I must say, I’ve gone on quite a few long airplane flights with kids and ever time I feel like I master it a little more. And I’ve done it mostly alone. Seth flew out with us, and since we wanted to stay a little longer I’m flying alone with the kids. I’ll see if I can keep this up with a third child. Here are a few travel ideas that have been successful for us. And let me know any of your tips–the more the helpful.
- After checking in luggage, ask the airline counter attendant if you can have a family member escort you to your gate. My dad always comes through the gate with me and helps me so I can do last minute diaper/bathroom runs.
- Make sure you bring your child’s favorite blanket, stuffed animal or toy.
- Pack more diapers than usual–same with wipes. Also a plastic bag for soiled clothes.
- Extra change of clothes or PJ’s if you are expecting them to sleep on the plane.
- Empty sippy cup or bottle (buy milk, water and juice boxes inside the airport). Plastic utensils.
- Portable DVD player with headphones and a selection of good videos. I also buy a new video for them to enjoy.
- MP3 player loaded with their favorite songs. Kids can usually pick up how to work an iPod.
- Purel or any kind of hand-sanitizer.
- Make sure kids are fed–nothing makes children grumpier than being hungry. I always pick up something in the airport or try to pack food.
- Snacks and lots of them. I usually try to pack every type of snack they usually eat–in addition I pack freeze-dried fruit, trail mix, oatmeal packets (get hot water on board).
- Candy–some parents might disagree with me because of the sugar high, but this is a huge treat for my kids since they usually don’t eat it. And once they know they’ll get candy they are responsive to my requests. Lollipops or gum are good for air pressure. Beforehand, I take Starburst and cut them in fours so they are easier to chew. Skittles or jelly beans are usually thrown in the bag.
- Beforehand, I buy a new small toy for each child and present it to them once we are in the air. It keeps them busy for quite some time. This time I bought Lucas one of the Matchbox travel pop-up car boxes with new cars–he was in heaven and seriously played with it for hours.
- Books, coloring books, playing cards, crayons, mess-free markers with pad, stickers with blank paper pad and play dough are always thrown in the bag. Stella loves playing with her vinyl stickers dress-up princess book.