Hooray! You’re going to Disney World! You’ve chosen your dates, you decided to fly instead of drive and now it’s time to think about what to do with your kids for the 2-4 hours while in flight. As a mom of an almost 3 year old we’ve flown with our little girl twice and had 2 really different experiences!
The first time was easy – she spent most of the flight asleep (SCORE ONE FOR MOM!) and the second time we scheduled around nap time and it was much less successful. Maybe an hour asleep of the 3 hour trip.
You’ve got the obvious things…iPad or tablet, snacks, coloring, and books to keep them occupied, but will that take up almost 3 hours of time? For some kids the answer is yes, but for some it’s not enough! Also, make sure your kids will wear headphones of some sort so they can hear what they are doing and to not bother your seat neighbors.
If you’ve got an antsy kid who won’t sit still for 3 hours, think about quiet books and other activities that will capture their interest but won’t take up a lot of space in your suitcase. We brought window clings and let our kiddo have the window seat so she could stick and re-stick a snowman to the window (it was Christmas time so lots of clings available!) You may even want to purchase a toy that is NEW for the plane ride so it hasn’t lost its magic with use at home.
The one thing you do NOT want to do is pack too much! On our first flight, we brought the favorite “everything” – books, toys, stuffed animals, blanket, and snacks. We used about 2% of all of the stuff we brought so be a minimalist. Limit items to what will fit under the seat in front of you in a small backpack or bag. You won’t be able to use anything that’s large anyways!
Beyond entertainment, consider something for your child to drink or suck on during take off and landing as they don’t have the ability to adjust their ear pressure as easily as adults. Dum dum suckers are a great easy take along. If your child has a sippy cup, it’s another great way to loosen up their ears (the sucking motion helps). Bring easy to eat snacks with you (and things that aren’t incredibly messy!)
PLEASE bring an extra pair of clothes PER PERSON. I can’t stress this one enough. If you are sitting with a small child (especially one that has never been on a plane), make sure everyone has a change of clothes in case of any sickness in the air. You may want 2 changes of clothes for your little one just in case! Along the same line, bring a plastic bag or two – it can dual as a little garbage bag if necessary.
For older children, prep them about the flight experience if it is their first time. Ask them what they’d like to bring on the flight and allow them their own special carry on bag with their own stuff in it and allow them to pack it (within reason). If you’re traveling during the school year, ask for any homework ahead of time to potentially do on the plane!
Do you have any tried and true tips for flying with your child? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!