Once upon a time, before a flight to Florida for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party, my mom reminded me to pack a few snacks for the flight. Good advice, right?
At the time, it is important to know that I happened to be in my 30s, was traveling with a 3 year old, a 1 year old and I was pregnant with #3. Thank you for the reminder Mom, but food was nearly the only thing in my backpack on that trip.
And since summer is the season for family travel, we just booked airplane tickets for annual trip to Oregon to visit my parents. We can’t wait, but traveling with kids, whether a road trip or a flight can be daunting.
We’ve had a few adventures over the years and here are a few of the travel tips we have to share:
-Before your trip, visit the dollar store and pick up a few junky toys to wrap up with pretty bows and ribbons. If you put lots of tape around the present, it will take 8 minutes to open. And then add more tape.
-When in the airport, let the kids run. We find an empty corner of a terminal and let them go crazy. Climb over chairs, run around the pillars, whatever, just don’t let them sit down. Yes, we are ‘those people,’ but the goal is to board the plane with tired kids who are happy to be sitting in their seats.
-If your child spills a cup of apple juice all over the seat, tell the flight attendants. They actually have extra seat bottoms so they can change it out for you.
-Bring sippy cups and the flight attendants can fill them with juice or ice water instead of trying to manage open cups on a wobbly tray during turbulence.
-Pack a change of clothes for everyone in the carry-on for apple juice incidents (or worse).
-If your child has diarrhea on the moving sidewalk, it is appropriate to hit the emergency stop button so the puddle of poo doesn’t get sucked through the grate at the end and go around and around.
-Crocs only hold so much of the big D. The Crocs with holes hold less.
-Never sit on moving sidewalks. Especially the one in the Portland, Ore. airport.
-Once on the plane, have the kids take off their shoes. They will be less likely to kick the seat in front of them wearing only their socks.
-Sometimes kids have trouble with the pressure in their ears on the plane and sucking or chewing on something can help. Suckers, pacifiers or gum work well.
-For kids that are newly potty trained. Just put them back in a diaper for the day. They don’t have to use it, but if the plane is in the middle of take-off, or the seatbelt light is on, or there is a line…
-If your kids are acting up on the plane, do you best camp counselor song and dance stuff to keep them entertained, but then remember, “You will never see any of the other people on the airplane again in your whole entire life.”
-And most importantly, from one of the wisest women I know, “Bring snacks!”