The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard is that plane travel is a finite amount of time. Even if it’s the worst flight ever (motion sickness! Endless crying!), it ends when the plane touches down and then you never need to see any of the passengers ever again.
Here are some of our tried and true methods. Please add your own in our comment section below:
- Dress your children in layers. Planes often start off very hot and veer to cold during the flight. Make sure to bring zip up sweatshirts to make it easy to take it on and off during the flight.
- Bring a change of clothes for everyone flying (parents included). You never know who is going to spill and when.
- Separate activities and hand them out one at a time. Coloring books, stickers, matchbox cars, play dough, legos. Keep each project in a Ziploc bag and easily accessible.
- Don’t bring anything on the plane that you would care about losing. Most of the projects that make it on the plane, don’t make it off.
- Visit a dollar store. Wrap up the toys you’ve bought. Unwrapping is a whole new activity to do on the plane.
- There is some debate about the best time to board a plane with kids. Some prefer the proboard option allowing time to settle in before the flight. Others opt to board at the last minute possible keeping the kids free to run around the airport and not remain confined to the plane earlier than necessary. A great compromise? Have one parent board the plane with the carry-ons to settle in. Let the other parent board with the kids at the ending of boarding.
- Load up your iPod with books on tape or fun music. Make sure to bring headphones that fit your kid.
- Aim for snacks that don’t get little hands too sticky – look towards crackers, cookies, veggies and chips as opposed to lollypops, jelly beans and fruit roll-ups.
- Even in times where liquids are severely limited on planes, make sure you have liquid Tylenol in your bag.