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Pre-Flight Checklist

It wasn’t that long ago when flying was a joy, a relaxing journey to your destination.

Nowadays the flight can seem like the most stressful part of your travels. 

I’ve created a little pre-flight checklist that I go through before each flight to make sure we have everything we need- and nothing we don’t.

Packing with Space BagsCheck Your Packing

Pack one carry one bag per person.  Be sure each has at least one complete change of clothes, toiletries in case a flight is delayed or rescheduled, activities, charges for electronics and snacks.

Do not put electronics in your carry on bag.  Instead, use your “personal item” tote for these.  Carry on bags can often be stowed beneath the plane- causing damage to some electronics like laptops and cameras.

If you are checking a bag, make sure it is locked with a TSA approved device.  If you are a bit untrustful of the TSA, take a short video or photos, timestamped, of the items in your bag.  Better yet, don’t put valuables in your checked luggage!

Remember the 3-1-1 rule.  No liquids, aerosols or gels over 3 oz in carry on luggage.  1 (one) 1 quart bag per person.

Get to The Airport on Time

Check in for your flight online up to 24 hours in advance and print your tickets or have them sent to your smartphone.

Sign up for flight updates to know about delays or gate changes.

Plan your parking.  Use an online site to find the best rates. Search “airport parking (airport name)” to find your best option – and reserve if necessary!

Plan to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to boarding time (not take off time) for domestic flights and 3-4 hours prior for international flights.

If you are checking bags, see if your airline offers curb side check – in a huge time saver!

Security Tips

Be prepared for security.  Wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on.  If traveling with a laptop, use a bag that is easy to slip in in and out of.

Remove your 1 quart baggie from your luggage.

Make sure any water bottles are empty.

Remove coats, belts, and anything from your pockets before you enter the scanner.

Time to Relax?

Use the airport’s website or app to find the quietest gate, charging stations or amusements for the kids.

Enjoy your trip!


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About Jody Halsted

Jody Halsted has been traveling with her children since 2004, proving to everyone who told us it couldn't be done that it can. My goal is to show parents that travel with children is not only possible but it is fun! Travel with kids doesn't have to mean Disney.



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