Why kids who fly need their own email addresses
In an increasingly connected world, it's important that your kids have their own email addresses. This is especially the case if they fly. More often than not, in order to establish a frequent flyer account for your child, you need to use an email address that is distinct from your own. Each account needs an identifying email address and sharing one just won't cut it in these instances.
Even if you just travel once or twice a year as a family, there's no reason to let those frequent flyer miles go to waste. But, if your child doesn't have a frequent flyer account, it's a no-go. If you don't have an account, there's no way to earn miles. Kids may also need their own email addresses for establishing a relationship with Homeland Security's Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, Nexus or Sentri).
While you may not actually give your kids access to their own email address until they hit a certain age, you'll likely still need to create and manage one on their behalf -- even when they are just infants, toddlers or tweens. Here's some advice on how to do just that.
Use this Gmail tip to quickly setup email addresses for your kids
TPG editor-at-large Zach Honig shared some fantastic advice about using this simple Gmail trick to create a new email address. The beautiful part here is that the emails directed to this new address will actually be delivered to your Gmail inbox. And, this method is free. This is the perfect scenario for a parent that's setting up and managing email accounts for the sole purpose of managing their children's loyalty accounts.
Anyone with an existing Gmail address can use this technique. Say your email address is email@example.com and your kids are Amy, Todd and Sara. You would use the following Gmail addresses when setting up their loyalty accounts:
Whenever someone sends an email to any of the above addresses, it will appear in the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. This is awesome because you don't have to even bother setting up or registering any new email accounts. You're just sharing your inbox with your kids. This trick allows you a super easy way to get young ones signed up for loyalty programs with the added benefit of easy management on your part.
Or create a "real" Gmail email account
If you'd prefer, you can also create a real individual Gmail account for any of your kids who are under 13. Parents can manage these accounts with Google's Family Link parental control software. You can choose to keep these accounts to yourself or give your kids access. If you do, you can set up access to the specific Google products you'll allow them to access (like search, Chrome, Gmail, etc.).
Yahoo used to offer a similar service through Yahoo Family Account but it is not currently supporting the creation of new accounts.
Other email options for kids
If you want to create individual email addresses for your kids but don't want to use Gmail, there are other free and paid services that specifically cater to families. Take a look at offerings from:
- ZillaMail -- offers both a basic free service and a paid option ($1.95/month or $14.95 annually)
- KidsEmail -- free 30-day trial and then $4.95/month or $38.95 annually
- ZooBuh -- free 30-day trial and then $1/month
- Tocomail -- one-week free trial and then $2.99/month or $29.99 annually
Don't let an email address be the barrier to starting your kids' loyalty accounts. Setup an email address and then register your kids for their own frequent flyer accounts. You'll be glad you did when they earn enough miles for a free flight!
What solution do you use for managing email accounts for your family's loyalty accounts?
Looking for more family travel advice? Here are some resources: