Guides & Tips

Travel Tips For Parents

Ah, airports. Our society’s most germ-riddled locations and somewhere most of us have to deal with probably at least once a year. I know I do. Security is fierce now-a-days, I joke with my husband that it can only get worse if they start strip searching, but I know it is for my safety and for that I am grateful. So, when traveling, we are always certain to arrive the recommended 90 minutes to 2 hours early, depending on the airport nearest us. What becomes the issue for us, is our adorable 1 year old baby.

Airports advise you today to buy all your liquids at the airport, which is fine if you’re an adult, but I need that sippy cup in the car to the airport! Much to my relief, the security guard merely sniffs it to make sure it’s juice, or depending on the airport, doesn’t even check! Don’t be afraid, pack the juice for the little one, they will understand. More than the juice, though, is the fact that you should never, under any circumstances, leave your house without snacks for that little one. Sure, they offer snacks on the airplane, but chances are your little one won’t like whatever is being served, and they sell them at the airport but they are double their value at those airport convenient centers. I paid $2 for a $1 bottle of water on my last trip. Pack your child’s semi-favorite toys. Don’t pack the valuable ones, in case they get lost, but bring substitutes and more than one. If you have limited luggage, you can buy some reisikohver soodus for your travel. This will be helpful if you need to bring huge pack of things. A child’s attention span is shorter than – ooh, something sparkly…

Use your layovers and preflight time to your advantage. If you have a toddler encourage them to walk around in your line of sight. Let them burn as much energy as possible before your plane takes off. Buy them the McDonald’s happy meal, or a candy bar, or the treat of your preference before you go and let them know that flying is a fun thing and that they should enjoy it. They don’t have to know that you are terrified of the craft that is seeming defying gravity with 200 people inside of it.

If you are afraid of flying try to get your doctor to prescribe you some anti-anxiety medicine or try to meditate before your flight. Do whatever you can to relax yourself. If you are tense about the flight your child will be too and it will only make your trip worse. The last thing you want is a terrified, screaming child on a 2-hour flight.

Be sure that your small child drinks on take off and landing especially. Use your own ears as a guide, if you ears are popping, give them a drink. Make sure they are drinking and swallowing, despite popular belief it is not the suckling motion but the swallowing that allows them to pop their ears. If they are old enough go ahead and give them gum, even if you normally wouldn’t. It’s an adventure, remember?

Remember that flying schedules are not perfect. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you will get out of this without a delay, cancellation, or lost luggage. Don’t over react when it does happen to you. Give the desk clerk dirty looks if it makes you feel better, but it is important that you keep in mind that your children watch you like a hawk and will repeat everything you say to that guy behind the desk who is just trying to cover his own tracks. If something really upsetting happens you can always complain to the airline, but I doubt they’re going to care too much. Mishaps are just a part of travel.

I personally have flown almost every airline known to our fair country and my favorite if Southwest Airlines. My family has had the least amount of problems with this airline and they have a fine staff and reliable planes. They fly into most states, so hopefully you’ll find your route on this airline, but other people have had good luck with other airlines. It’s just the luck of the draw when it comes to travel. With the cost of gas and the ill tempers children get when strapped in for too long, I definitely recommend flying over driving for long distances, but then, that’s just been my experience.

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