Long Flights with Kids Can be Challenging.
And while taking off on a vacation is exciting, along with that anticipation comes stress about keeping kids comfortable and staying sane yourself. No matter how long the flight, the key to a stress-free flight with kids is to be prepared and creative. There are ways to get through a long flight with your children no matter their ages and keep your sanity. Here are helpful tips for a long flight with kids. And if you're not keen on these ideas, you can always double dose them with Benadryl. Just kidding!
Tips for Taking a Long Flight with Kids
1. Pack a Bag with Activities/Toys
Pick some of your child's favorite toys and pack them in this bag. Add a few coloring books, crayons, markers and puzzles. Don't forget regular books or perhaps music with earphones to occupy your child. And remember, before whipping out that activity bag seek out different things already on the plane that may interest your child. Look out the window with them. Show them the magazines. Many long flights have movies to watch as well. Consider purchasing a few new toys but pack them in your bag as a last resort.
2. The Joys of Jet Lag
Don't worry about jet lag until you reach your destination. If you are flying at night, get that kid sleepy before the flight! If you are flying out in the morning, make sure he or she gets a good night's sleep the night prior. If flying out in the afternoon, make sure your child gets proper exercise and if they are "nappers," hold them off until the flight. One you reach your destination, then address any tiredness and readjust their schedule accordingly. Jet lag is pretty much inevitable!
3. Take Along Your Own Snacks
Even though the airline will serve meals while you're flying, those meals just may not be your child's preference. And we all know how it is when children refuse to eat what is put in front of them. Add to that, fatigue and you'll pretty much want to jump out of the plane. Consider packing their favorite healthy snacks and food that travels well, such as dried fruit, string cheese, peanut butter sandwiches or granola bars.
4. Reduce Your Bags
Let's face it. The smarter you pack and the more you keep it simple, the easier it will be to deplane and get to your destination. Your children's activity bags (if they have them) should be capable of fitting inside your carry on bag or be able to attach somehow. Don't forget to bring along an empty bag for purchases as well. Many parents like to carry backpacks for carry-ons. And don't forget the stroller if applicable.
5. Stay Hydrated
Young children and moms still nursing dehydrate easily. Bring your own bottled water and continue to offer water to your child throughout the flight. By the time we feel thirst we are already dehydrating.
6. Be Prepared for Anything
Flying with small children is never easy. There will be times that even the most compliant child may throw a tantrum or do something that horrifies us. Try to keep the faith and not let any negativity that may arise set the tone for the rest of the trip. Don't expect perfection! Keep remembering that once you have arrived, the fun begins!