"When Are We Going to Blast Off?" - Air Travel with Toddlers

Traveling with kids makes the journey both a joy and a lesson in patience for mom and dad. I remember, not too long ago, when my kids were in the 5-and-under set, watching their little faces glow with excitement as they waited for the plane to blast off. At the time, Little Einsteins was at the height of popularity, and they would be tap, tap, tapping their little legs in a drum roll build-up until the plane took to the sky with a “Blast Off” finale. And turbulence, well turbulence is better than a ride at DisneyWorld, according to my then 3 year old who would shout “yippee” as we bounced up and down, as the rest of the passengers grew pale. Of course, after the excitement of blasting off settles down, parents need the most patience to help their little travelers make the best of the journey.

Here are a few tips to make your journey a little more fun:

  1. Backpack of fun: Pack a backpack to be used for the sole purpose of entertainment. Include favorite books,, finger puppets, Travel Magna Doodle, and the like. Think “quiet busy” without too many little pieces to retrieve when dropped on the floor of the plane.
  2. Snacktime: Bring snacks, in a variety of packaging to keep little minds busy. Cereal, fruit chews, GoGo Squeez, and uncrustables (in the package to get through airport security) are some great on the go options.
  3. Digital Fun: The go- to option of modern day parents – the iPad or tablet – provides hours of entertainment through movies, and games. Snail Bob, Peekaboo Barn, ColorStudio HD, LEGO DUPLO Train and Petting Zoo are a few apps to check out.
  4. Give a gift: Sometime mid flight, give your child a small gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive just something new to explore and talk about. It could be a new book about travel, like A Day at the Airport by Richard Scary or the My Plane Trip coloring book, by Dover Coloring books.

Of course the best thing parents can do is enjoy the ride and make the travel to get there part of the adventure. Playing "I Spy" or talking about all the fun ahead and taking pictures to capture the moments will make your trip one to remember for years to come.

Lynda Payne Photography