Samantha Brown’s Genius Hack For Preboarding With Kids/Babies

by SharonKurheg

Joe and I don’t have children. We don’t even have nieces and nephews (an only child who married an only child; go figure!). So it’s rare that we pay a whole lot of attention to “kid-centric” stuff.

However I was perusing the internets the other day and found this hack from Samantha Brown about a smarter way to do preboarding on planes if you have babies and/or very young children.

Brown is, of course, well known for her various TV shows on Travel Channel – Girl Meets Hawaii, Great Vacation Homes, Great Hotels, Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Great Weekends, Green Getaways, Passport to China, and Samantha Brown’s Asia. She also has hosted several specials on the channel.

Following her departure from Travel Channel in 2017, she began filming her newest show, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love, for PBS. From her website:

Over the last 20+ years, Samantha has traveled around the world visiting over 250 cities in 62 countries and 40 of the United States creating over 160 hours of programming (and counting). After all of that traveling she reluctantly accepts her title as a travel expert, preferring jokingly the more humble title of Travel Goddess.

Anyway, Brown has become well respected as a TV host who travels, so any hints she gives to her fans are usually well received.

This particular hack, about preboarding, piqued my interest, not because I can ever use it (I am WAAAY past any idea of joining the baby train), but just because it seemed so smart. Take a look:

The hack works if you’re a party of 2 (or more) with the kid(s)/baby(ies).

Brown suggests that partner #1 uses the pre-board time to load all the stuff – bags, stroller(s), etc. Partner #2 waits at the gate with the kids and wears them out. Plays with them, walks them around, etc. Don’t board with the kids until the last possible moment/last zone is called. This way it’s a good 30 minutes (maybe more) of their not having to sit and “be good” on a plane, while all this “stuff” (including noticing all these strangers looking/acting stressed out) is going on.

The Instagram post has been “liked” by over 177,000 people and it had several good responses:

  • Great advice! We used to do this but now my kids just love getting on the airplane as soon as possible to play on their iPads (the only time they’re allowed to use them) 😂johnnyjet
  • A delightful idea for people with partners, but as a single parent who gets to manage all the stuff and the tiny human, not too useful.allyace79
  • I do this all the time myself. The last thing I wanna do is sit on the airplane any longer than I have to. As long as I know they had a seat for me I’m never in any rush to board the plane.chucksamuels
  • If they let you do this. Lufthansa is pretty strict – pre-boarding only if the child is with
  • As a newly retired flight attendant for Delta these are some the wisest words written. Thank you for posting what I’ve been thinking for years.judithfesenmaier
  • Except if you have two kids or more, is nearly impossible to haul all the stuff with just with one person.fermarcht
  • this is our plan for Charleigh. Nicholas will board with me and stuff. He usually gets <1hr/day of screen time. He can’t wait to fly 😂 nizza322
  • That makes sense! (but, think it’s assuming you have assigned seats, not sure people would like someone holding 2-3 seats when seats are unassigned) — mom_of_sadie_

So there you go – a smart idea for both those traveling with kids, and yeah, to the benefit of those sitting near them, as well. 😉

Feature Photo: Juhan Sonin / flickr / CC BY 2.0

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