Guest Author - Aurora Mae
Getting yourself and your kids to the airport in one piece can be a challenge, but once you get on the airplane, it gets easier. Flying with your children can be a good or bad experience, depending on the steps you take to ensure your kids are kept busy. Depending on their age, kids have different needs while they’re flying. For more travel information, check out travel resource sites.
Traveling with older kids (7 and up)
If you’re traveling with older kids, make sure they have something to occupy their time. Game boys, CD or mp3 players, and portable video games are great items to carry along, as are portable DVD sets, cards and travel-sized board games.
If your child likes to read, books or magazines are also an excellent diversion. However, if your child gets easily car sick, this may not be the best idea. You can always do audio book tapes, as they are fun to listen to and the child doesn’t have to read.
Put older kids in the window seat when you’re traveling. They’re old enough to be interested by what’s going on outside, and it provides a comfortable nook to place their head.
Always bring a pillow and a lightweight blanket, and make sure your kid wears layers so they can take them off or put them back on as needed. Shoes that are easy to slip off are also a plus.
Food is important, so make sure you bring a small cooler or bag with portable foods like crackers and cheese, juice boxes, nuts, string cheese, etc.
Traveling with younger kids (6 and below)
The same food rules apply to younger kids as such. But there are some additional items to think about bringing for your young one.
Coloring books and puzzles are good choices if you have younger kids, as are easy-to-read books and even audio tapes. Soothing, happy music like Raffi is always a good choice as well.
Younger kids will need to sleep, so put them in the middle seat where they can rest on you or their sibling, or put them in the window seat. Always sit near or next to them on the plane, no matter what.
Bring a favorite blanket or toy, as this will make a younger kid feel secure and safe. The same goes for a favorite stuffed animal. A medium sized stuffed animal can make an excellent pillow.
All of these tips help ensure that traveling with your kids is not a headache; the trip will be fun for you and for your kids.