Traveling with children can be a rewarding experience, creating cherished memories for the entire family. However, the thought of flying with young ones can also evoke anxiety in parents and fellow travelers. From ensuring their safety to keeping them entertained during the flight, there are several strategies that can transform your journey into a smoother, more enjoyable adventure.
Clean and Seated
1. Choose the Right Seats: When booking your flights, opt for seats that provide extra legroom and proximity to restrooms. Also, consider sitting in the middle section of the plane to minimize the turbulence effect.
2. Child Restraint Systems: For infants, bring along a FAA-approved car seat. For older children, the airplane’s seat belt might not be enough, so consider using a CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) harness. Even children under age 2 should be in their own seat, both for their safety and comfort.
3. Health Precautions: Pack necessary medications, first-aid supplies, and any required medical documentation. Keep sanitizer and wipes handy to ensure a clean environment. Being able to quickly reach these essentials is critical. Use a carry on bag that has tons of pockets so retrieval is a snap! Consider the ‘ULTI’ messenger bag by CONMIGO.
Keeping Them Occupied:
Busy bags-Electronic babysitters-Snacks
1. Pack a Busy Bag: Fill a backpack with a variety of age-appropriate activities, such as coloring books, puzzles, stickers, and small toys. New and exciting items can hold their attention longer.
2. Electronic Entertainment: Tablets or handheld gaming devices can be a
lifesaver. Load them with their favorite games, movies, and educational apps to engage them throughout the flight. I suggest this as a last resort.
3. Storytelling and Reading: Bring along their favorite books or introduce new stories. Reading aloud or sharing stories can keep them engaged and foster their imagination.
4. Interactive Snack Time: Pack a variety of snacks that require some interaction, like trail mix they can mix themselves or sandwiches they can assemble.
5. Creative Outlets: Consider bringing a travel-sized drawing board or a notebook for them to doodle, sketch, or write in. Encourage their creativity with this screen-free option.
Comfort is Key:
Dress, Stuffies and Ears
1. Dress Comfortably: Choose clothing that is soft, breathable, and layered, as
airplane temperatures can vary. Don’t forget a cozy blanket or travel pillow for added comfort like the one found in the ‘ULTI’ messenger bag. It can hold your child’s electronics when not on the plane and cushion their bum while on the plane or during layovers.
2. Familiar Items: Let your children bring along their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Familiar items can provide comfort in an unfamiliar environment.
3. Stretch Breaks: Encourage short walks up and down the aisle to prevent restlessness. This can also be a fun way to explore the airplane and satisfy their curiosity. Please be aware of fasten seat belt signs and keep the walks short. Children should not be running up and down aisles or crawling on the floor for their, and other passengers, safety.
4. Popping Ears: For young children, you want to be sure that they are able to
alleviate pressure in their ears while taking off and landing. Sipping from a cup could do the trick or a light snack. For older children the same would work, or you can opt for chewing gum to help with this.
Flying with children doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With careful planning, prioritizing safety, and a selection of engaging activities, you can ensure that your journey is both secure and enjoyable for your little ones. Remember, a positive attitude and a flexible approach can go a long way in creating wonderful memories while soaring through the skies.
by Andrea Auger