My family recently went on a trip to New York City to visit my parents. We spent months planning what sights we would see and where we would eat, and then the realization sunk in: we were also going to be on an airplane for 4 hours with a 4 year old and a 10 month old! We franticly began researching ways to keep our kids calm, and our fellow passengers sane.
So, as I’m sure many of you will one day be in the same situation, I wanted to share 5 tips that helped make our flight as smooth as possible.
- iPads Loaded with Content
Whenever I want a moment of peace and quiet or need to get something done, I often will put my kids in front of a TV or iPad and let them get lost in a show. Don’t judge me – you do it too. So we got on YouTube, downloaded a ton of our girl’s favorite YouTubers, and she was set for two hours of entertainment.
Sure, it goes without saying that you’re going to be traveling with snacks. But let me encourage you to think outside of the box. Instead of just regular chewing gum to help with ear pressure, we let our daughter pick some “fun” gum – Bubble Tape Gum. She had a blast playing with it, and never once complained about her ears. Also, choose snacks that let them have a couple of their favorites, but also mix in something new. For example, we love fruit snacks, but she had never had a Fruit Roll Up before – so we added them into the mix and she thought it was hilarious.
- Surprise Toys
The night before the trip, we made a trip to Walmart and found that there were a ton of “blind bags” and “surprise eggs” on clearance. If you’re not familiar with these kinds of toys, they are essentially this elaborate scam tricking kids into buying a toy without being able to see what toy is inside of the container they are buying.They are all the rage right now. They are ridiculous. They were a life saver.Pick a few surprise toys and put them in your carry on for a moment when nothing else seems to be working. It will give them something to get excited about, and give them a new toy to be entertained with for 10 minutes before they’re asking how much longer until they land.
- Color Wonder
Color Wonder are coloring books and markers that only work with each other. This means that if your child accidentally marks on their hand or clothes (or airplane wall), it won’t show up at all. Most young children love to color, and Color Wonder has just about every character you can imagine. They can be hard to find, so do some online shopping a few weeks before the trip and you’ll be good to go.
- Ziplock Bags
I’m not the most organized person in the world. Luckily, my wife is – and she had the brilliant idea of compartmentalizing her carry on bag with ziplock bags. We had one for baby food, another for toys, another for snacks, etc. While I thought to myself, “this is a ridiculous waste of a ziplock bag” – it was an absolute game changer. Stuffing four people into three seats on an airplane makes for an extremely tight flight, and having the ability to pull out all of the toys or snacks in one single grab made life so much easier than having to dig through a bag shoved under the seat in front of me.
Have you travelled with small children or infants? If so – let us know what your tips and tricks were!