Fretless Flying With Children

By  April 01, 2013

It’s Spring Break, and we are also quickly approaching vacation season as well. I know, it seems like winter is going to last forever in some parts of this country, but truth be told – summer isn’t that far away.

We recently took our two preschoolers (3 and 4) on their first airplane ride which caused me some preparation anxieties. You should know that our son (4) has always asked to fly but doesn’t usually do well with new experiences and unknowns, so we had cause to be concerned about how our trip was going to go. I wanted to make sure that I was prepared as a parent and a passenger as we took that trip.

Here is the magical airplane backpack we prepared including some helpful tips that readers and friends shared for making that experience as positive as possible.

  1. Water Bottle with a Straw – We packed these empty (remember no liquids through security) so that we would have them on the plane. This way I made sure that there were no spills on myself, my child or nearby passengers. The ones with straws help as sucking on a straw during take-off and landing is known to help with the pressure in little ears.
  2. Activity Books – We packed sticker books, dot-to-dot books, coloring books and new search and find and reference books that were new to our children. The sticker books themed around our vacation were great because we could talk about our experiences to come as we traveled.
  3. Electronic Devices – whether it be a gaming device, tablet or phone, it WILL come in handy. We loaded older phones we had with games, videos and songs that our children loved and would entertain them. They also served as comfort items when things got a little hectic.
  4. Ear Phones – You want to try to minimize disturbing those around you.
  5. Comfort Item – My kids have lots of comfort items but allowing them to choose one that they could keep close in times of anxiety seemed to really help as we traveled.
  6. A Change of Clothes in a Plastic Bag – even the most well-trained child can get caught in an unusual situation. Having a pair of pants, socks, shirts and underwear ready in case of a spill or toilet accident proved to be invaluable.
  7. Crayons – to go with those activity books you brought along and to ensure you have writing utensils where ever you go.
  8. Snacks – just a few in case of restlessness or delayed flights. We were once on a flight that was delayed and re-routed resulting in a an eight hour ordeal (that was suppose to be two) with a woman who had two small children and very little snacks at her disposal. Through this, there were no open terminals with vending machines or food vendors open. Don’t be caught without snacks or some sort of food for your child while traveling, it just gets ugly.

I hope this helps you on your next vacation.

Tricia is Founder of Once A Month Mom, a freezer cooking website dedicated to helping families lift the burden of meal planning and preparation by providing monthly menus using seasonal recipes to create ready-to-heat and serve meals. In four years she has grown this website at an aggressive pace helping hundreds of thousands of families the world over serve dinner without all the fuss. She has also authored two ebooks, Survive Before 5: Toddler Meals for Busy Your Busy Days and Holiday eCookbook 2010. She lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband and two young children where she they love exploring new foods and escaping to any and all warm places.