I’m feeling like a super mama this week. After a number of sleepless nights, I made it through two cross-country flights with Naiya and Sadie (without Phil!) in these crazy uncertain times. We were masked, armed with sanitizer, snacks, toys, toddler headphones–ALL the things. Rounding up tips and tricks I learned along the way in hopes that they’ll help you and your family too during these uncertain times.
Tips & Tricks For Flying With Little Ones During COVID (If You Have To!)
1) Wipe Everything Down
Arm yourself with at least on repack of antibacterial hand wipes and keep them easily accessible. Right when you get on the plane, wipe down your seats and tray tables–EVERYTHING! Airlines are cleaning their planes more than ever but it’s better to be extra safe–especially when flying with kids. Our first flight was much more empty than usual but our second flight was packed (except for middle seats). Even though everyone about the age of five was required to wear a mask, wiping everything down made me feel more safe.
2) Wear Your Baby As Much As Possible
If you have a child who can still fit in a baby carrier, definitely bring your carrier on the plane and wear them as much as possible. I wore Sadie onto the plane so I could hold Naiya’s hand and maneuver our luggage at the same time.
Wearing Sadie was also super helpful because she’s at an age where she wants to run around constantly and touch EVERYTHING. At one point when I took her out of the carrier, I caught her licking the seat in front of us. Back in the carrier she went and of course I did another round of seat wipe downs. Keeping Sadie contained also helped me to keep Naiya happy and in her seat (most of the time).
3) Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!
Keep your little ones as entertained as possible with ALL the snacks. We did a big instacart order the day before we flew and it was pretty much everything! Our fave snacks throughout the flight were gummies, fresh fruit (pre-cut and stored in Tupperware–I was feeling extra organized for a change), and peanut butter sandwiches. Airlines are only offering TINY snacks these days and you can’t even buy a meal if you try (at least on the planes we were on). I kept the snacks going the ENTIRE flight because Naiya and Sadie were loving them and eating kept then entertained. When snacks failed a few times, truth be told, I went for the iPad. Literally sorry not sorry there as I usually am because it was a travel lifesaver. Peppa Pig was my spirit animal and Naiya was in heaven.
4) Research The Safest Airlines For Travel Right Now
We flew Delta because I read that they were keeping middle seats empty for extra safety right now. That said, as I shared above, our first plane was almost empty but the second was much more full. Capacity on planes right now is mainly a crapshoot. That said, if you’re feeling especially worried, you can check how full your flight is online as your flight gets closer. Go ahead and re-book if you’re too freaked out by the amount of seats that are full. It’s okay to play it safe!
5) Masks, Shields and Sanitzer
Make sure your mask is comfy enough to wear ALL day! Use a shield too to protect your eyes. I used this one which I found on Amazon. Naiya wore this adorable bear one for some of the trip. Sadie wore this tiny hat and shield combo. Truth be told, keeping these on the girls proved to be nearly impossible! I felt so guilty for most of the trip because I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work but I definitely did my best. I’d suggest “training” your kids ages two and older to wear their masks and/or shields for at least a week before you fly if you can. We tried this and it was at least a little bit helpful for the first couple of hours!
Are You Planning on Flying Soon?
If you have a trip planned in the near future that you need to take with kids, you’ve got this. It’s not easy right now but if you plan ahead and focus on exactly what you need to get you through, it won’t be as scary as it seems. Do you have any questions? Tell me all the things!
Photography: Azusa Takano