Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plane Travel with Kids

Step one: Hyperventalate. totally freak out about the idea of being in the air for 6 hours and being in transit for close to 10 hours door-to-door. Ok, take a step back. Look at the "50 ways to amuse your kids" article I pinned on Pinterest. Nope, none of those apply to my kids. Those "special" travelers who won't sleep and who also get airsick. Yep, it happens on planes, trains and automobiles. Although the longest train ride they have been on was in Disneyland, does that count? Plus they were pretty unhappy in line, so I'm calling it all modes of transportation.

best backpacks for travel with kids

As I mentioned in my car travel with kids post, we love these backpacks. Our son has the Wildkin Olive Kids Under Construction Pack 'n Snack Backpack. They have a main compartment for workbooks, headphones, and iPad etc. and a smaller insulated compartment for snacks. I got an assortment of workbooks for the kids, mostly sticker ones for my son, and writing/word ones for my daughter.

How to pack a backpack for airplane travel with kids

activity books for kids while traveling

For snacks I like to bring things that won't make a mess. At preschool age that means fruit bars, almonds, raisins, squeeze applesauce, a "kid bar" (which in our family is a special treat). I also pack lollipops for takeoff and landing. I found it helps their ears.

perfect travel snack for kids

Each kid carries their own backpack through the airport, my husband has a backpack with things for him (and, optimistically, a book for me), and I have a diaper bag with supplies for the baby. I switched into a larger diaper bag for this trip, the Skip Hop Studio Diaper Bag , since it zips closed, very important.

best diaper bag to bring on the airplane with kids

Honestly, the trip wasn't awful, but then again, we don't have any kids currently in what I classify as the "No Fly Zone" which is between 6 months and about 2. 

Under 6 months, and the babies aren't yet mobile, don't need toys, and I can just nurse and hold them. For this flight, we had a seat for the baby with her car seat, but she was in it for about 30 minutes total. My back was killing me from holding her, but at least she was relatively happy. After being held (or in a car seat) for so long, in the airport and when we arrived I made sure to give her plenty of floor time.

Over 2 years old (and change), kids are easier to amuse. They might watch TV (we bring an iPad loaded with pre-approved shows), do a workbook, or in the case of my son, snack for the entire trip.

Between these two ages, it's a rough road (or flight as the case may be). The baby wants to move but can't and isn't old enough to reason with. We have certainly flown in that time period, once even with two kids in that age range (I've blocked out all memory of that trip), but I am trying hard to avoid it with the current baby.


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Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

Im going to need to try the backpack when we fly next time. I dont know how you did it with 3 kiddos! God bless you :)

Glad yall made it safe and had no major hiccups!

thistlewoodfarm said...

I have flown with kids in the "no-fly" zone before. You are right. It was a nightmare :)


Bliss said...

Can't think of a kid or a time or an age I haven't had to take at least one of mine on a plane. I've had amazing flights, I've had the flight from helll, and my husband was thrown up on. Not by one of his own kids. Makes me always put someone's restless child in perspective!


Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

Great job Jessica! I have always packed my kids their own bags with snacks, and books, etc. when we have flown! It's so much better when they have their own snacks that they can eat when they want....which for my son is the first 10 minutes on the plane before takeoff! lol! Angie xo

Kara @ June & Bear said...

We took June on a four hour flight when she was one. Wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't been delayed on the runway for nearly 2 hours. She slept through that and was wide awake for take-off. We haven't tried again yet. I love those backpacks!

Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

I'm so happy you survived! :) Great tips on the lollipops for takeoff and landing. That would work perfectly for my little guy - gotta remember that!

Shiloh said...

Lol, my daughter is in the nofly zone. She'll be about 21 mths when we fly 12 hours to NZ, plus the 6 hrs or so across the US. I'm praying that she sleeps most of the flight. I love the idea of some extra snacks.

Chelsea said...

This is so cute! I'm not a mom, but I was just joking with my own mom about our 10 hour car rides to Colorado when I was a kid. She always had packs like these for us, and we did a new activity once every hour. Each activity took a long time, and we had some in between time to snack and such. The activities were workbooks, car-specific games, stories, etc. Oh and she also reminded me that instead of measuring time in terms of hours, it was in terms of "Sesame Streets". Because Sesame Street was an hour TV show, so that's how we were able to associate time when my sister and I were kids. Haha, gotta love kids' minds!

Micah and Katie said...

Awesome. I just did something like this for kids in the car when we traveled this past weekend. It seems to entertain them and keep them happy in between stops!

Unknown said...

Great ideas...I never thought about the lollipop helping the ears thing...neat! Thanks for linking to Shine on Fridays!!

Martina Jolie said...

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.
Cheap Flights to Colombo

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