Article Summary:Nine tips for easier air travel with your toddler or children.
Your bags are packed, the flight is booked, and you don't have a clue about how you are going to keep your child happy for the next eight hours of travel. Here are a few tips to make your next trip a dream, not a nightmare:
Snacks! Most airlines have cut back to a limited amount of food service on flights under three hours. Bring along your child's favorite snacks. Grapes, for example, help rehydrate during flight and are a non-messy alternative to juice boxes that can spill.
Games! Even the littlest member of your family will have fun playing Go-Fish or an abbreviated form of Memory. Remember not to bring games with a lot of complicated parts. Otherwise, you may spend your entire flight chasing the dice down the aisle.
Gifts! When my daughter was seventeen months old, I took four airplanes and managed sixteen hours of travel by using this trick. Go to a drugstore and purchase inexpensive items (a small figurine, crayons, etc.) For every hour in the air, pull out a wrapped "gift" that the child can open. It will keep him busy for a while and will give him something to which he could look forward.
Books! Bring along your child's favorite books and have a story hour. Neighboring children might join in the fun!
DVDs! Some airlines have only one feature film that may not interest your child. Check out if your airline offers in-flight portable DVD rentals. The cost is roughly $20 and may be very well spent.
Backpacks! Every child likes to have her own suitcase. Fill the child's backpack with a new activity book, crayons, playing cards, and a new spiral notebook. Older children may enjoy writing down their travel experiences as they go.
Lights! Smaller children may have a hard time sleeping on the airplane. Keep the overhead lights around you off to minimize distractions during naptime.
Camera! Give your older child a disposable camera. She can document her trip in pictures, and you'll have a great memory, too!
Action! Don't forget your paper tickets and passports if you are flying internationally. Most airlines do not accept e-tickets if flying abroad, and replacement tickets at the counter can be costly.
Have a safe and fun trip!
Christine Louise Hohlbaum is the author of several books, including a turn-key marketing program, The Author's Companion: A Self-Guided Course on Book Promotion. She has been published in over 120 publications and offers affordable PR consulting for authors. www.authors companion.com.