The fear of flying is real for parents who may know that they are perfectly safe on a plane but may be afraid of trying to survive a flight with kids in tow. Flying with kids poses a few challenges, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Parents can make it through their next flight with very little turbulence from the kids by using these tips to prep for the trip.

Stick To the Kid’s Sleep Schedule

One of the biggest secrets to stress-free flights with kids is to make sure they stay well-rested. Try to avoid scheduling the flight to occur during nap time. Parents also want to keep their kid’s sleeping habits in mind. Some kids do better on late-night flights where they just sleep through it. Others will be too excited to sleep, which makes them cranky.

Bring a Comfort Object

Space in a carry-on bag may be a precious commodity, but it might be worth clearing some room for a few extra items for the kids. A familiar object, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, can be soothing to a kid who needs to sleep or gets anxious. Pulling it out of the bag makes parents look like a hero to their kids, and they’ll feel safer with something they love to hold.

Strategize Snacks

Snacks serve as a distraction and help to fill tummies up so that kids don’t get cranky from hunger. As parents plan snacks, they can think about ones that take a long time to eat. Picking up small pieces of cereal from a tray is fun for toddlers, and their snack can take up a big chunk of the flight.

Encourage Them to Move Around

Sure, parents don’t want to let their kids run wild through the airport, but it might be worth letting them explore a bit before they board the flight. Once everyone’s on the plane, feel free to do some walking up and down the aisles as soon as everyone can remove their seatbelts. Most people will know why the kids are walking around, and they’ll honestly prefer to see them smiling.

Kids naturally want to behave, and even toddlers can manage to sit in their seats and enjoy the ride when they are comfortable. With a little practice, parents will quickly find that their family starts to prefer flying to their favorite travel destinations over other travel options. Once they’ve got flying down, being able to get to their destination faster and well-rested makes it worth doing a little prep work beforehand.