Airport layovers, as an adult, can be boring and frustrating, but airport layovers with kids can be downright distressing. That’s why I strive to turn our inevitable layovers into an extension of our vacation. Being prepared, getting some rest and turning wait time into game time can help reduce the stress.
Because the reality is that you will, at some point, experience layovers. Flights with layovers tend to be much cheaper than direct flights. Sometimes it’s just not possible to get a direct flight between destinations. Other times circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or aircraft delays, result in more time than expected hanging around the terminal.
Luckily, this does get a bit easier as kids get older. At least they no longer need constant attention. But being hungry, tired and bored can amplify emotion in an already moody teen.
Don’t land stressed and frustrated! Gone are the days of sitting around at the gate twiddling your thumbs trying to keep the kids calm. Here’s our 12 suggestions for surviving airport layovers with kids:
Know Your Gate Location:
We like to find our gate right away, so we know where the aircraft will be located. I don’t want any surprises when it’s time to board. I can’t count the number of airports we’ve been in where it takes 30+ minutes to get from one side or terminal to another. Recently, I swear we walked for 15 minutes down a never ending corridor before we even saw the first gate number.
Find a Deserted Gate
However, instead of waiting at our gate, I like to hunt down an empty gate. You might find these closer to the end of the terminal. Here, kids can be a little louder and more active without disturbing other flyers. If kids are little, they can run around the chairs to get some of their energy out, spin in circles or have a mini dance party.