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Flying With the Kids – A Little Preparation Saves a Lot of Gray Hair
The journey begins with careful planning and packing:
We all know and understand how much gear it takes to travel with young people. This is true whether they are infants, toddlers or young people. They need large quantities of traps. So making a list several days in advance and adding things to it as you think about it will help you pull it all together in the end.
Try to stick to the necessities, such as:
*For infants: diapers, formula and baby food. You’d be surprised how many people think airlines provide these items as a courtesy. This may still be true in some cases on international flights or on some air carriers in other countries, but in the United States it is not. National carriers do not carry these items. Please bring sufficient amount for your flight plus extras in case of delay.
*For toddlers: bring their favorite toy or a comforting blanket. Bring snacks, toddler food, fruit, crackers, whatever they want to eat. But please bring them food. Unless you plan on buying food at the airport (it gets expensive) this is essential.
*Toys – pack their favorite little toys. Stuffed animals large enough to require a seat should be left at home. Plus, kids love having a book read to them or someone coloring with them.
*For older kids: the most important portable DVDs and movies they’ll love to watch. It is also very good for toddlers. Don’t forget the PSP-2 and games, or the Nintendo DS Lite. They are your friends when traveling with this age group.
*MOST IMPORTANT – bring headphones for these electronic items. There will be no end to the dirty looks you will get and the complaints the flight attendants will get if you overlook them.
*Food – Which child in this age group do you know that doesn’t like to eat? Bring their cravings as this age group usually wants more to eat than the small bag of pretzels or snack mix they will receive on the plane.
Mom and Dad, you are parents, not mules. It’s more appropriate for your kids to carry their own small backpack or rolling suitcase that holds all their goodies. Also, you need at least one hand to pick them up when they get away from you, and they do! I even saw children of 2-3 years old pulling behind them their small bags, all decorated with the latest popular character. So cute! You will need your strength to put the car seat and your own suitcase in the overhead compartment. Push Ho!
**Special Note – Please do not pack and check in any medication that you or your children may need to take on a regular basis. These must be in separate one-liter bags and identified by TSA at security.
For complete and detailed information on the rules and regulations of the Transportation Security Administration, please visit its website: click here
We’re at the airport – Oh My Gosh Look at the security line! – Have you thought about waiting?
First and most important: allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport! Leave very early and give yourself plenty of time to complete your registration and customs clearance through the security process. I repeat, allow plenty of time.
Now the real fun begins, but you can do it. Take a deep breath and line up. I hope, dear friends, you have checked out those three really big suitcases that you packed with 17 days worth of clothes for your 4 day weekend getaway. Otherwise, turn around, go to the counter and do it immediately. This is especially true if all of your toiletries are bagged, weigh more than 3 ounces, and are not in a quart-sized zippered freezer bag. If you haven’t heard, that’s the rule, “3/1/1”. No more than three ounces in a bottle, in a one liter bag and one per person. However, if you save this bag, hey, no problem. Not to mention, do you really want to fight them, along with your kids and all their belongings, on the plane and put them away. DO NOT. CHECK this bag!!
While you’re queuing, chasing cubs, trying to drink your coffee, and mediating sibling fights, pull out your tickets and IDs because you’re going to need them.
Once you’ve managed to make your way to the front of the line and have given Mr. (or Mrs.) the TSA inspector your IDs and tickets:
* Throw away all the bags, strollers and other items you brought with you onto the conveyor belt to go through the scanner.
*If you have bottles containing formula or breast milk, baby food, or juice bottles, let the TSA know and separate them from your 3/1/1 bag.
*All laptops and DVDs should be placed in a separate bin.
*Don’t forget to take those shoes off – the little ones too.
*You must let toddlers go through the security check alone. Babies, of course, you carry them – you have to take them out of the stroller or the baby carrier in which they are. Sorry, you can’t keep them in the front harness, you have to wear them.
The TSA will never separate you from your children, so don’t worry about this issue.
Once you and your children have cleared security, collect all of your belongings, put your shoes back on, and head for the door. Be sure to check one more time to make sure you’ve picked up all of your items, especially DVDs and laptops that have been removed from their cases. I’ve seen people leave them, and it’s a frantic race to get back and get them back. People missed their flights this way.
We have young children – what do you mean by us, we can’t sit together!! – Remember that patience you took away?
Alright, now you’re exhausted from the security clearance process, the kids are crying, and the entrance area is packed. Good mourning! Aah, but you’re on vacation!
Approaching the gate agent, you learn that the plane is in an oversold situation and you must wait for those seat assignments. (What! Didn’t check in early online and reserve those seats? That’s another full story.)
Most agents will do their best to ensure that young children are seated with their parents. If the worst-case scenario happens and you are separated from one of your little ones, there is still hope. The agent is going to pass you to the flight attendants anyway, so here’s what you do.
*Identify yourself and identify the problem at the aircraft boarding gate, state the problem and request assistance. Do not complain !
* Go to the first seat assigned to you, see who is sitting around you, tell them that you are separated from your children and ask if they can change seats if necessary. If they aren’t cooperating, ask them which one they would like to sit next to and watch during the flight. (Isn’t it nice to be sneaky?) I joke about it. Usually a flight attendant will follow you to your seats and try to work with the other passengers to collect the seats. It can be a problem, but it works.
*If you have purchased a seat for your baby or toddler, and you are using a car seat for that child, the car seat must be installed at a window, so make sure that any group of seats you get for your family has a window seat. . However, if the plane is a jumbo jet, i.e. there are two aisles in the plane instead of one, the car seat can be in the middle section as long as it is n prevents any passenger from reaching the aisle in the event of an emergency.
Are we already there? – Fun things to do until you get there!
I know every parent who has ever traveled with a child has heard this more than once. I know I have. But, I can tell you that if you followed some of the packing tips I gave you above, you are ready for this question.
As a general rule, don’t drag all the entertainment items you brought along at once. Take them out one at a time as they get bored with the first one. Then put the first one away so you don’t have to do too much cleaning at the end of the flight.
Launch the DVD or GameBoy Advance after the announcement of the use of electronic devices. If you have more than one child in the same age group, be sure to let them sit together and watch the DVD. Use this splitter for headphones so two can watch at the same time.
Bring a coloring book or notebook and a snack.
If you’re lucky enough to fly with an airline that offers on-demand TV, great, you’re covered for older kids. They love this feature. Not all airlines have it, so you have to be prepared with your own entertainment.
If you’ve taken your kids out of school for that little vacation, now’s a great time for them to work on some of their schoolwork that they might have prepared (or you did, because they wouldn’t). not). Corruption is good – “If you do it now, you won’t have to worry about it for the rest of our vacation.” It’s also a great time for a little one-on-one tutoring in a subject they may need help with. It is, after all, a captive audience.
Of course, there’s the ultimate on-plane entertainment – Your flight attendants. Kids love watching them walk up and down the aisle with the drink or food carts.
When you finally arrive at your destination, remember to “check seat back pockets, overhead bins and coat closets for any personal items you may have brought on board with you”. Above all, do not forget small electronic objects or mobile phones in the rear pockets of the seats.
Children love to visit the cockpit and have their picture taken with the captain. When you leave the plane, it’s the perfect time to do it. In the old days, happier times, we could take the kids into the cockpit during the flight and have their picture taken. Alas, in today’s world, you have to do it before or after takeoff. Every captain and first officer I worked with was happy to take pictures with the kids.
I hope you got something useful from this article. I flew for a long time and saw a lot of people getting in and out of the plane. Many of my favorite passengers were children. They are funny, fresh and above all authentic.
I wish you pleasant travels.
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