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Flying with Kids Peacefully

Twice a year, you'll find me flying with kids from Hawaii to Michigan. In case you're wondering, it's about a 15 - 20 hour trip one way, depending on layovers...and assuming there are no delays. I'll admit it right up front, I am not a patient person, in fact, patience isn't in my vocabularly.

That said, I have found flying with kids to be much simpler than I expected it to be. Now, understand that I travel with a seven and a four year old. I used to travel with a six and three year old - you get the picture. The first trip or two were pretty difficult and then I learned some tricks that saved my sanity. I hope they help you too:

~ When you travel with kids, dress them comfortably. Repeat after me, "My kids do NOT need to be the best dressed on the plane. My kids need to be comfortable." If you see a lady and two kids in an airport and the kids are wearing something that looks suspiciously like pajamas - that's me! Okay, I don't actually dress them IN pajamas...but comfort is king!

~ If your child is being potty-trained or has just finished being potty-trained - do yourself, the stewardess, and the rest of the passengers a favor and put your child in pull-ups. Trust me, it's REALLY embarrasing when one of your little angels has an accident all over the seat of the plane. I would guess it's not the most comfortable situation for your kid either.

~ Flying with kids is a lot easier if each person has a carry on that they are actually capable of carrying. From the time my youngest was three, she had her own bag to pull around the aiport. Give everyone a carry-on that they can manage themselves. You don't want to be lugging three kids and four bags through airport after airport.

~ After you go through security and before you board the plane, buy each child a drink with a lid. Yes, they give you free drinks on the plane. But if you have little kids, they won't drink all of their drink. Now you have drinks with no lids and kids that are squirming all over the place. You want to get rid of that open can of sprite, but the flight attendant is no where in sight and the seat belt sign is on. Either you'll have to drink or hold the Sprite yourself, or it will be all over the floor or worse, someone's lap.

~ Pack your own snacks. The food on planes gets worse by the day, and chances are your child won't like anything they sell but the M&M's.

~ When you get on the plane, if possible, put your carry ons under the seat in front of you as opposed to an overhead compartment. They are much easier to get to and you don't run the risk of dropping all your kids stuff on that nice business man's head.

~ When flying with kids, make sure you take plenty of stuff to keep them busy during the flight. If you have small children, pack their carry ons yourself and put lots of things they haven't played with in awhile. I aways visit the dollar store for stickers, note pads, crayons, stamps, etc. before flying. Add a few of their favorites too.

~ If you will be on a flight wih a movie, bring your own headphones for your kids if you have them. The ones that they sell you on the plane don't fit little heads that well.

Flying with kids isn't really all that bad. In fact, it can be kind of fun as long as you are prepared.

Great TIPS!!! Love the one about about pull-ups...wish I had done that on a flight between Boston and Florida during turbulance....we were not allowed to leave our seats for THREE HOURS! It was BAD!
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