carlos-on-planeI love to travel with or without my kids, but to tell you truth after our last trip coming home from Orlando, FL  (7 hours-1 Stop) I wasn’t so sure I wanted to do it again.

Last December we decided to try something different. I live in San Diego, California, that means a nonstop trip to New York City is about 5 hours and as you know with a 3 and 4-year-old, things could turn ugly. So we decided to take the last flight of the day, 9:30pm and let me tell you, it was a great experience!

This is what I did:

  • I didn’t let the kids take a nap all day
  • I packed a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bought them milk at the airport.
  • Once on the plane, as soon as we were allowed to stand up after takeoff, I made my kids go to the bathroom to avoid any middle of the night “Have to pee mom” situations.
  • I brought a few books for them to help them get sleepy and less than 1 hour after takeoff they were asleep. (If your kids prefer TV, bring a DVD player) 
  • We landed around 5:30am on New your City and even though the kids were a little tired, they are on vacations, so they were excited and when we got to the hotel, we all took a long nap and started our day in the big apple that afternoon.

David-on-planeThere are many benefits of flying with kids at night:

  • It’s bedtime, so the kids will sleep through the whole flight.
  • Flight fares at night are usually a lot less expensive.
  • Late flights are usually less crowded and if there are empty seats, they make great beds for the kids.
  • It’s a stress free flight for everybody.


  • When you check in at the airport, ask if there are any empty seats on the plane so you and the kids can use them as a bed. 
  • Avoid high sugar foods that afternoon, remember the whole point is for the children to be tired and go to sleep.
  • Don’t wait until you land to wake up the kids, do it 10-15 minutes before to avoid crying and tantrums.

Happy Mommy Travels!

Tania Luviano is an Emmy award winning Journalist and host, she’s also the founder of a Vlog for Today’s Latina Mom.