It's 9 p.m., and your 2-year-old, who just happens to have a piercing scream, hasn't stopped using it since you took off from the airport two hours ago. You have now become the family on the plane that everyone is watching. Family trips are meant to be memorable, but not in that way.
With about 29,000 commercial flights flying in the skies over the United States every day, there are bound to be a few families feeling the strain of flying with kids [source: National Air Traffic Controllers Association]. From the endless security lines to cramped quarters, flying can make even the most seasoned traveler a bit edgy. Adults should know how to be flexible and curb our emotions, but for kids, that can be a real challenge.
Flying takes kids out of their comfort zones and normal routines, so a trip can go from exciting and fun to torturous in a matter of minutes. As parents, you're probably looking for anything that can give you that little advantage that will tip the scales to pleasantly uneventful. But if you're balancing a kid, a suitcase, a car seat and your departure time, keeping your child happy while staying sane isn't easy.
You can never plan perfectly, and there will always be unexpected situations when you're dealing with kids. But a little extra thought early on can help that day at the airport go smoothly. A lot of what makes your trip a success could be related to timing -- not being in a rush, and scheduling your flights at the best times. We'll look at whether taking a morning or evening flight is a better decision when flying with kids. Then, we'll give you some great tips for flying with kids at any time.
So which is it -- morning or night flights?