It’s summer, your kids are out of school and it’s time for vacation! Traveling six hours on a plane with a 2, 5 and 7 year old doesn’t exactly sound like the vacation you were hoping for, does it? These tips and tricks will help you, your child and the passengers around you have a more comfortable and enjoyable flight.
Tip 1: Nap time. Schedule flights to coincide with your little ones nap time (if they still take naps). Sometimes it’s hard for kids to sleep on a plane because it’s an unfamiliar environment. If this is the case there is always Tired Teddies to help them fall asleep
Tip 2: Take a breath. I know, I know. How can you possibly relax when you’re trying to carry all of your luggage, plus your kids’ luggage and maybe even a baby!? Just take your time; the person behind you might just have to wait an extra minute for you to gather up everything. Once on the plane and situated don’t start stressing about the baby possibly crying or what the man next to you is thinking. If he wanted a completely silent plane ride, with no kids then he should have dished out the extra $300 bucks to fly first class. The point is don’t sweat the small stuff. Rarely does everything go as planned.
Tip 3: Bag it! Literally bag it. Have your child carry a little backpack with all of their essentials they will need on the trip. Inside the backpack have each activity in different ziplocs i.e cars in one, crayons in another, treats in another etc. This will make everything easily accessible instead of having to rummage through a bunch of loose items. The baggies may come in handy later if one of your little ones starts feeling sick on the plane ride.
Tip 4: Get prepared! Describe what it will be like going through the airport. Explain that at one point they will have to let go of their belongings for a few minutes and send them through a machine. Telling them in advance will hopefully prevent any crying, whining or tantrums when they have to let go of Mr. Teddy.
Tip 5: Play on! Once you’re through security and the two-hour wait for your flight begins, let your kids be kids. They are going to be sitting for a very long time so have them get their energy out. Find an empty terminal where they can run around and play. Better yet if the airport has a play area, make sure to hit that up before you take off! This is good for two reasons: they won’t be as antsy on the plane and they will be tired and hopefully nap while in route.
Tip 6: Get innovative. Once on the plane, entertain your kids with what’s around them. Kids can be entertained with just about anything. Have them look through the magazines at their seat and have them find certain items. Play the alphabet game. Point out cool features on the plane. Play “20 Questions” or “I Spy.” Do everything possible to prolong them from playing with the toys you brought. You don’t want them to play with all their toys before you even take off.
Tip 7: Maximize toy time. When it does come time to bring the toys out, do it in intervals. Don’t let your child bring everything out at once. If you pace it then you will get maximum playtime for one toy.
Tip 8: Surprise your kids! Buy cheap, quiet and entertaining toys to surprise your child with on the plane. A new toy is bound to keep your little one distracted. Wrap it up so it’s even more exciting for them.
Tip 9: What media limit? Now is not the time to tell your kids that they can’t watch the little TV that is just their size. You don’t have to let them watch TV the whole plane ride, but if it’s going to keep them happy and well behaved then why not use it. Same goes for tablets, smartphones, computers, etc. Try using all your other entertainment options before turning to media. In the end I promise your child will not melt from watching some movies or playing Angry Birds to help them (and everyone else) enjoy the plane ride.
Tip 10: Praise them. Tell your kids how good they did on the plane ride. It’s okay if they had a 5 minute tantrum on a play ride that lasted 6 hours. The idea behind this is if they have good feelings associated with plane rides hopefully they will fly well the next time.
Visit again soon to see cool items every traveling parent needs!
For more tips on traveling check out this blog where parents like you give their advice.
Image 1: arztsamui/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image 3: Google image label for reuse search
Image 4: rain0975 /Flickr
Image 5: Juhan Sonin/flickr