With the holidays coming up, that means lots of travel for families, so I wanted to share my top 5 tips for traveling on an airplane with my kids. Hopefully these will help make your flight a little smoother 🙂
Tip One: Amazon Kindle
One Word: Kindle. Yes – I give my kid’s electronics on any flight and I am not sorry about it! I will do anything for an enjoyable flight, and man do these bad boys keep them occupied! We bought the Amazon Fire Kindles last year for the kids for Christmas and every since then, we don’t need much else. What is great about the Amazon Kindle versus the iPad is they are only $89 (much cheaper!) and they come with a no questions replacement warranty. So if Easton threw his against the wall and the screen cracks, we could get a replacement. For my crazy kids, this is what sold me. I have gone through 3 phones because Easton keeps cracking them. Not anymore!
I also love the kindle for all the Amazon games and apps you can download, all the important parental controls, and how each of them gets their own customized screen. Don’t forget to pack earphones for your kids too or else you will annoy your kids with the sound having to stay off.
Now that my kids love movies and games, these things make flying a breeze! Easton started really uses his around the age of 2.
Tip Two: Bring a Sippy Cup or Thermos
Even though you can’t bring any liquids through security, I still bring an empty sippy cup for Easton or thermos for Emmie. Why? Because I have had on too many drinks spilt on me on the flight, and I don’t recommend it. I haven’t met an airline yet that offers lids for their plastic cups, so when the kids order their drinks during the flight, I pour them into their sippy cups to prevent spillage. Trust me, those trays are tiny and these toddlers arms just move quickly… no lid=disaster.
Tip Three: Pack their own Backpack
Each kid gets to bring their own backpack on board, and they get to fill it with whatever they want, and I mean whatever. I let them do the packing the night before as gets them excited about the trip – and it can get interesting! One time Emmie brought on a play banana and a party hat. Not sure why, but it was her decision J I do help guide them to make sure there is enough to keep them entertained should their Kindle die, or they want to do something else.
For our 6 year old, it normally includes some crayons and coloring books, a book to read, some dolls, and her shopkins. For our 2 year old son, he brings a batman toy, a slinky, his pretend work tools (screwdriver, saw) and some play dough.
On short flights, we rarely make it into the backpack for the other goodies as they are consumed by their Kindles. But on flights longer than 2 hours, they definitely make use of their other toys.
Tip Four: Snack Attack
I ALWAYS bring food onto an airplane. Snacks not only keep them busy as they are occupied while eating, but it helps prevent a hangry toddler from showing up. I always carrying at least two to three different kinds on, to give them options and to allow for a buffer in case we are delayed.
I also try to make on these snacks a heartier option, like something that could pass for a meal. Ususally, this is a to go peanut butter cup with some Ritz crackers in a bag. One time when we got delayed we had a super short connection around dinner time, so my plan of getting them dinner on our layover fell through. That’s where the peanut butter came in – it was a decent substitute for dinner on the plane.
Also, having a little candy on hand for bribery doesn’t hurt either 🙂
Tip Five: Bring everything you need to survive for a night
Kids are particular, and it is not the easiest to shop on the spot for them if you get stuck. For this reason, if you are checking your bags I still always recommend bringing one carry on bag on board with everything you would need for one night. Think pajamas, underwear, change of clothes, tooth brush and snacks. For toddlers, don’t forget diapers, diaper rash cream, pacifiers and their ‘lovey’ toy that they can’t sleep without.
Unfortunately, this has happened to me TWICE believe it or not. One time we got stuck in Chicago as we missed our connection and there were no other flights out that night. Most of our bags were checked, but my roller board had the diapers, pajamas, paci’s, noise machine and books in it that we needed to avoid having to stop anywhere that night. We were able to go straight to the hotel, grab some z’s and catch the flight home the next day. Believe me, I was so over traveling that day and was very thankful I didn’t have to go shopping for diapers at 11pm.
Flying with kids doesn’t have to be hard. Now, it doesn’t even phase me anymore since my kids have gotten so easy. A movie to watch, some snacks, a few toys and you are golden! My final tip will be don’t forget about you! My last flight I forgot to download me a movie or bring a book, and man was I bored! Take advantage of the time they are watching a movie and watch one too! Happy travels!!