Travel

These 18 Things Make Flying With Kids Way Easier

Help kids get comfy — and stay that way — on your next flight.

Of all the tips for flying with kids out there, the one I’ve personally found the most success with is to keep your kids as comfortable as possible. Between the unfamiliar sensations of being in flight and staying confined to their seat, having a few things on hand to make flying with kids easier means keeping their comfort in mind. If you want your kids to reap the benefits of travel, but also don’t want to lose your sanity along the way, these these products that can make airplane travel easier with kids should be at the top of your packing list.

Some of the best products to make airplane trips easier with kids are ones made specifically for that purpose. Weird — but genius — products like an inflatable foot rest that your toddler can sleep on and disposable toilet seat covers (that actually cover the entire toilet seat) are the products that will save your sanity on long-haul flights and shorter trips alike. From headphones attached to a fuzzy headband that won’t slip off their ears to a weighted lap blanket that can help calm their nerves, you won’t want to board another flight with kids without these products in your carry-on.

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1

A pack of wet wipes

Pros: Tear-free formula made without alcohol, parabens, or phthalates.

Cons: The plastic top may pop off in transit.

For a mid-flight refresh, you can wipe off your kid’s face, hands, and more with Johnson’s Hand and Face Cleansing Wipes. Made without alcohol, parabens, or phthalates, these wipes feature a hypoallergenic, tear-free formula that’s totally safe for kids. Each pack contains 25 wipes with a top that can be opened and closed easily, so it’s perfect to stick in your bag when traveling by plane with kids.

Review: “I love these because they work really well compared to other face wipes. We use them after every meal. Nice and small easy to tucked into a bag.”

2

Cute eye masks to encourage sleep

Pros: Super soft and fluffy.

Cons: Elastic band is not adjustable and may be too large for kids under 4.

One of the hardest things to do on a long flight with kids is to get them to sleep. With so many distractions, lights, and sounds, it’s a tough task. But a cute and comfortable sleeping mask like these Quadow Unicorn Sleeping Masks can help block light and encourage napping while in flight. Each mask in this pack of two has a fun unicorn design made from soft and fluffy material that will keep your kids cozy while they rest. The plush mask stays put thanks to a soft elastic band that stretches to fit kids ages 4 and up.

Review: “My daughter adores these! We bought them for an overnight drive so she would have a new special gift with a bonus of blocking out the highway lights. We let her keep one of them for everyday use and the other is just for travel. She now counts the mask among her ‘friends’ that she must sleep with every night, and sometimes it’s even the toy she takes with her to daycare. They’ve held up well to being loved so much!”

3

A LEGO baseplate

Pros: Compatible with all standard LEGO pieces.

Cons: Doesn’t stick in place on airplane trays.

For slightly older kids, a LEGO Classic Baseplate is a handy product to have with you on a plane ride. This 10-inch square plate is a blank space where kids can create small scenes out of LEGO bricks to stay occupied while in the air. Just slip the baseplate and a few handfuls of LEGO bricks into a gallon sized baggie and put it in your little one’s carryon for plenty of in-flight entertainment.

Review: “Works with classic size legos. Good for contained play space or to increase play area. Also to add to towers. The kids really enjoyed its multiple applications.”

4

Disposable toilet seat covers

Pros: Adhesive strips on back keep covers in place.

Cons: Not flushable; must be disposed of in trash bin.

Mighty Clean Baby Toilet Seat Covers are an absolute must-have product to make airplane trips easier (and more sanitary) with kids. With 24 disposable covers included, you’ll have plenty on-hand to use during in-flight potty breaks, in airport bathrooms, and with any other public toilets you might venture to while traveling. Each cover is made to drape fully over most standard-sized toilets with some extra overhang so that you don’t have to worry about your little one’s hands touching anything.

Review: “I love this product!! I got it for traveling with my 3 year old and this was exactly what I needed. I was worried taking her on a plane and having her use all the public bathrooms at the airport and etc.. I will always take these with me moving forward! Quick, easy to use. Stick well so they aren’t sliding all over. Just throw it away once your done. Covers the toilet seat perfect with extra hanging over so she could hold on without touching the seat. Game changer! Highly recommend!”

5

A hands-free phone mount

Pros: Rotating mount swivels 360 degrees to adjust your view.

Cons: Some reviewers note that TSA may remove this item from a bag to inspect it during security checks.

To make your next airplane trip with kids easier, use the Perilogics Universal Phone Mount to attach your phone to the tray table while your kids watch their favorite shows and movies. With multi-angle adjustment, it’s easy to get just the right view of the screen, no matter where your kids are seated. Compatible with most phone sizes, you won’t want to go on another flight without this handy device. The mount’s clamp attaches securely to just about anything with a 1.5-inch-wide grip, so you can also use it on long car rides, at the gym, or on strollers.

Review: “I bought this nifty gadget about 6 months for a multi-leg, ultra long haul trip and it more than held up the entire duration. I was able to finagle it to fit the tray tables on different planes and like others, I find the height just nice when clamped onto a stowed tray table. It also works on my roller carry-on handle during layovers.”

6

Warm socks with grippers

Pros: Warm without being too thick, non-slip grips on bottom for stability.

Cons: Can shrink when washed in hot water or put in dryer.

It’s highly unlikely that your child will want to wear their shoes for the duration of your flight, so when you’re planning an airplane trip with kids, it’s smart to pack an extra pair of cozy socks. These Grip Joy Lil Grippers Socks will not only keep little ones warm and comfortable, but the anti-slip design will also keep them safe should they decide to stretch their legs and walk up and down the aisles. Made from cotton, these socks are machine washable and easy to care for. They’re available in a variety of colors for toddlers in sizes 2T to 5T.

Review: “These are awesome. The grips are thick and flexible and cover the bottom well enough that my toddler won't slip. These are cotton socks so they WILL SHRINK if you put them in warm or hot water or throw them in the dryer. If you plan to do that, size up. They are literally like any other cotton clothing so I don't know why people feel the need to leave a bad review over their own mistake. My kid is in 5t shoes and I ordered him 2-4years and they are a little big. A little big as in, for socks, they don't stretch when I put his feet in them because they are the exact size as his foot. They are worth every penny and I'll be ordering them throughout his life because hardwood floors and running children don't mix well. We love the Hanna Andersson ones, but I grabbed a couple back when they were on sale and I can't justify spending 15 bucks on a single pair of socks. These don't have the solid rubber sole like the Hanna Andersson ones, but they do just as good of a job.”

7

A cup that won’t spill mid-flight

Pros: Keeps liquid cool for up to 15 hours.

Cons: Does not come with handles.

A spilled drink in the middle of a flight is not fun for anyone, so even older kids who are past the sippy cup stage can benefit from having a cup with a lid while flying. The Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup has an open 360-degree drinking edge so it doesn’t actually look like a sippy cup, but can help prevent spills jus the same. The cup automatically seals when your child isn’t drinking and comes complete with a lid to top it off when not in use. The insulated stainless steel design will keep drinks cool for 15 hours, so it’s perfect for little ones who might want a cold cup of milk on a long flight. The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.

Review: “Truly an amazing cup! At our birthing class we had a dentist recommend this sippy cup and it the only brand we have use. Love the stainless steel cup for travel, hot summer days, and for keeping milk cool. Durable, leak proof, easy to clean, perfect for a toddler. Absolutely obsessed!”

8

A comfy neck pillow

Pros: Supportive design prevents neck discomfort while sleeping.

Cons: May not pair well with certain car seats.

The INFANZIA Kids Travel Neck Pillow is specifically designed to keep children comfortable while traveling. If your little one’s head tends to dip forward when they fall asleep, this cushy pillow gives them the perfect spot to rest their head without hurting their neck. Made from breathable cloth fabric, this neck pillow is 100% washable, so it’s easy to clean after your trip. It’s available in multiple colors and comes complete with a convenient loop to hang up when not and use.

Review: “This is perfect for a toddler riding an airplane. We had a 8+ hour flight and our son was able to stay comfortable while sleeping. It doesn’t work well with the type of carseat we have for the car because our carseat has side cushions, but if you have a carseat that doesn’t then it will work great in the car as well.”

9

Cute and cozy headphones

Pros: Compatible with most headphone jacks.

Cons: The earpieces can move around inside of the headband.

If your kids don’t love earbuds that go inside of their ear or the bulk of over-the-ear headphones, this is a top-notch solution for your next flight. Compatible with most devices, CozyPhones Kids Headphones are a soft, stretchable headband with removable and adjustable speakers inside. The headphones come complete with volume protection that limits the speaker sound to 90 decibels to help protect your child’s ears. Perfect for long flights, these headphones will keep your kids comfortable while they listen to music, watch a movie, or play games. The cute unicorn design is available in four color choices, but you can also order CozyPhones in other character motifs like superheroes, animals, Sesame Street characters and more.

Review: “Wow I cannot say enough how awesome these are! I purchased the unicorn ones for my 4 year old and 1 year old as we travel quite a bit. They are not only super cute but super comfortable. Both were so excited to open them as they were a surprise. My 4 year old loves to wear them at home too. They are easily adjustable and they are loud enough for an airplane yet quiet enough to where I cannot hear them when they have them on. One thing I will say is that every time you put them on you most likely will have to adjust them but it’s not a big deal and takes no time at all. Often times I can just move them without having to fully that them off of their heads.”

10

A busy board for toddlers

Pros: 15 activities in one easy-to-carry case.

Cons: Some of the buckles may be difficult for toddlers to master without help.

With 15 activities in one easy-to-carry case, the Esjay Toddler Busy Board is a fun way to keep your kid entertained on your next flight. Different types of buckles, belt loops, zippers, snaps, buttons, and laces will hold their attention and provide a screen-free alternative to keep them busy and learning. Hook and loop letters attach to the back of the board and can be stored in the zipper pocket when not in use. Each sensory board is made from soft fabric and is lightweight, so it’s easy for toddlers to manage in their lap. When closed, the case measures approximately 11 inches by 8 inches.

Review: “Absolutely love this busy board! We bought this to keep our 1 y.o. Distracted on a 3.5 hour airplane ride. She absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop playing with it. We tied it to the seat tray so it didn’t slide all over. It is easy to carry, fits into a backpack no issue, and I love it is all one piece, no tiny pieces to misplace!”

11

A weighted lap blanket

Pros: Can soothe and calm anxious kids.

Cons: May easily shift and slip off of a sleeping child.

To keep your kids comfortable while flying, a Sivio Weighted Lap Blanket can make them feel snug and secure if they need some comfort in the air. Perfectly sized for travel, each lap blanket measures 20 inches by 30 inches and is filled with 3 pounds of glass beads, evenly distributed throughout small 4-inch square compartments to create a soothing sensory-friendly feel. Made from 100% Oeko-Tex certified cotton and reinforced for breathability, these lap blankets are available with fun, kid-friendly designs including unicorns, dinosaurs, cats, and superheroes.

Review: “My 16-month-old took his best nap in AGES the first time I used this. And unlike other sleep aids that he doesn’t like (resents them because they mean nap time), he actively seeks this one out for play and cuddles. I already had a weighted plush toy but that never worked as well as this.”

12

A compact first aid kit

Pros: TSA-friendly kit; contains no liquids or sharps.

Cons: Pill packs can be difficult to open without scissors.

Your flight should definitely have a First Aid kit on board, but when you’re traveling with kids, it’s always a good idea to bring along your own, just in case. This Welly First Aid Kit is a great choice for flying with kids. It’s compact design means it fits nicely in a small carryon bag and the kit itself doesn’t contain anything that wouldn’t make it through security. With flexible fabric bandages, antibiotic ointment, cleansing wipes, chewable ibuprofen, and more in the durable metal case, you have everything you need to manage minor ouchies with kids right at your fingertips.

Review: “These are great addition to our traveling and camping kit. Since these are chewable tablets, we don't have to worry about liquids and TSA when flying. We also like these in our camping set since it isn't likely to burst open (we had one bottle of diphenhydramine burst when we drove to higher elevation). I only wish that they sold refills for specific meds like diphenhydramine separately as our children often have allergies that result in significant congestion unless we use diphenhydramine. Otherwise this is a great little kit for traveling. Highly recommend!”

13

A portable power bank

Pros: Charges a variety of devices, quickly.

Cons: Heavier than other portable chargers.

One of the worst things that can happen during a flight with kids is for their device to run out of power. When you bring the Anker PowerCore Portable Charger on your next airplane trip though, you won’t have to worry about that. Small, but powerful, this 6.3-ounce, palm-sized charger provides enough juice to power nearly 3 and a half iPhone charges or 2 and a half Galaxy charges. It features connector ports for USB type C, micro USB, and an adapter can be purchased to use with lightning ports, so you can charge a variety of devices.

Review: “They can really charge your phone several times on one charge and the charger stays charged for weeks or months. It comes with the micro USB cable to plus into a USB wall wart to charge the charger, but you will have to supply the cord to charge your phone (USB outlet). I can fit this and my iPhone and a cable in my pocket when I'm traveling, so it's pretty small and light. You can take it carry on, but you CAN'T check it (No re-usable batteries can be put in checked luggage as they are a fire hazard.) You can use your phone while it's charging, which is great.”

14

An inflatable foot rest

Pros: Easy to inflate, comes with carrying case for easy storage.

Cons: May be too large for some coach seats.

For your next long-haul flight with kids, the Maliton Inflatable Travel Foot Rest Pillow can transform most airline seats into a comfy sleeping surface for little ones. This inflatable cushion fills the gap between seats to extend the seat length so that your child’s (or your) feet don’t dangle. Toddlers and preschoolers can easily lay flat and stretch out for a nap as well. The easy-to-inflate design features three separate air chambers to fill so that you can adjust it as needed without an air pump. When not in use, it deflates fast and can be stored in a 9 inch by 10 inch drawstring bag in your carryon.

Review: “One of the best travel investments I have ever made! Great valve design for inflating by mouth (one way valve that pops out for deflation) this fit well in economy and economy plus seats. My very big (90th percentile) 19mo was able to sleep comfortably on the international flights. I honestly can't imagine dealing with the flights without this product, it was such a game changer!”

15

A silicone tray placemat

Pros: Keeps baby toys from falling out of reach.

Cons: Suction cups may not adhere well to textured surfaces.

To make flying with babies easier, add the Busy Baby Silicone Placemat to your diaper bag. This 8.5 by 11-inch silicone placemat has baby-safe tethers to keep toys attached and within your baby’s reach while in-flight. The back of the mat features four suction cups that will keep in in place on your seat’s tray table to give baby a safe place to eat and play. Made from food-grade silicone that’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe, it’s also super easy to sanitize after your trip.

Review: “I originally bought this because we were going on a plane ride and wanted it to suction and have a clean space on the airplane tray, but now I never leave the house without it! I will say the suction is hit or miss, but that has to do with surface, not the product. Works amazing to save my 7 month olds toys from hitting the floor and can put little snacks on there for her too. Would definitely recommend!”

16

A personal fan for hot flights

Pros: Rechargeable via USB port, flexible to face any direction.

Cons: Especially small fingers may fit between the spaces of the fan’s grate cover if within baby’s reach.

There is nothing worse than being trapped in a hot plane with little air circulation and an overheated kid. The AMACOOL Personal Fan sits on a flexible tripod so that you can literally attach it to pretty much anything. The fan has 3 speed options, so your kids can stay comfortable no matter what. When fully charged via USB charging port, the fan’s power bank will keep it running for between 2.5 to 10 hours, depending on the speed selection.

Review: “We lived in Hawaii so it would get pretty hot in the car seat for my son and this fan was a gamer changer for him. It wraps around his carseat handle, the stroller wagon handle and I even prop it up in the floor/table and it does well. We recently moved from Hawaii to Guam so I brought this little fan with me on the airplane since I tend to pass out during take out and landing. I stuck it in the seat pocket on the plane and it helped me stay cool during take off and landing. No passing out thanks to this fan!! Battery life is surprisingly really good. I accidentally left it on for 3+ hours on the second setting and the fan was still running when I got back home. I love it so much that I bought two more. One for my daughter and one for myself.”

17

Earmuffs for babies & toddlers

Pros: Specially designed band eliminates pressure on the skull.

Cons: Headband may slip down on especially young or small babies.

Alpine Muffy Ear Protection is designed specifically for babies and toddlers to protect their ears in the safest way possible. Unlike other earmuffs or noise-cancelling headphones, this seat is made with a flexible band that eliminates pressure on your baby’s head, which is especially important for young babies. They’re easy to adjust and contain no metal parts, so they’re safe for babies to wear. The headband can be easily detached and washed if needed. These earmuffs help muffle loud sounds during takeoff, cancel out in-flight noise, and help discourage overstimulation. Each set comes complete with a storage bag.

Review: “We took our 7 month old on her first flight. She did great and wore the ear muffs the whole time. She did not pull them off or tug at them. That let me know she was comfortable. She also napped to our destination and back home while wearing them. Not only did they help with ear popping but they also canceled noise off other passages allowing her to nap. We would definitely recommend this earmuffs.”

18

An FAA-approved safety harness

Pros: FAA-approved.

Cons: Installation learning-curve, can be tough to clean.

For wiggly toddlers and preschoolers, the CARES Kids Travel Harness is the only safety harness that’s approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a car seat alternative. Instead of lugging around a heavy seat, make your airplane trip with kids easier with this harness that fits inside of a 6-inch tall drawstring bag. Intended for use with kids from 22 to 44 pounds, this 5-point harness is easy and quick to install, and fits most standard airplane seats.

Review: “This has been a lifesaver for us. We’ve flown with our now 2 year old with this for the past 6 months and it’s been amazing. For short or long haul flights it worked perfect. Even in countries like Thailand and China the stewardesses knew this was approved to be used on their flights (United, American Airlines, China Eastern, British Airways, Air Asia, Nok, Southwest Airlines have all been fine with it). This saved us from having to put him on our lap while taking off, landing and during turbulence (if your baby is asleep you know any disturbance is to be avoided). As for how well it holds your kid in place I’d say it’s a huge upgrade from just the seatbelt across the lap. I also found that my toddler will chill out more with it if he has it on (kinda like a car seat effect). However, they can slip under, but I put a small pillow under his legs to keep him from sliding. All in all I’d 100% recommend it.”

Flying with kids can be an adventure. When you want to make the most of your journey, having a few of these travel products on hand can make your flight with kids as easy and comfortable as possible.