Hey Dandelion Wishes Fans and Followers. This is Sara with a few tips on Summer Traveling with Children.
Kids are usually super excited about taking a trip in an airplane. They imagine how it will feel to soar so high up in sky and then of course how much fun they’ll have at Disney World or Grandma’s house—or whatever your destination may be. As parents, we know the reality of flying with young children can be less than idyllic—it can actually be a nightmare.
While flying with young children is always going to be stressful, preparation is the trick to making it smooth and pleasant. If you are flying with children, taking the time to prepare well in advance is well worth it!
First, if you are traveling with children, checking your bags is a must. Trust me, it’s worth the money. Lugging around luggage and dealing with kids at the same time is a sure fire recipe for disaster. Instead, select a manageable carry on and fill it with essentials:
Food and snacks. Look for snacks that are not sticky or messy and don’t require refrigeration or preparation. Goldfish, granola bars and dry cereal are good options. Remember to avoid sugar and caffeine. Be sure to bring empty sippy cups for younger children that you can fill in the airport or on the plane.
Entertainment. Your child will probably love looking out the window for a while—but will become quickly bored. Portable game systems like a DSi or iPod iTouch can be life savers—but make sure they are charged! Activity books, word searches, and coloring books can keep kids well occupied. You might also consider selecting an airline that has televisions—but remember, there will be a good portion of the flight at the beginning and end where there will be no service and you’ll need to entertain them.
Tools of the trade. You know the list—baby wipes, extra set of clothes, blanket, children’s medications—maybe a small lovey to bring some comfort. Also, bring some gum or hard candies for your children during take-off and landing so their ears don’t hurt. Remember, airports and airplanes have minimal supplies (at very high prices!) for parents so be sure to come prepared.
Make sure to prepare your kids for what they’ll experience checking in, going through security and on the plane. Having discussed this several times ahead of time will make them more comfortable and compliant. If necessary, remind your kids not to joke about bombs, weapons or terrorists. Tell them what behavior is appropriate for flying like indoor voices, keeping our feet and hands to ourselves, saying “please” and “thank you,” and not kicking the seat in front of us. Here are some good tips on how to reassure your kids about how safe flying is.
When you get to the airport, the last thing you need is to be lost or confused. Get Airport information data well in advance and plan for parking and how you will get to the terminals. Be sure to review the airport security information to avoid taking any prohibited items.
Remember, your children are going to take cues from your mood so it’s important not to be frantic and frazzled at the airport and on the plane. If you are prepared you’ll be more focused, calm and in control—and so will your children. Don’t leave preparations for the night before—you need a good night’s sleep to be at your best. If you can, grab one of these Massage Envy coupons and take some time for yourself the day before your trip so you can be as relaxed as possible.
Like most things with kids, preparation is key!