Before our most recent trip, now that she's old enough to really understand, I spent several weeks pointing out any airplane we saw and telling her we were going on one soon to see Grandma and Grandpa (and listing everyone else we'd see). This got her so pumped up and EXCITED to fly, she still gets so thrilled to hear and point out airplanes in the sky!
When I travel solo with Iris I put her in a carrier and then carry my purse/diaper bag and put my carry-on on top of my roller suitcase until I drop it off at check-in. My purse/diaper bag is always either my LilyJade in backpack carry style (I also have my eye on this pretty backpack that is smaller) or my Ivy and Fig purse ( as seen above: use code MALLORIE10OFF for a discount) carried cross body and then I only have to lug my carry on.
Yes, I am sore the next day now that Iris is 27 pounds, but it's so much easier having her securely strapped to me. Especially when going through security, you don't have to take them out of the carrier and I don't have to finagle a stroller and try to get it on the scanner belt while trying to hold my independent toddlers hand as she tries to wiggle free. Trust me, carrying everything like a pack mule is SO much easier than that mess.
Once on the flight, you have to take them out of the carrier before takeoff, which can be frustrating if you're traveling with a small baby that falls asleep in the carrier and then you have to try and take them out gently. I remember being a bit flustered the first time, but it actually worked in my favor because she woke just enough to nurse during takeoff and avoid ear popping and then went back to sleep. YAYA!
No matter their age, make sure to nurse or give them a bottle/sippy during takeoff and landing so their ears don't get painful from the pressure. I put my nursing cover on as soon as we sit down. I pull the cover, books we'll read, water wow toys (see below), and the phone for shows out of my bag before shoving it under the seat, put the cover on and the rest in the pouch in the seat ahead of me for when/if we'll need it. Then I leave it on the entire flight to nurse at takeoff and again at landing. I've tried to plan our trips around Iris' nap schedule and so far she has slept most of our flights (nothing like warm milk and a loud plane to do the trick), and she is a girl who hates to sleep and fights it hard.
Once we land, I either put her back in the carrier or let her hold my hand and walk out with me to stretch her legs. This depends on their age and the day. Only you know your child and how they're feeling that day. I've put Iris back in the carrier since she could walk a few times on days I knew she would scream if I tried to hold her hand or would try to run away. But most of the time now I let her walk so she can get her wiggles out.
On layovers we potty/change diaper, eat if we have time, refill sippy cup, and stretch/play as much as we can. Then do it all again for the next flight!
I did a quick vlog showing a few clips of what a day of travel looks like for us. I felt a bit silly recording myself since I'm not a famous youtuber or anything, but if you would like a better picture of what a day flying solo or even with both parents looks like, please let me know and I'll take more footage next trip!