Flying standby can be incredibly nerve-racking and even more so if you have your kids with you. There are times we have made it onto a flight easily and didn’t need to do any of these things but there are other times we’ve spent days at the airport trying to catch a flight.

The reality is flying standby with four people can be extremely difficult but save you thousands on flights which makes it worth it. Here are some tips for flying standby with children:

Pack snacks

You might be traveling for long periods and waiting for long periods. Airport food can get old and get expensive in a hurry. Be prepared with enough for each person to have three snacks. Here’s a list of health travel snacks that are quick and easy for families on the go!

Be flexible

I highly recommend building in extra travel days coming and going when traveling with more than two people. That way, if you get stuck somewhere you have another day to get there. Also, figure out a couple of routes that can get you where you want to be. That way if you don’t make the first flight you can quickly roll onto another flight. If you do happen to find yourself stuck at the airport for hours here are some ways to keep your kids entertained: 7 Airport Activities for Families.

Do not check a bagTravel with a carry-on only

Try to never check a bag. Instead, pack a carry-on. You don’t want your bag to go to a destination without you, so just don’t check it. Sometimes at the gate, you have no choice, but try to avoid it. Here are some tips for packing light.

Always, always keep your medicine with you

Often standby passengers are the last to board which increases the chances of them checking your bag. Make sure your medicine stays with you. Your bag will go in through to your final destination, but there are no guarantees that you will. You don’t want be left scrambling for medicine at a pharmacy near the airport. 

Be willing to take any seat

Know going in, you may or may not get seated with your kids. You can always get up and check on them during the flight. 

Get lounge access

Kill time waiting for flights in a lounge. It’s much better than hanging out by the gate. For me, the best solution was to get a credit card with lounge benefits. I have an American Express Platinum and that gets us into lounges all over the world, plus it has a bunch of other travel benefits.

Get T-Mobile

T-Mobile customers get an hour of free WiFi on many airlines. You also get texting all flight long. So, even if the kids and I are sitting on opposite ends of the plane, I can text them and check on them. Plus, T-Mobile works all over the world. I have yet to visit a country I didn’t have service.

Read Next:

Tips for Flying with Children Internationally

11 Tips for Flying with a baby