Nothing beats the warm, comforting sense of home for the holidays. It’s such a perfect time for the kids to bond with their grandparents and for you to delve into some childhood nostalgia.
Make sure to pack all the essentials for the journey, especially if it’s going to be a long trip.
To keep anxiety to a minimum, prepare to deal with airport security, possible flight delays, luggage restrictions, and additional expenses.
Consider the age and temperament of your kids. Can they handle the hustle and bustle of the airport?
Many parents navigate this territory successfully, and you will, too.
Take these important things into consideration if this is the first time flying with your children.
Things to Consider When Flying With Children
Snacks and Drinks – Pack some of your kids’ favorite snacks and drinks – think apples, carrots, granola bars, and lots of water! Airline food isn’t always kid-approved and while many airports offer a variety of restaurants, travel interruptions can leave you without these options.
Clothes and Essentials – Carry a change of clothes for the kids within easy reach. This is also essential in case your luggage is delayed in transit. Chewing gum (for older kids) or a bottle or pacifier for infants to suck on during take-off/landing can help with the changes in air pressure.
Comfort Items – Bring along comfort items like favorite blankets, stuffed animals, or special toys. These can help kids feel more relaxed and are a trusty go-to if they get upset, especially if this is their first time flying.
Emergency Info – Always carry a hardcopy of emergency contact numbers and any vital medical information for your kids. Depending on your journey, you may need your kids’ passports, and it’s always wise to carry a copy of their birth certificate.
Patience and Flexibility – Okay, this isn’t something to pack, but it’s arguably the most crucial thing to bring. Flights can get delayed, kids can get restless – a lot can happen. So, keeping calm and maintaining a sense of humor can make the whole experience less stressful.
Additional Considerations When Flying With Kids After a Divorce
When planning a trip with your kids after a divorce, it’s essential to ensure you’re not violating any custody agreements. Communication is key. Make sure you discuss your plans with your ex-spouse well in advance to help you coordinate schedules.
Secondly, invite your kids to share input on the travel plans. This can help them feel involved and excited about the trip, plus they’ll be more likely to enjoy activities that they’ve helped choose.
Review your agreement – Go through your custodial agreement or divorce decree thoroughly. Make sure you understand the terms around travel – Frequency, duration, locations, prior notice. If the language is not clear, consult with the team of associates at Marble.
Notify the other parent – Depending on the agreement, you may need to provide the other parent with written notice of your plans. This usually includes the dates of your trip, locations you’ll be going to, and a way they can contact you or the kids.
Obtain Consent – Sometimes, you’re required to get formal, written consent from the other parent. It would be best to have this conversation as early as possible to avoid any last-minute issues.
International Travel – If you’re planning to travel outside the country with the kids, laws get even more stringent. In some cases, you might need the notarized consent of the other parent, even if your custody agreement doesn’t specifically require this.
Keep communication open – The more included and in the loop the other parent feels, the smoother the process tends to be. This could mean regular updates during the trip or even facilitating calls between the kids and the other parent.
Copy of the agreement – Always keep a copy of the custody agreement and legal consent forms handy while traveling. You might need to present these valuable documents, especially if you’re traveling internationally.
Respect time – Make sure to adhere strictly to the agreed-upon timeframes for your trip. Extending your trip without mutual agreement can lead to serious legal consequences. Sticking to the agreement offers protection to you, your ex-spouse, but most importantly, your kids. It ensures that they can enjoy these experiences without getting caught in potential custody battles.
What to Expect When Flying With Children
Remember to manage expectations.
It’s easy to feel the pressure to make every trip a grand occasion, but often, the simple moments are the ones that kids remember the most.
Build in downtime and let things unfold naturally.
These journeys are about creating new, positive memories together.