Flying with kids
By Casey Sprehe
We fly often with children. It’s an awesome blessing from God that the “enemy’ can easily steal the joy of it if we aren’t prepared. Here’s a few of our tips if you are in the same boat plane!
1. Pray! We pray for everyone’s safety, obedience and joy. We pray for everyone involved in the process that we can be a blessing to them. Beginning with the check-in desk agent all the way to final baggage claim agent.
2. 5-year-olds and older carry their own backpack and luggage.
3. Bring a stroller that is multi-purpose. First, it serves as a space for the baby, then a luggage caddy and, lastly, as a backup when someone needs a break from walking.
4. Multiply however many snacks I need for the duration … times three. Delays are inevitable, and airport food pricing is a scam.
5. Diapers. See above criteria. My last rookie mistake cost us $7 for two diapers and a handful of wipes.
6. Baby carrier. Once we get to security, we take the baby out of the stroller and strap her to me. I’m hands-free to help with bags and then able to get both of us checked on the side with a simple wand.
7. Kid bags: each equipped with a jacket, a book, a few activities and toys from the Dollar Store and snacks. The activities/toys are wrapped separately like Christmas presents with a lot of tape. It takes them a while to open them. It’s a new toy. Pieces lost or broken on the airplane don’t matter. They served their dollar purpose.
8. A movie for the inevitable delay. The plane delay, the ride delay, the weather delay as we sit on the tarmac for an extra hour, or the extra hour in a holding pattern because of the weather.
9. Apologize in advance. With a smile on my face, I look at those seated around me and say, “I hope this will be a great flight, and I apologize in advance if things get a little nutty in our area.”
10. Kevin and I smile a lot. We see a lot of people in a short amount of time comparatively when we fly. We try our hardest to be a winsome argument to show that we are a family enjoying life and not just barely getting by. We want to bring joy to others and have them wonder what’s different? It’s the perfect precursor to an evangelistic moment.