Corinne McDermott's Tips To Surviving Flights With Kids


Don't Fear The Journey - Quick Tips To Surviving Flights With Kids

Once upon a time, a long flight was just a means to get to get somewhere great.  Maybe it felt cramped, maybe I'd feel bored, but mostly I looked it as an opportunity to relax.  Flights home gave me the chance to reflect on the adventure I'd just taken, be it for work or for play.  With kids in tow, flights are definitely cramped, boring, and certainly the opposite of relaxing! We've been flying with our kids since they were tiny - and these quick tips have managed to save our sanity (and likely that of our fellow passengers!)

1.     Create...  I'll never dispute the value of seat-back entertainment or a portable dvd player, but a new coloring book and a pack of crayons has kept my daughter busy for the bulk of most of our trips.  To avoid contorting myself into yoga postures not yet named retrieving dropped crayons, I use an inexpensive clear pencil case (a make-up bag also works) to contain them.  My daughter has learned to put each color back once she's done with it and we also avoid the awkward cramming of the crayon back into the box.

2.     Consume... These days, you're lucky to get a bag of peanuts on a flight, never mind a meal.   Allergic kids notwithstanding, it's highly unlikely your child would eat plane food anyway.  Be sure to have plenty of edibles on hand - and allowing "treat" foods is a great way to ensure a few moments of peace.  Try to keep the sugar level to a minimum, and take-off and landing  are good times to introduce a favourite drink or snack, as swallowing helps clear the Eustachian tube that can cause ear pain.

3.     Cuddle...  Guard it with your life, but bring your child's favourite cuddly toy or blanket on board. After creating coloring book magic and then consuming vast quantities of junk (chips are her weakness), my daughter typically cuddles into her "woobie" and snoozes for a while.  Sometimes the hum and vibration of the plane will send kids off to sleep anyway.  If that happens to you, count your blessings and close your eyes too!


You can't please everyone, and often you'll be judged by your fellow passengers before (or whether or not) your kids even utter a peep.  Don't let that deter you from seeing the world with your family - the quality time together is priceless, and worth any amount of dirty looks or eye-rolling.


Corinne McDermott is the founder of Have Baby Will Travel - your online guide for travel with babies, toddlers & young children. From baby packing lists to tips on coping with jet lag in toddlersHave Baby Will Travel wants to help you get away with your baby! For more, visit Corinne's Have Baby Will Travel blog, follow Have Baby Will Travel on twitter and like us on Facebook, where Corinne welcomes your questions and comments.