A lot of people think traveling with kids is difficult and it can be.
But what’s the most difficult age and stage to deal with while in the air?
In our opinion, it’s anywhere between 10 months and 20 months.
Why this age?
As soon as your child experiences and understands independent movement (like crawling and walking) you’re essentially in trouble. They don’t want to sit still or contained in cars, car seats or plane seats.
Prior to that age, babies are quite content being in your arms, they don’t take up much room on your lap and they’re easily entertained.
We’ve found it VERY difficult to occupy and entertain that pre-toddler age. Those children who aren’t yet into screens/games/snacks and instead want to explore.
We recently embarked on four flights within two weeks: Florida and Vancouver, return.
They felt like the longest plane rides ever. When you add in the travel time to the airport, the time with which you need to arrive at the airport in advance, the actual flight time and then customs/baggage claim and travel time home, it makes for a very long day. Few pre-toddler children can handle that. A three hour flight still requires a day of travel when you factor it all in.
This post isn’t to deter anyone from traveling as we have done it at every age and stage. It’s just a head’s up. If you’re thinking of a family vacation and can hold off a few months until your child passes through this developmental stage, we’d recommend it.
Or, if you are still determined to make the trip (as we are) know what you’re in for and plan for it in advance. Set your expectations low and brace yourself for a long day. Don’t expect to relax in flight. Leave behind your books, magazines and movie-intentions.
You’re likely going to spend the majority of your travel time entertaining the child. It’s not a bad thing though. It’s actually great bonding time as parent and child.
You’ll also likely spend a lot of time wandering the aisles so wear comfortable shoes