Traveling with kids can be stressful. Let’s face it, traveling without kids is already stressful, but there are a few ways that you can make the whole process a lot easier on yourself. You just have to plans things right and stay firm about a few things. Here is how to make plane travel with kids easier.
- Pack your own snacks. When you get to the airport, your kids are going to see all of the restaurants and want food right away. When you get on the plane, they’re also going to want to get snacks. If you want to save money and ensure that your children aren’t eating junk food, which will inevitable affect their behavior, pack plenty of snacks with you – just make sure you don’t bring any liquids because they won’t make it through security.
- Make sure your child has a smartphone or tablet and headphones. If you need to get some work done or take a nap, you may want to allow your child to watch a movie, play a video game, or read. However, you don’t want to be annoying everybody around you with loud video game sound effects so be sure your child has headphones. You also don’t want them staring at the screen the entire time, so also have clear and strict limitations – otherwise, your child is going to be completely zonked and out of it by the end of the flight.
- Bring books with games in them. As much as you can, you want to use the time you have to connect with your child. You can find all kinds of books with games that will help you pass the time and bond at the same time. Games like hangman, tic tac toe, word searches, crossword puzzles, sudoku and more. Make sure you find books that are appropriate for your child’s age and have fun teaching them a thing or two.
- Change seats if you need to. If you are traveling with multiple kids, you may find that they will get stir crazy and start arguing or fighting. If this is the case, you should definitely sit between them. This way, they will not be able to annoy one another without your knowledge, and you can keep them from even really noticing one another. If they continue misbehaving, then you may need to take away their privileges to use electronic devices or even watch the TV on the plane.
- Offer incentives for good behavior. In addition to all of the above, you want to find ways to incentivize good behavior on the plane. It might be a meal at their favorite restaurant, the opportunity to pick out a souvenir, or let them choose a fun place to visit from the Hipmunk guide. No matter what the incentive, it has to be something that they really want, and it has to really be brought off the table if they don’t behave. Otherwise, this technique has no hope of working in the future.