Taking a trip as a family can be a time to make memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime. However, if you’ve traveled with young children, you know that flying on a plane can be very stressful. Below are a few things you can do to ensure your next flight with kids goes smoothly.

Be sure to print your boarding passes at home. One of the best ways to save time at the airport is by printing boarding passes before you leave home. If you’re unable to print them, at least utilize the electronic check-in kiosks at the airport.

Tell kids what to expect at security. Even for a grown adult, security can be a daunting obstacle when traveling. Let your kids know what they will need to part ways with when going through security and, if your kids are older, be sure they know proper protocol (i.e. which jokes are unacceptable at an airport).

Ask about early boarding opportunities. Most airlines will allow people traveling with young children to board ahead of everyone else to allow them more time to get settled in. Use the additional time to get your bags situated in the overhead bin and make sure everyone is happy and has something to keep them entertained.

Bring snacks and things to keep kids busy. No matter how long the flight, children are likely to get hungry. Come armed with snacks, such as Goldfish, pretzels or fruit snacks, that are easy to pack and don’t make a mess. Books, coloring sheets and portable electronic devices are great ways to keep kids distracted during the flight.

If you and your family are planning to take a trip soon, be sure to take the time before you go to fully prepare so that your flight is more enjoyable. For more information on family safety, helpful tips for those with kids and up-to-date medical information, check back in on the Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care blog regularly.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.