Thursday, April 7, 2011
Aiplanes, Kids and Spring Break travel tips.
Flying with kids is no easy feat. My kids have been flying since they were each 4 months old. Most of our trips together, I am outnumbered….2 kids to 1 mommy. It is never easy but I can give you all a few tips to make it more manageable and sometimes even enjoyable.
Pack light….but pack what you need. It is not easy when you have a baby and toddler. That is probably the most difficult stage of mommy travel. One child actually needs you (can't get around without you) and the other one wants you and lets you know it. Babies require tons of stuff, always carry-on enough diapers in case your flight is delayed overnight. Same goes for snacks and formula (if you aren't breastfeeding.) Pack an extra change of clothes for babies and toddlers that are still in diapers or just newly potty trained. It is amazing how a kid suddenly has to use the bathroom when we are jamming down the runway or just about to land. And, they don't really need toys, just some activity books, crayons and story books.
If you know your kiddo is going to push, kick or mess with the person in front of them, offer them a drink before they even sit down. I do this for the person in front of my son. I try to stay on top of him but he is just a bit more rambunctious. When I offer them a drink, they are immediately more understanding.
Don't be afraid to bribe with a little candy. I always bring Starbursts with me when we travel.(they are the perfect candy as they take awhile to eat but are not as messy as a lollipop) I only use them if the kids are having a rough time staying in their seats or boarding the plane. "When you sit down in your seat and get buckled you will get a Starburst."
Load up your computer with their favorite movies and/or TV shows. My kids are just now able to keep their headphones on long enough to watch a movie. I have the special double jack connector so they can both watch the same movie. It works out really well, they are occupied, having fun and I can even read a book! AMAZING!
A drink for take off and landing. Some kids have a harder time with this than others. I still carry a sippy cup so that my son can suck on it during landing. It is a great way to pop their ears. If they are older, gum is a great trick as well.
If people offer to help, TAKE THEM UP ON IT! Don't try to be the hero. If they offer to carry something, hand them the car seat! It makes a big difference in the end. They wouldn't offer if they didn't want to help.
Speaking of car seats….as much as they are a pain in the ass, I just stopped putting my son in a one on flights. I waited until he REALLY understood he couldn't get up from his seat whenever he wanted to. There is too much freedom for a kid who can't sit still to be sitting in a regular seat. When they are sitting in their car seat, they know they can't get out. He graduated to a big boy seat when he was 3! That was a fun day!
We are heading out for our Spring Break next week! You never know, you might be the lucky one getting a free drink in front of Spider! Have fun, good luck and travel safe!