Samantha Brown's Top Tips For Flying With Kids

Veteran travel show host Samantha Brown has been the face of several televised travel extravaganzas, from her time on Travel Channel's "Great Vacation Homes" to "Girl Meets Hawaii" and "Passport to Europe," just to name a few. Now, as the host of PBS's "Samantha Brown's Places to Love," Brown admits that her outlook on travel has changed since she and her husband Kevin J. O'Leary had two children, twins Elizabeth and Elis. Speaking with People, she admitted that her previous advice for vacationing with kids wasn't always the best. "I always say that having kids was punishment for all the traveling with kids advice I gave before I had kids because I had no idea what I was talking about. It's so different," she told the outlet. 

These days, the experience of taking to the skies with her own young brood has informed Brown's battle-tested tips for flying with kids in tow. Speaking with Chicago Parent, she revealed her top tips for parents who are figuring out the best ways to travel with children for the first time, and one genius hack involves introducing your kids to airplanes long before they ever board one. "Children tend to be frightened of what they don't know or have never seen before," she tells the outlet. "Don't let the first time they have seen an airplane be at the airport." Achieving this is actually pretty simple and could make your family vacations go way more smoothly.

Your kids should be familiar with airplanes long before the flight

Speaking with Chicago Parent, veteran travel expert Samantha Brown says you should expose your kids to images of planes, model airplanes, internet videos, or whatever you can get your hands on so that your little munchkins aren't intimidated or frightened by the experience of boarding a flight for the first time. Making the process as familiar as possible is the key. Another way to facilitate this is to rehearse the whole boarding process with your kids ahead of time, from check-in and dropping off luggage to the security line and boarding procedures. She says making sure your children know what they're carrying, in what order, and how it works will prevent arguments and potential tantrums.

Another genius idea from Brown involves delegating one parent to pre-board. Speaking with Johnny Jet, she explains, "Partner number one uses the pre-board to load all the stuff in. All the bags, the strollers. Partner number two waits in the gate area with the kids, keeps them worn out, walks them around, and does not board until the very last zone is called and you walk your children on board. You get them settled and the plane leaves hopefully in 10 to 15 minutes." Assuming you're traveling with a partner, this could be the key to a much more relaxed flight.