I think I’ve flown dozens of times with small children, kids, teenagers and adults. They are all hit/miss.
-You want to be at the airport at least two hours in advance, wear comfortable clothes, shoes that are velcro, check the kids bags to make sure they didn’t accidently pack something like scissors.
-In a carry on have an easy outfit for each person flying with toiletries…that way if you have to check bags and they are lost…you’ll have a change of clothes until your bags are returned to you (this has been a life saver many times).
-If I can help I never get a seat near the toilets…it can smell like a port-o-potty near that area.
-Bring your own snacks, always. Half of my family got stuck in an airport for 10 hours once. Don’t take anything smelly, PB, gooey, sticky etc.
-Always carry on medication (even if it’s a mini nebulizer).
-Mini packs of: Wet-ones, tissues, hand sanitizer, tums/pepto, benedryl, etc.
-Dramamine (drowsy kind if it’s a longer flight, the kids won’t puke and they’ll sleep through the flight)
-Some kind of gum or lifesaver (kids suck/chew on them before/during take-off and landing, so their ears won’t pop as much…if at all).
-Activities: books, crossword, coloring books, playing cards, handheld games, DVD player, whatver they like. One word of advice: PLEASE do not take anything that makes noise…unless you can plug in earphones….it is extremely rude to make other passangers listen to movies, music, etc.
-Don’t let kids carry their own tickets, ID, etc. It’s just a bad idea and holds up the line for other people trying to get through the scanning line.
-A babysitter of ours did something interesting on a long car trip: She had tiny little bags filled with goodies…after every hour of us being good we’d each get one (filled with a snack, small coloring book, bonne bell, etc.). It was an amazing idea.
I’m sure there are tons of more do’s/don’ts. These are just a few I’ve come up with off the top of my head.