For many families, air travel is a routine fact of life. Whether for work, vacation, or to visit far-flung relatives, most flights these days contain at least one young passenger. But while domestic travel with your child is fairly simple, flying out of the country involves more preparation. Wondering what needs to happen before flying internationally with a baby? From passports to in-flight activities, here's what you need to know to get ready for an international trip with a little one.
First of all, you don't have to follow the example of parents who give out goodie bags or other tokens of goodwill to their fellow air travelers. Your packing list is already long enough. Plus, as Karol Markowicz writes in TIME, "An airplane is not an opera, and there can be no expectation of silence." That doesn't mean you shouldn't teach your children how to behave in planes and other public spaces (although babies can't really be expected to absorb the subtleties of etiquette). Parents are always modeling appropriate behavior and children must learn (before they are adults) how to act politely around strangers. But you are not personally responsible for the comfort and happiness of everyone else on the plane. With that in mind, here are the things you really need to know before planning an international flight with your baby.