It is always important to remember what it was like pre-kids and the feeling you had when distracted parents seated behind you allowed the kids to kick your seat. And, it’s just as important to not overly stress out if your child cranks out, most people feel bad for you and are just grateful that it isn’t them having to deal with a cranky kid. Also, if your child is as intuitive as mine they will feel your stress and in turn stress themselves out even more.
Having said that, we traveled quite a bit when my daughter was younger and now have an arsenal of goodies in our carryon. Start with snacks, they are a must. We bring a variety of snack foods. If you are on a long flight try to avoid sugary snacks as your child will probably crash in a couple of hours and then you will have a fun time trying to come down from what I call sugar hell. Try pistachios in the shell, they take a while to eat. Also, cut up apple slices and cheese & crackers all seem to take a while to eat, especially a spreadable cheese. It may seem obvious, but try to avoid juices on long flights they contain a ton of sugar and your child will need to use the lavatory a lot. We allow milk or water on long flights.
A goody bag of toys and books are extremely important. We don’t allow my daughter to read or look at what is in the bag until we are settled on the plane. This makes the first hour fly by with the excitement of what is in the bag.
In the bag, we have:
- New books – our next long flight is to Florida and we will pull out Harry Potter's third book, it is huge.
- Coloring paper & colored pencils
- Workbooks – depending on your child’s age get a math workbook for their grade or a maze book if they are younger. My daughter also likes Mad-libs and Sudoku.
- Legos – I know you are thinking I’m crazy, but if you bring plastic zip-lock bags for the little bags of Lego pieces you can open each bag with your child and put them each in its own zip lock bag - don’t forget to close the zip lock bags. Depending on your child’s age, get a small box of Legos they would enjoy. The size shouldn’t be over a $19 Lego box. My daughter is 8-years-old and a $19 box is a perfect size. Before she was seven I would say the $9 box would have been a good size and before age 6 maybe the $5 box.
- A nice new notebook and pen is a great way to encourage journaling.
We hope this helps keep your classic girl stay classy on your next flight.