Let’s be fair here: most children are very well-behaved during air travel. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a few tech tricks up your sleeve the next time you’re undertaking airplane travel with kids.
For your sake (and for your fellow passengers’ sanity), we’ve built this quick guide to keep the peace when you’re bringing small kids on a flight.
Tech tips for airplane travel with kids
If you’ve got really little kids, take some of these tips and create your very own “flying with a toddler” checklist:
- Chargers and power banks: You don’t want to be caught without enough battery—forgetting your charger will dash your careful planning and turn your smartphones and tablets into bricks. Companies such as Anker, Xiaomi, and RAVPower manufacture portable power banks that can give you a little extra juice while you’re on the go.
- Mobile apps and games: Make sure that you pick apps that can be used on airplane mode. The PBS KIDS Games app, for example, offers a variety of kid-friendly games that can be downloaded and played offline.
- Headphones and splitters: Airline headphones (if they even give them to you) are fairly poor quality, so make sure to bring your own headphones for kids. Splitters can help multiple children share the same device.
- Snacks, toys, and other “bribes”: Don’t forget that non-techy stuff can be just as effective when you’re trying to entertain a toddler on a plane.
Make sure that you read up on TSA regulations about tech devices before you pack your bags. Remember, you have to take all your laptops and tablets out of your carry-on luggage when you go through security, so try not to overload yourself.
Download movies to watch offline
The airline’s TV and movie offerings can be hit-or-miss, to say the least. To keep everyone happy during airplane travel with kids, it’s a lot easier if you plan ahead and download movies to watch offline free of charge.
Two of the most popular online video services, Netflix and Amazon Prime, both let you download movies to your device. Grab all your kid’s favorites for your next flight.
Netflix offline viewing
When you use Netflix offline mode, you can view select TV shows and movies even without an Internet connection.
To watch Netflix without an Internet connection, follow our guide on downloading Netflix videos for offline use. Videos that are available offline will have a download icon on their description page. Tap this icon to start the download process.
Note that some videos can’t be watched offline, and not all devices support Netflix offline viewing. You might run into the Netflix download limit if you see an error that says, “You have downloads on too many devices.” To fix this issue, delete the downloads from one or more of your devices and connect the device to the Internet.
Amazon Prime Offline
If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can also watch Amazon video offline on your iOS, Android, or Fire smartphone or tablet. Videos will be available for a predetermined length of time, and the Amazon Prime download limit varies depending on the title.
In most cases, you can download an Amazon Prime video simply by clicking on the “Download” button for the given film or TV episode. Follow this step-by-step guide for further instructions.