16 tips to survive a plane trip with children

Traveling with children can be challenging, as all parents know. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress and nerves. Get your family to travel without incident by following these tips.

1. Book online. Instead of dragging the kids to a travel agency where they are bound to get bored while you review your options with the agency, check online travel websites. You can spend as much time as you need once the kids are in bed or while they are at school.

2. Reserve everything in advance. That means arranging and paying for not only the plane tickets, but also the hotel and the car. When you arrive at your destination, you won’t have to drive around trying to find a vacancy, just pick up your car and go directly to your hotel. You can even take a virtual tour of many hotels online.

3. Be prepared. Bring toys and things to keep your children busy on the plane. For older children, surprise them with a fun travel game, a new Game Boy cartridge, or a coloring book. If the flight is going to be particularly long, buy several treats beforehand and stow them in your carry-on, pulling out a new item when the kids get bored and whining.

4. Build anticipation. For children from 2 to 10 years old, you can develop the idea of ​​​​flying, especially if they have not been on a plane before. Educate yourself about the type of plane you’ll be flying and talk often about how exciting it will be before you leave.

5. Pack of snacks. Sure, airlines offer snacks, but some companies are cutting back on treats like peanuts (which aren’t appropriate for children under 2 anyway) and cookies. To make sure your child doesn’t sulk waiting for his meal, bring him Cheerios or a sandwich.

6. Separated brothers. If your children tend to fight, it might be a good idea to sit between them! This keeps them from fighting for elbow room at the very least and keeps them at arms length so they can’t bump into each other. Change seats mid-flight if a window seat is involved to avoid problems.

7. Play music. Bring an iPod or Walkman for each child so they can listen to music. It helps calm the nerves and keeps them busy for a long time!

8. Layer of clothing. When flying from one hemisphere to another, there are weather changes to be aware of. If you’re coming out of a warm climate but landing somewhere colder, remember to bring sweaters for everyone on the plane. They won’t help you if you have them all stuffed in your suitcases. And, if you’re landing somewhere warmer, remember to wear light clothing under your winter gear.

9. Hold on to them. In a crowded airport, it is very easy to lose a little one. Even if you lose sight of your toddler for a few seconds, he will have a heart attack and it is best to avoid the situation. All children under the age of 10 must be required to physically touch a parent at all times. If you are of mixed ages, you can assign the older children to be responsible and hold the hands of the younger ones. This might also be a good time to purchase a child harness for use on younger children who have a tendency to stray.

10. Stay hydrated. On airplanes it is very common to become dehydrated since the air is recycled and dry. To avoid this, make sure you drink plenty of water and that your children do too. This is particularly important for lactating mothers.

11. Take medications with you. Never leave medications in your bags, they could get lost and trying to get another prescription can be a real hassle when you are miles from home. Even over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrups and pain relievers, must be carried in carry-on luggage; The last thing you want to do when you arrive is reach for Benadryl.

12. Fly at night. When you’re traveling with a baby, it’s often a good idea to take an overnight flight so that the child sleeps through the entire flight. This can work for older kids too!

13. Keep the kids busy. Bring paper and crayons so they can make cards and pictures for their loved ones. These make great gifts if you are staying with family or friends. If not, it can be the start of a drawn travel journal to share with friends when they return.

14. Make it an adventure. Look through the windows at the clouds and see what you see, animals, castles, etc. What would your children do if they lived high up in the clouds? Ask the flight attendant if her children can visit the cabin to see the plane being flown, and ask them to tell you everything when they return. Most long flights are perfectly willing to have children visit the pilots for a couple of minutes once they have reached cruising altitude.

15. Play. There are plenty of travel games that can be adapted to airplanes. Word games are best for this, they can keep quite quiet and distract children. Memory games keep children so busy trying to remember the order of items that they forget to fight or wriggle.

16. Take turns. If you are traveling with your spouse or another adult, it is a good idea to take turns with the children. While one adult stays with them in the waiting room, playing a game, the other can go pick up tickets and make other arrangements. The same goes for the collection of your luggage and the search for the rental car.

Air travel doesn’t have to be a nightmare, if you plan ahead. You know better what your children like to do and what kind of things will distract them, these should be their surprises. For example, if you know your child loves the I Spy books, get him a new one to look at on the plane. And if your daughter is dying to get the latest boy band CD, surprise her once she gets off the ground.

Remember, keep things fun and safe and everything will be much better for you and your family.

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