Going away this holiday weekend? Below are a few tips for flying (solo) with kids.
For the record, we don't own an iPad, and I've flown solo with my son over a dozen times. I lived to tell the tale!
I'm not a technology hater. I'm just here to tell you that there are a few must haves. While it sure is nice, an iPad is not one of them.
Must-do prior to departure:
- Talk your kid through the process: waiting at the ticket counter, waiting in the security line, waiting at the gate...do you see a theme here?
- Take three minutes and create tickets (with scratch paper), security (two chairs a few feet apart to walk through), and the airplane (a row or two of chairs).
- Let your kid pack his backpack with a snack, book, and toy. Have him practice walk around with it. I carry bigger books, clothes, and snacks, but anything else is literally on him if he wants it to come.)
- PLAY! Say please and thank you for your tickets, remove your shoes and walk through security, hand over your tickets, sit down on the plane, eat your snack, read a book, then disembark.
- Do this several times before you fly.
Mom (or dad) must-haves on travel day:
- Backpack or rollaway. NOT a one shoulder bag! It's super annoying (and bad for your back) to be slinging a one shoulder bag over the seats while trying to board.
- Water bottle. This is a big undertaking; you'll get thirsty!
- Extra shirt. I've never brought one, but also have never been barfed on. Don't learn your lesson the hard way.
- Book and pillow. Ha! That was a joke.
Kid must-haves on travel day:
- Snacks + water bottle. Prepare foods they love, or special treats, or that take a long time to eat. We eat often on the plane (including takeoff and landing for the ears). A lollipop will go a long way (just remember those wipes).
- Extra clothes. One outfit for each (maybe two for a recent potty training grad).
- Empty plastic bag for soiled clothes.
- Books: stories, sticker books, coloring books. I choose our story books that are the thinnest with the most text.
- Magnadoodle. They sell them at the Dollar Store.
- A surprise or two. Again, the Dollar Store is your friend. Many parents suggest to wrap them very well so that they take longer to unwrap.
Most importantly, remember that people are nicer than you think, including your fellow passengers. Bon voyage!
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