Traveling with the whole family, even if it’s a vacation still within the US, can be an exciting adventure, but it’s not without its challenges. You may be keen to attend a family wedding, visit far-flung relatives, or perhaps you just want to bask in sunshine with the ones you love. If you’re flying from state-to-state, then there are many ways you can overcome such issues. Whatever your plans, organizing a successful trip for all generations is possible, it just requires some forward planning.
Whether you’re traveling with multiple kids, a newborn baby, an elderly relative or all of the above, here’s how to manage a long-haul flight with the whole family.
Traveling with a young baby is no easy feat, but it doesn’t need to be a nightmare either. Remember to pack all the usual essentials, such as diapers, wipes, and plenty of clothing changes, and speak to your flight provider to see what they can provide to make your journey easier. Some airlines can issue air cots for babies, while others will allow you to bring your car seat on board.
You should be able to take as much formula as you need on-board as long as it’s in a clear container. Just be sure to bring more than you need as the unfamiliar environment (as well as the need for soothing during take off and landing) might mean your child wants to feed more than usual. You should also bring a back-up soother in case your baby won’t take a bottle. Once you’re on the plane, the staff will be able to warm the milk up for you and provide baby food if you order it in advance.
If you’re breastfeeding, you should be able to feed throughout the flight, except during takeoff and landing when you and your child need to be strapped into a seat. If your baby is old enough to look at a screen, you might find that cartoons keep them entertained for some of the flight, but be sure to bring plenty of toys and distractions as well.
Older kids are generally better at dealing with long-haul flights, especially if they understand there’s going to be a vacation at the end of it. However, you do still need to be prepared and well organized if you want them to behave. Pack lots of snacks (which you’ll have to buy at the airport once you’ve been through security), entertainment options, books, puzzles and toys to keep them from getting bored, and encourage them to get up and stretch their legs if they feel restless.
Toddlers and preschoolers get cranky and overtired easily, so it’s best to try and keep to their regular sleep schedule as best as you can, despite the difference in time zones. When you land, try to keep them awake until it’s dark to help keep jetlag at bay.
Elderly Family Members
It can be tricky to plan a vacation with an elderly or disabled family member, but it’s certainly possible. Flying Angels provides a cost-effective air ambulance alternative for non-emergency travelers in need of medical assistance or help planning the logistics of the flight if you’re flying domestically. If you want to take an elderly relative on vacation, or you’re moving them to a more permanent base, this is a great option to ensure their needs are taken care of during the flight and after they land.