Self-described “Pilot Mom” Katrina Epp is sharing tips on travelling with children on planes.
The former flight attendant and current pilot started a parenting travel hacks blog after a difficult flight with one of her sons. As summer vacations approach, Epp shared some of her tips on CTV’s Your Morning Monday.
Even before the ride to the airport, Epp says, preparation for children is important. She suggests building what she calls a “flight bag” together.
“When this comes out, he knows it’s time, and we fill it with some toys,” Epp told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday. “We’ll go to our local thrift store and find some higher quality, less expensive toys that aren’t going to fall apart in a minute.”
Epp says she also keeps different snacks in her child’s flight bag, with refills stored in adults’ carry-ons.
When it’s the day of the trip, an “obvious” but helpful rule, Epp says, is getting to the airport early.
“If the time that you should get there is an hour and a half ahead of time, give yourself more time,” she said. “I would say maybe give yourself an extra half an hour just to get your bearings. You’re going to thank yourself and just be a little more relaxed, especially if you’re travelling with kids.”
There are designated “kids zones” at many airports across Canada, Epp says, which allow children to get in some exercise before they’re stuck sitting for hours on their flights.
Sometimes filled with ball pits and slides, the small areas are safe places for children to run around.
“Often, they’re aviation-themed, or themed around that town or cities,” she said. “Toddlers and little ones can go ahead and burn some energy before getting on the airplane and do it safely as well.”
To hear more of Epp’s tips for flying with children, click the video at the top of this article.