Kids on a Plane
As any parent will tell you, travelling with children is never boring. To help prepare you for your March Break travels, we’ve put together 10 tips to keep you, your children, and the rest of your travelling companions happy and calm.
1. Pack a Carry-On Bag for Each Child
Pack a carry-on bag for each child. If your kids are old enough, get them each a rolling back pack, to carry whatever will keep them occupied and entertained on-board.
2. Plan for On-Board Snacks
What you put in those carry-on bags depends upon each child’s age and preferences. Bring yummy snacks, which will undoubtedly be healthier choices than anything you can purchase at the airport. Pack extra (tetra-pack drinks too) for unexpected delays or if you get stuck on the tarmac.
3. In Case of Emergency
Stuff happens. Kids can spill juice or food, or just get sick. Pack extra clothing stored in plastic zip-lock bags (to help with the soiled clothing). A pack of wipes always comes in handy.
4. Plan for On-Board Entertainment
Portable electronic items seem to be the most popular choice for on-board entertainment. Travel with your iPad, portable DVD player, or hand-held games. Electronics are effective if you use them wisely, and in moderation. And they are a must on long plane rides. Charge your gadgets ahead of time!
5. Plan a Few Surprises
Plan a few surprises for when the kids get fidgety. Pull out a new DVD or video game, puzzle book, or card game. Whatever will make them smile!
6. Prepare Your Children for Air Travel
Describe what will happen at the airport, the security screening process, the boarding process, and the need to obey on-board seatbelt instructions. Explain the importance of respecting all passengers on board (noise, kicking seats, etc.) Teach your children about airplane etiquette. Practice at home, it you need to. Let them know they will discover many fascinating things. The plane, the clouds, etc., can be a great educational experience!
7. Consider Seating Carefully
Sitting at the back ensures you won’t disturb other passengers if you need to get up for restroom breaks or if things get a little noisy. If that’s not possible, get seats towards the front of the plane, so you can make a quick exit upon landing.
8. Restroom Breaks
Have the kids go to the washroom before boarding the plane. You never know how long seatbelt lights will stay on.
9. Make Friends with the Flight Attendants and Other Passengers
Start smiling at people as soon as you get on the plane. Get yourselves seated as efficiently as possible and help others where appropriate. You never know when you might really need the the assistance of those around you.
10. Protect Those Ears
As the plane changes altitude, pressure builds up and ears start to pop. Ease ear pain. Bring lollipops for takeoff and landing. Drinking water from a sippy cup or cup with a straw may help. Try silicone ear plugs that can also relieve pressure. Offer chewing gum or gummy vitamins to children.
Enjoy the ride. Remember that your airplane ride is part of your vacation!