My kids boarding a plane in Toronto on July 9, 2022

I was just scrolling through Instagram when I came across Samantha Brown’s brilliant travel tip for parents of young children. You probably know Samantha from all her years on the Travel Channel or PBS where she’s been hosting Emmy award-winning shows like Places to Love.

I’m fortunate to have become friends with Sam and her cool husband, Kevin, from speaking at so many travel shows together. They have 9-year old twins and been traveling with them since they were two months old so they have plenty of advice on traveling with young children.

Samantha’s advice is not to have the whole family pre-board. Instead, she says: “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.”

I actually figured this out myself after a couple trips with my son who’s been flying since he was 8 months old and in just a few years, he’d flown over 70 times. Jack’s now five and hasn’t flown so much in the last few years because his sister was born and then the pandemic hit. Last year, we went to Connecticut to see my family and this year, we flew to Hawaii (trip reports), New York (to go to Connecticut and Rhode Island) and Toronto.

Samantha’s tip is a great one so if you are traveling with two adults and kids, it definitely makes sense because kids can get so restless on airplanes. These days, my kids actually like to get on the plane early because they’re only allowed to use their iPads when we travel. Fortunately, so far, both kids have been amazing travelers and almost every flight, other passengers tell us what good little travelers they are.

If you want more tips from Samantha, follow her on Instagram and check out her website. You can also see/listen to the interview I did with her for my podcast.



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