True Parent 4
Air travel with kids can be a slight inconvenience or one of Dante’s circles of hell. Here are some essential sanity-saving tips!
1) ARRIVE EARLY. No more screeching up to the gate at the last second! Allow plenty of time to arrive and for things to go wrong (which they will). Check the airport’s website for kiddie play areas where they can burn off energy.
2) DON’T LOSE YOUR KID. Some parents write their phone numbers on their child’s arm, while others drop a business card in their pocket. This also works great for crowded parades, malls, and anywhere creepos lurk.
3) CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS. Wipes and hand sanitizer are a must, but be sure to include low-sugar snacks, pull-ups (for those with questionable bladder control), and an extra change of kid clothes (when they knock over your Bloody Mary).
4) “ENTERTAIN MEEEEEE!” Load up your phone/tablet with kid-friendly apps, podcasts/audiobooks, and videos. (Don’t forget the headphones!) Airplane scavenger hunts are fun—search for anyone “wearing pink” or “giving your dad a dirty look because he had the gall to bring a child on a plane.”
5) EAR-POPPING. On ascent and descent, older kids can suck on a Life Saver to prevent ear discomfort. For babies, try gently massaging their ears from behind, or occasional gentle lobe tugs.
6) YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE THERE. Worrying that other passengers are judging you is a waste of energy. Most travellers are absolutely fine with kids, and if you need help, flight attendants, and other parents/grandparents will have your back. SO RELAX—pretend you’re on vacation!