More and more we hate to fly. It seems that the airline industry has the attitude that even though we paid and are the customer they are really doing us a favor. Add young kids into that mix and it can be a disaster. I will say upfront that we much prefer to drive, even when it is a long distance; however sometimes you have to get on a plane.
We have found that there are a few things that will help make this experience better or at least bearable:
Bring new toys
I usually pack a backpack for each of my kids with things that they will like on the plane then stash in some new toys that they will be excited about. I also hold one in reserve in my carryon for an emergency.
Bring a DVD player
Even if you don’t normally let your kids watch movies or TV this might be the time to make an exception. This will cause some heartache in the security line, but it is worth it. It will provide some quiet time for you and them. It is also a great way to get them to calm down and fall asleep amid all the distractions. If they are old enough bring headphones. Pack several movies, sit back and relax.
Have drinks ready for takeoff and landing
Beverage service isn’t until well into the flight but the pressure changes on takeoff can start your flight off on the wrong note (a high pitch scream to be exact). Bringing your own drink will take the pressure off, pun intended.
If you are nursing, I highly recommend bringing a bottle. Nursing in cramped quarters with a curious baby can be a real challenge not to mention delays on the tarmac may cause you to run out of milk before the actual takeoff.
Bring an umbrella stroller and gate check it
Strollers are considered special equipment like a wheelchair or walker. This won’t count towards your carryon limits and it is invaluable!! It will help you not to throw out your back while walking to terminal B, two miles away. If your kids don’t want to sit in it throw the luggage on it and away you go.
If your child has their own seat consider bringing their car seat onboard
If they are used to sleeping in it all the better! Like in the car it will keep them safe, but it will also provide you with some wiggle free time that may save your sanity. There are a few drawbacks. One is that it is a big bulky item to lug around with you and you will already be bogged down. We highly suggest using the car seatgogo Kidz Travelmate Car Seat Stroller stroller . It will resolve most of this issue. The second is that they take up a lot of space on the plane. They don’t allow for much scooting by and they put the kids feet in the perfect location to kick the seat in front. We did find this car seat, which we love that can fold up and be placed in the overhead bin. It is called the Radian 80. The best of both worlds.
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Be active in the terminal and eat on the plane
Let your kids run around as much as possible on layovers, and don’t force them to sit and eat in the airport. Save the food for the plane. It will give them something to do onboard and they can expel some energy in the terminal instead of in the cabin.
– A few other handy tid-bits
– Bottles and formula can be carried on and are not subject to the 3.4 oz. rule like other liquids.
– Car seats & strollers can be checked free of charge and don’t count towards your baggage limits.
– Use trash bags double or triple bagged to transport your car seat.
Most importantly don’t let a few hours on a plane stop you and your family from seeing the world. It is a short time when compared with the memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Plus you if you follow these tips the actual ride may not be so bad.