Hubby – Our kids are feral.
Me – Spirited. I prefer spirited.
And so begins my anxiety over a couple of big flights we have coming up. First we have Fiji which is just over 5 hours flying time. Definitely doable. We’ve done longer trips but that was before my baby morphed into a terror toddler. Then we have the USA which is a 16 hour trip from Melbourne to LA. Oh man.
Phones have in flight mode; I have survival mode. From the very moment that the last door is closed and cross checked to the time we reach our destination I am all about surviving. Whatever it takes to get these tiny people from A to B with my marriage (and sanity) still intact.
Right now I am pooling all my knowledge and wracking my brain for all the top tips I have ever given about flying with kids. Here’s what I’ve got:
1) Toys and activities. Lots of them and keep ’em coming. Before a long flight I usually hunt around for little things that will keep the kids entertained in their seats. Keep in mind that even the best toys don’t keep the attention of an active toddler for very long so you’ll need to have quite a few different activities for them. I’ll be posting soon about my latest finds so keep an eye out!
2) Surrender to the situation. I used to think that if I Just prepared enough beforehand that the flight would be a dream. I’d imagine that the kids would happily keep themselves entertained for hours while I got my fix of back to back reality tv episodes (The Real Housewives, anyone?). Don’t fool yourself. If you have kids under 5 the reality is that you are going to have to work hard during the flight to keep the kids happy and entertained. There are absolutely times when my kids are happy to do an activity on their own and give me a bit of peace. But I find if I adjust my expectations of the flight then I’m less grumpy when I need to focus my attention on the kids.
3) Technology. Use it. I know, I know. I’m always getting THOSE looks from people in the airport lounge when my boys are engrossed in an iPad. When it comes to a screaming toddler VS quietly playing on iPad toddler, I’ll choose technology every time. Packing kids headphones for trips is a must also. The night before a trip I download some new games and load a few movies or cartoon episodes from iTunes. The kids are so excited to find new games or movies and it keeps them occupied for a while.
So hit me, what’s your best tip?