How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Flight Alone

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Travel

When I was 8 years old, I flew on an airplane by myself to visit my grandparents. My mother walked me up to the gate, where a uniformed airline employee took me by the hand and led me onto the aircraft. I sat right up front near the flight attendant, who kept an eye on me and provided me with iced sodas, little packets of peanuts and “wings” to pin onto my dress. Flying solo was an adventure, and it gave me access to an independence I’d never experienced before. I was eager to do it again.These days, there’s nothing I’d rather do less than tussle with dozens of strangers over a grimy plastic bin in which to deposit my shoes. The thrill of flying off to a new city has been ground out of me by baggage fees, security pat-downs, overpriced snacks and tense hours occupying the dreaded middle seat. I certainly don’t wish such discomfort on my children, especially by themselves. AdvertisementBut an airplane is the only way to get my 13-year-old across the country to visit his grandmother.As I prepare him — and myself — for the big day, I asked experts for tips on how to make it a smooth ride for everyone. Here’s what they said. Take stock of whether your child is ready.“I would consider quite strongly what level of maturity they have, how well they are able to make decisions for themselves, how well they’re able to follow directions that might have multiple steps to them, how shy they may be, or how readily the …

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