Preparing Your Child For a First Airplane Ride: Books and Videos

Our kids have difficulty with transitions and when they’re stressed have pretty big emotions.

Preparing your child (and yourself!) for their first airplane ride can help the whole experience go more smoothly.

Simply by picking 1 book and 1 video out ahead of time to preview what’s coming cuts way down on stress for the kids and us. We also used these when we traveled to adopt our son.

Here are our favorite resources:

Table of contents


Best book: The Airport Book by Lisa Brown.

We’ve read a lot of picture books on airplanes and flights, and this is by far our favorite. It is funny, but more importantly it explains all aspects of going through the airport and boarding and being on the flight clearly and accurately. We found it at our local library and have checked it out so many times. It would also be well worth owning and even taking on an international adoption trip to help prepare a child for that first long flight.


Other books we enjoy about air travel (click on the picture for more info):



Going through security is still sometimes stressful for our kids, even though we fly often. They hate that moment when they have to walk through the scanner by themselves. We saved this video on our iPad and our kids still love to watch it before taking a flight, we always talk about “stop, screen, go” on our way to security.

When we were traveling home after adopting our son, we also showed him videos of what the specific airplane would probably look like. There is so much content on youtube, it is fairly easy to find any airline. Or when we flew on the Hello Kitty plane last January, we watched a few videos to set everyone’s expectations

Just search for your airline to find something similar!

We’ll be posting some longer lists soon of how grown-ups can prepare for flights, too, with lots of tips on what to pack!

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