Flying with your Kids
How to Keep Your Sanity, Part III
You survived preparation and you kept them occupied at the gate. Now comes the most challenging time, keeping them occupied on the plane. In parts 1 and 2 of my series I talked about how I get the look of “you better keep those kids quiet on this flight or I am not going to be happy” and how to keep them occupied at the airport terminal. But each time we fly, we get complimented on how well behaved our children were on the flight.
I know it is not easy flying with kids, but I want to give you some tips that may help you get those same compliments on your next flight.
- Don’t rush to board the plane. The sooner you get on the plane the sooner the kids start to ask when is the plane leaving. If it is a large flight and you have per-arranged seating, then take your time boarding.
- Talk to the flight attendants as you step foot on the plane. There is always at least one flight attendant there to welcome you, ask them how their day is going or if this is their first or last flight of the day. My husband always makes good with the flight attendant so if we ever need anything, they are much quicker to respond to us.
- Make sure you have everything you need in the bag you are going to put under the chair in front of you. You can easily get to the bag under the chair but not the one in the overhead bin.
- Let the kids sit where they want to. Even if you have assigned seating and you are assigned the window but they want it, give it to them. If you have two or more kids that want the window seat, then tell them that each of them will have the seat for a certain amount of time.
- Wipe down the tray tables, arm rests, and seat belts with antibacterial wipes. Once the kids start asking for their toys, you will feel better giving it to them to play with on a clean surface.
Tips for keeping the kids occupied:
- Get out those window clings I talked about in Part 2 of this series. While waiting for everyone else to board the plane and/or during take-off they can decorate the window and the underside of the tray table.
- Books are always a good thing to have on the flight. I personally find that small coloring books, sticker books, and/or wipe-down books are fun for the kids and keeps them occupied for some time.
- Yes, I dare say it… SMART TABLET! Before you leave your house, load movies onto their or your smart tablet. Nowadays, when you purchase a DVD of a movie you sometimes get the Digital HD version too. Download them so the kids have a movie or two to watch. You can also download some of their favorite games to play, but just make sure that they won’t need WiFi to play them.
- When the flight attendants bring drinks, this is usually a good time to give the kids their favorite snack. Even though they may have eaten a meal at the airport, giving them a snack helps keep their energy up and you won’t have that hunger meltdown during landing.
- If your child is still using a binky or pacifiers make sure you bring plenty along. This helps to keep them calm, and it will also help with their ears for altitude changes. I find that my children fall asleep with having their binky and the gentle sway of the airplane. This makes me happy because now I have time to relax and take in a movie too.
- Bring a small blanket and pillow. We have a small blow-up pillow that helps the kids get more comfortable in the seat. They like the sense of cozy with a blanket around them.
- Get out their favorite toy. At some point during the flight they may get antsy and start to kick the seat in front of them. A good way to keep your child from kicking the seat in front of them is by putting their favorite toy in the pocket in front of them. They will think you are being silly by putting it there but if I tell my child that her toy needs to be secured in a seat, just as she is, and that the pocket is her toy’s seat, there are no questions. This eliminates kicking the seat and an angry person in that seat.
I hope some of these tips will help you and your family the next time you fly with your little ones, and as always…Life is Better Traveling with SAFE TRAVELS!