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Kamloops News

MANN: Compared to their parents, travelling toddlers are the jet-setters

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
April 18, 2019 - 12:12 PM


I don't remember taking very many flights as a child. In fact, even in my deepest cavern of memories, I would say I can only recall ever being on one flight before the age of 20.

I couldn't tell you what the plane looked like, if it was smoking or non, and whether or not the flight attendants brought by peanuts or water.

I also couldn't tell you where I was flying to.

I don't feel like I missed out on anything though.

I can't imagine many of my friends were taking yearly family vacations to Hawaii, and if they were, I either didn't know, or didn't care.

But these days, it seems like half of the people flying are indeed children — jet-setting before they can even form proper sentences.

I boarded a plane last week for Eastern Canada — a little stressed due to my intense fear of flying, and the fact that I was bringing along two little ones.

Now this isn't my first rodeo as far as flying with kids, but in a roundabout way, my having flown with kids before, reminds me there are a lot of moving pieces to take care of.

The three things I think about the most are luggage, snacks and entertainment.

Surprise, surprise, children can come with a lot of luggage! Between the diapers and the clothes they will need (and then the clothes that they want), a suitcase can become very full, very fast. And I don't know about anyone else, but I always feel like I end up packing way more than I need — until I don't — and that is when I end up really needing something from home.

And I don't pack based on my wants anymore. Because if I did that I would need two suitcases (one for the kids and one for me), and then I would have to carry two suitcases, while trying to run after my kids on those automatic walkway thingers that allow people to ride through the airport, and EVERYONE knows those are magnets for kids.

So I pack light — hope for the best — and remember that it's not about me anymore.

But I still need clean clothes, and so this last trip was particularly interesting, as we arrived at our destination (which is a few hours from the airport), only to discover we had accidentally picked up someone else's luggage and she had ours.

Good thing someone once taught me to pack an emergency outfit (or two) in my carry-on

Eventually we switched luggage (I should say my husband did — I was busy sleeping), and we could brush our teeth once again.

The second thing I consider while flying with is snacks. Snacks are non-negotiable. If you are going to ask a child to sit on a flight for hours and hours, there must be snacks.

This is where any house rules are completely thrown out the window, and my kids can snack on salty chips and apple juice to their heart's content.

If it helps keep them busy for an extra 15 minutes, it is a win.

I'll even consider the in-flight menu.  

The good news is there are a lot of snacks you can bring on a flight. But I'm not expert, so make sure you check out the rules ahead of time.

The third thing to consider if you are going to be flying with children (and probably the most important) is the entertainment. 

Yes, we all wish we had those children who are content to sit still for hours at a time, playing I Spy or taking a moment for introspection, but the reality is that kids get bored — even those with the best of intentions.

And yes, I try to limit my children's electronic use — mainly because of all the weirdos out there ruining everything for everyone, but entertainment on a flight is a must, and sometimes that means it's time to break out the tablets — especially since more of the planes I have been on don't have any kind of television or viewing device available. 

Yes, it's great to offer up some entertainment like colouring and activity books, but this can also be a great time to splurge, and let them just watch a movie for once.

Plus, it's so unfair. If the adult is going to sit there watching a movie, why shouldn't the kids be allowed to?

We seem to be at this point where air travel is becoming the norm.

Kids are becoming more connected to the outside world, and air travel is a big proponent for that.

But it's not always as easy as getting from A to Z, especially when you have kids running in two different directions (quite literally). They are dealing with hours in a small space with very little physical activity and constantly being told to sit still. Any little tricks of the trade will help someone else make their next (or first trip) even better.

When flying with children, what do you do to help things run smoothly?

— Becky is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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