The holiday season is the time of year that sees an enormous surge in travel, both by car and by plane. In fact, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ U.S. Holiday Travel Summary, “Christmas travel ranks up more miles, on average, than travel during any other time of the year.” Whether you’re visiting friends and family near your home or far away, the stress of getting where you need to be when you need to be there can feel overwhelming. The unpredictability and unreliability of air travel only adds to the stress and anxiety many families face during the holidays, and traveling with children can introduce a whole new set of challenges. We’ve compiled a handy ‘Holiday Trip Essentials Checklist’ to help ensure your next flight proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Do Your Best to Keep Toys Noise-Free
It’s one of the biggest questions and the most daunting uncertainties when it comes to traveling with kids – how are you going to keep them entertained? One of the drawbacks of traveling by plane is the limited resources you can feasibly bring with you in your seat to keep your children occupied. Unlike when packing for a road trip with just family, your entire flight revolves around being surrounded by strangers. For the sake of not only you and your family but to everyone around you, do your best to pack toys that emit little to no noise. Coloring books, picture books, or tablets with headphones are the best options. If you need more options, this mom made up a list of her top picks that are airline approved.
Depending on how long your flight is, your child may or may not want to take a quick nap on board the plane. Packing a small stuffed animal friend for them to cuddle with is a great way to ease their anxiety and make them feel safe and secure. They can also double as pillows to make the space more comfortable! A small furry friend can also be easily packed away in a backpack or carry on bag with minimal hassle and worry.
Getting through TSA is a big enough hassle without having to worry about what food you may have forgotten was packed in your carry-on bag. Trip Savvy wrote a great article detailing what can and cannot be carried onto a plane in terms of food and liquids, and many would be surprised to read about all of the foods that are in fact allowed. Just make sure none of your foods or liquids exceed the 3.4 oz limit. By stocking up on your own snacks that you’re sure your kids will enjoy, you eliminate the need to pay for in-flight dining.
Download Movies Ahead of Time
Thanks to the incredible shift from cable to streaming platforms, we have more entertainment and content at our fingertips than ever before. Tablets and iPads are wonderful tools that have been proven to keep kids of all ages occupied for hours on end, however many of their features require internet access. If you are like the vast majority of Americans who would rather not pay outrageous airline WiFi fees, yet still need a way to entertain, you’re in luck. Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney Plus all offer the ability to download movies and shows to be watched offline. Download your child’s watchlist to cover the flight, waiting at the gate, and cab rides.
We all know that traveling by airplane is not the most sanitary mode of transportation, but there’s no reason why your kids can’t keep themselves clean and refreshed during the trip. Little Booty’s Adventure Wipes are flushable, all-natural, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. After sitting on a long flight, nothing feels better than being able to do a quick wipe down to get you feeling refreshed.
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