ABC’s of Flying with Little Ones
Traveling with children means going from one suitcase and a carry on to 4 suitcases, 3 carry-ons, multiple car seats, a pack ‘n play, and the kitchen sink (basically looking like a hot mess in the airport)! Maybe it’s your first time, maybe it’s your 5th, but flying with children will never be a walk in the park. However, in using these ABC’s, there are some things that you can do to make those stressful hours a whole lot easier!
This might seem like a given but you want to have extra time to prepare for the worst-case scenario! Starting your trip off stressed and rushed is never the best way to ensure a good forecast. Whether it be a delayed flight or forgetting something (let’s hope it’s not your child’s favorite blankey!), anything can happen, especially when traveling with kids, so it’s best to always be prepared. Arriving early to the gate can also be an added bonus if there is an early family boarding and you can be the first to ask if there are any extra seats (trust me, life saver!).
Snacks will become your best friend by the end of the flight. Something to keep them busy? Snacks. Crying? Snacks. Hungry? Snacks. Snacks that aren’t super messy and are easy clean-up will be in your favor. A few healthier options are apples, grapes, dried fruit, crackers, etc. Having a few treats and lollies on hand will come in handy too! I can say from experience that for older children, lollipops are a MUST because not only are they a yummy treat and keep the kids occupied, but they also will help their ears pop! If you are traveling with an infant, breast feeding or giving them a bottle during take-off/landing can reduce ear pressure as well.
We all know coloring books and sticker books are a guaranteed win to pass the time and give them something to do! Make sure the electronics (tablets, phones, eBooks, etc.) are charged up and ready to go because you WILL be thankful you have them. Load them up with shows, movies, books, games…really anything on a device will occupy them. If your child is a bit older, small containers of play-doh are another great entertainment idea that will keep them busy. Considering all there is to pack just for one kid, letting your child have their own little backpack is a great way to keep their stuff organised from yours (or the other kids) and make them feel important and included by giving them something to carry!
Just remember to not sweat the small things and don’t worry too much about what other people are thinking. Kids will be kids so just smile and remember that you’re always going to get bitter onlookers. Most passengers will be sympathetic and understand exactly how you’re feeling (they’ve probably already been in your shoes!). Flying with kiddos is not an easy task, but remind yourself, it’s only a few hours of chaos that will make the entire journey worth it upon arrival!