Since my extended family lives so far away, the holidays always mean we get to spend a full travel day on either side of a visit. Speaking of lessons learned the hard way, I have had my fair share of air travel experiences and would like to impart my wisdom with you so that you can make all of your own mistakes!
Always bring enough diapers. During a flight, conventional wisdom might tell you to be spare in your packing or that your child only uses four diapers in a normal day. Well, flying days are not normal days. I suggest you pack one diaper per hour of travel time. Better safe than sorry. Trust me.
Pack the right toys. You want to have enough activities and toys to entertain your children but not so many that you bring a separate suitcase. Multi-use toys are good. Games without pieces (like I spy or “what’s that in the SkyMall catalog”) are awesome. Toys that look like a bomb-making kit (play doh and some bendy wires for instance) are bad. See Debbie at DeliciousBaby and her fantastic travel toy ideas to spur your thinking.
Expect the unexpected. What’s unexpected? Earaches, teething, and crankiness in your otherwise-healthy child (so pack baby pain relief); pee accidents or spills from your potty-trained four year old (so pack pull-ups and jammie bottoms as back-ups); reading a magazine or napping for you (sorry, can’t help ya!)
Bribe the people sitting around you. Dole out apologies and free drinks in advance.
By realigning your expectations that the travel day is a means to an end -- an adventure to endure -- you are more likely to be pleased when there are only 3 crying fits and one missed nap rather than stressed-out.
By Heather from rookiemoms.com
Heather and Whitney blog frequently at rookiemoms.com (always more fun than wiping someone’s tushy!) and 510families.com (more fun with kids in the East Bay). They love taking trips and eating dark chocolate.