No matter how great it is to have time away with your family, the “getting there” part can sometimes (most of the time) almost be more trouble than it’s worth. Throw in a confined metal tube where other people are forced to be in close proximity with your wailing offspring, and you’ve got nightmare fodder.
But not anymore. Because here are some tips and tricks for making the ride enjoyable with littles.
#5. Explain things ahead of time.
If your kids are old enough to understand concepts that extend beyond the next five minutes, first of all, I’m jealous. Second, try letting them know that even though airplane rides can be hard for everyone, the end result of your exciting vacation will be worth it – and much more enjoyable if you didn’t spend the entire flight correcting their bad behavior.
#4. Be prepared for lines.
Lines to check in, lines to board, lines to wait for your luggage – remember those games your parents used to play with you in the car to stave off boredom (before handheld electronics)? Try busting them out here, or different variations like “guess which plane will land next” or “guess where this or that passenger is headed?”
#3. Pack a bag of things to distract them when ants invade their pants.
It will happen. Throw in a bottle of water, one food item, coloring book, Play-Doh, stickers, whatever they like to do. But here’s the important part: you control the sack. They get one thing at a time and they have to play with it for at least 10 minutes. Otherwise, you know what will happen – everything will be dumped out, picked through, and discarded before the drink cart makes its way to your seat.
#2. Pack some medications.
This is especially important if you’re on a long flight, but attendants are not allowed to share medication of any kind. Toss in some Motrin, bandaids, diaper rash cream, cough drops, and the like so you’re not caught unawares.
#1. If all else fails, bust out the iPad.
It’s not the way our parents did it and it’s probably not ideal for your child’s development, but neither is you and everyone else on the plane wanting to leap to their inevitable death because your kid can’t keep it together. Technology is available and I, for one, say take advantage.
I don’t know about you, but I’m almost looking forward to our next trip. Almost.