Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Travel With Kids

We are fresh off an international flight. Three children and I traveled over twenty-two hours and though it was pretty long, it was also uneventful. Well except for my three year old's meltdown in the customs line. He ran off playing underneath the rope lines all within my view while ignoring my very demanding mommy voice. There are hardly ever any comforting looks or verbal trinkets of affection from strangers for any toddler. Not in any customs line we have ever been in. After flying for half a day, people are just done. Despite this mishap, we crossed the ocean with no problems. I give a lot of the success to Air New Zealand who makes flying internationally a supreme experience. Every need is met and special accommodations are made when necessary. A mom with three children? They have you covered giving us extra leg room, early boarding, and play packs for the kids are just some of the perks. 
We do pride ourselves on having expert travelers. All of our children, including the one sleeping while taxiing, are frequent flyers at this point having logged thousands of miles a piece but there is plenty of leg work that goes into creating a great tiny traveler. That starts with mom and dad so parents, here are our:

3 P's to Traveling with Kids

1. Patience
This is the key to having smooth ride. In the above described situation you have to stay cool. They are children and will exhaust after hours of travel. Dehydration, fatigue, Vertigo, plugged airways and hunger are just a few of the symptoms exhibited by kids before, during and after flying. Be prepared with snacks, water and activities for them to do when you feel your blood pressure rising. Breathing helps and remember that this is just a wrinkle in time before you reach your next destination.

2. Portable Devices
Whatever you have I would suggest bringing it. The apps and games available on IPods and IPads are endless these days so you can find educational options or fun games to keep them occupied. Bringing magazines and books will weigh you down especially through security lines. With today's carry-on weight limits, less is more and portable devices have you covered from Kindle to Krazy Kars.

3. Praise
This is for you and the children. Them: Let them know that you are proud of their behaviour and sticking with you while you navigate through a sea of strangers in the airport. If they sit down, buckle up and get an activity out then big kudos to them. For You: Have a drink for your success or grab that Cinnabon in between connecting flights. It is the little things that will get us through long flights and the stresses that go along with it. You are making the journey so support yourself and the children along the way with plenty of acknowledgment.

This tiny spoon is also from Air New Zealand which my children now fight over for their porridge. 
Safe travels this holiday season. Wherever you are going is sure to be special so take these tips and make flying with children a breeze this year.

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