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How to Help Your Kids Survive Long Flights

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While most people have had the unfortunate experience of traveling with an unhappy child, there are many steps that you can take to reduce the possibilities of full meltdowns. As parents, a long flight with kids may be one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of traveling. You can help mitigate potential issues and prepare yourself for any major problems along the way. If being trapped in an airplane with your kiddos is causing you a lot of stress, get yourself prepared with these tips.

Temperature Regulation
On flights, you have very little control over the temperature aboard the aircraft. Everything from a child that is too hot to a child that is too cold can leave you with a combustible situation. To avoid temperature-induced issues, consider layers and versatile clothing and accessories. Materials like fleece fabric can be a great option as it offers the right amount of breathability and warmth that can prepare you for any temperature during the trip. You and your family will all be happy to have light layers that can get you ready for any circumstance.

Having a significant supply of snacks will play a crucial role during your flight. You never know what your trip will have in store. Everything from poorly regulated blood sugar to delays to your travel schedule to frustrated children can be a recipe for disaster. Instead of dreading a potentially traumatic travel situation or spending too much on airport snacks, equip yourself with a few of their favorite snacks and bites that can tide them over to their next meal in the case that traveling does not happen as smoothly as you would hope.

Something for Pressure
Many travelers have felt the discomfort of pressure building in their heads on flights, particularly during the ascent and descent of the voyage. While many adults know to yawn, chew gum, suck on a candy or eat something, children are often unaware of this and this pressure can be even more painful and jarring for them. In preparing for your flight, make sure that you have something for your kiddo’s ears. Whether they are old enough for gum, candy or another snack, make sure that you pack something to help them during what can be a pressure building situation.

This may be an obvious step, but having toys, entertainment or other activities for your little one to engage with will play a critical role in their ability to enjoy the flight. Airplanes can be an exciting experience for children; however, they can also be pretty scary. The loud noises, pressure, crowded spaces and confinement can be a lot for children to process, and you will want to keep them occupied. Whether you pack some of their favorite toys, simple art projects, games or screens, make sure that you have plenty for them to do. If you are a parent who strays away from screen time, this may be a moment to make an exception. Particularly for small children, with short attention spans, a reasonable number of options will be key to their enjoyment and your survival.

Conversations Ahead of Time
You may be surprised at how impactful conversations with your children before your trip can be. Preparing your kids for the flight, letting them know what to expect and giving them a chance to ask questions will play a big part in their travel experience. Whether you sit them down to talk to them, read them a story about travel or build planes into their games and activities, you have plenty of chances to open up conversations with your kiddos. You can help them process a new environment, some of their fears and help them navigate a new experience through these conversations, reducing the chance of negative emotions, experiences and anxiety on the day of.
While you cannot guarantee your child’s mood, the changes to your travel schedule or what will happen on the day of, you can help them process this new experience. Don’t forget to get yourself mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for the endeavor with just a few extra steps in the planning process so that you can set up your family for success.
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Updated 09-07-2020 at 12:14 PM by kevgardner83