be cutting people in line that have been there for 30 minutes.  Don’t let their complaints discourage you.  Pick up your kids, fold down your stroller and be proud.  19 hours of labor (times 2) earned me this right.

– Entertainment.  In the past this has been rough because Lila (and Lucy still) are too young to really entertain for too long.  They just can’t do it.  I mean, I don’t like flying for 6 hours, why should they?  For Lila we’ve always brought books.  Now we’re bringing a magna doodle, coloring book, books, stickers, baby doll, and an iPad (more on that in a minute).  Lots of variety and most important a mix of old and new.  New items she hasn’t seen before and some old favorites that never fail.  We went to Target this weekend and I told her we could get some toys for the plane.  She picked up a few items and is really excited for them.  She knows that she can only use them on the plane.  Books and dolls that we know she enjoys will be packed as well.

– iPad.  Parents who flew cross country before the iPad, God Bless You.  I mean it.  Lila is finally in love with watching tv shows and we don’t let her do that at home.  (She caught 3 minutes of the British Open this weekend and was memorized.  Really, we had to shut it off to break the spell.)  So watching Dora, her absolute favorite, is only for special occasions.  And 6 hours on an airplane is a very special occasion.  We bought kid’s headphones for her and we’re ready to let her watch 6 hours of Dora.  No really.  We’ll let that happen, trust us.

– Alcohol. I don’t get drunk on flights, but by the time the first drink cart comes through, we’re about 4 hours into our flying adventure with still another 4 hours in the air.  A glass of wine to celebrate how far we’ve come and steel me against the hours to come.  It takes just enough of the edge off for me to not have a panic attack at 10,000 feet and happy momma = happy family.

My girls are good fliers and I’m happy that they are becoming as experienced at flying as they are at such a young age.  It would be nice if it were less stressful (or expensive) for Andrew and me, but using our toolbox of time, snacks, iPad and alcohol, we’ll make it work (again).



  1. We lived in Louisianna and Texas when the 3 were young and even 30 years later,I feel your pain.And then President Regan and air traffic controllers had trouble and we suffered on many a flight circling New York for an hour or two.Hell on earth.You are so much better prepared than I was.Safe trip.

  2. Good tips! I finally realized on our last trip (when I decided not to get milk in the terminal) that they didn’t have milk on the drink cart. WTF? I feel like that should be standard! They have kids fly all the time, why is there no milk? I think we should lodge some complaints and make that happen. Also, discovered in Charlotte that there are apparently family lanes at every airport (according to the TSA guy). I have NEVER been offered the family lane other than at Charlotte, so I was very happy to learn this. Totally don’t feel bad at all, it rules. It might’ve helped us NOT miss our flight in San Francisco when I decided to try to bring 4 bottles of wine on board. :-) Good luck you guys!

    • I have not found the family line in DC and the one in Seattle is only in one security section, so you really need to know where it is. However it has saved us SO much time, we would definitely have missed a flight or two without it.
      I’ve been told they only have milk for coffee and can’t give it to people for kids. I’m guessing it is because it is a lot less shelf stable than soda and boxed juice.
      However, after the great peaches and milk vomit disaster of August 2012, I do suggest caution in the amount of milk you give your child. And perhaps I forgot the most important tip, be sure mom packs an extra shirt.

      • Well, yeah, it is a little more complicated than the&IBrava-.kt#39;s actions have had repercussions here in Oz one our own leftist elite. And they haven't tied it into Israel.On that score I am thoroughly sympathetic to what Brave-Ik did.Yet, I see that there may well have been an Israeli/Jewish motivation there, just like our left in Oz has been shutdown on the BDS score.So, Breivik is complicated. We don't have all the facts. But the 14 words remain primary for us.

  3. Grandma Dede says:

    Your family appreciates the lengths you go to to stay involved in family events. We can’t wait to see you.
    Vamalos !!!

  4. What a plaeusre to meet someone who thinks so clearly

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  11. Catarino, uma carteira funcional valeria como comprovante para a certidão por tempo de serviço?Qual caminho que devo tomar para não perder o concurso? Estou muito desesperado. Ah, queria lhe parabenizar por dispor com prontidão a sanar dúvidas de tantas pessoas. Tudo de bom pra ti!

  12. A questo punto Campagnaro diamoglielo subito per avere Immobile Il Napoli prenderà Benatia e Arnero a Gennaio…Fonte certa?Dovrebbe esserlo, come quella che il procuratore di Campagnaro ha parlato con l’Inter e la la Juve sembra essere avanti nelle trattative per portare Hugo a Torino molto probabilmente a Giugno.

  13. I see you point… Also ,spending any amount of money to be reviewed by a bunch of inexperienced people who certainly are just looking for the next call of duty is not a very smart move for anyone, no offense.The entire system of greenlight is wrong, it is just a good (not great) idea with an awful execution.

  14. Actually, "Running On Empty" is more appropriate for wind power, at least in my area. It is producing nothing. There is a big, fugly wind turbine a few miles from me that has been sitting still every day I go by it. Why? A high pressure system cooking the whole area. Just when we need electricity, wind isn't producing any. Running on empty, indeed. How about, never producing nothing, not ever, never will.

  15. Great common sense here. Wish I’d thought of that.

  16. Why does this post say "We're sorry, this video is not available"?FWIW, every other video I tried watching today, including the McCain and Obama videos, are giving the same message.I guess YouTube is having a meltdown!?

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