Tuesday, May 10, 2011

9 things not to bring on the plane when traveling with kids

There are of course official lists of items you are not allowed to bring on board an airplane. But if you're traveling with children, there are other items (some that may seem benign) that you should avoid.

1. Anything chocolate-covered
Just not worth it. More than likely, your children will end up with chocolate on their hands that will easily transfer to their seat, the seat-back in front of them, the window, you, the stewardess walking by... and so on. If it can melt in their hand, don't bring it on board.

2. Anything sticky
As with the chocolate-covered stuff, anything that might make your kids' hands sticky when they handle it is not a good idea on board. Fruits that are very juicy and likely to drip, and items covered in granulated or powdered sugar (or worse: icing) are a couple of examples.

3. Noisy toys
Don't bring whistles, for example. And don't bring talking toys either: nine hours with Princess Celestia saying "I love it when you comb my hair" just might drive you and nearby passengers nuts. Music players with head-phones are OK, and so are games that have a silent mode. 

4. Toys with lots of small pieces or accessories
I could include Princess Celestia here again as an example. All her little jewels and tiaras would just be a nightmare to keep track of on board an airplane. Bring along toys that are big enough to hold on to and see easily. Some board games are also a bad idea because they have too many little pieces. Magnetic versions of games like chess, memory and backgammon can be great however, but even then all those small pieces might be hard to keep track of. 

5. Crayons and crafts that make for colorful hands
For example, oil pastel crayons are not good on planes. Like chocolate, they tend to melt in your hand, just enough to transfer a lot of sticky, colorful wax onto little fingers and hands. Even if they're wrapped in paper, they are still too darn messy: stick with regular crayons instead. Stamp pads are also a bad idea, for much the same reason: the color tends to transfer to children's hands way too easily. 

6. Permanent markers
Just don't bring them. And if you have one with you, don't give it to your child to "play" with. Permanent marking is Bad News in kids' hands. Washable markers are great however.

7. Belts with big metal buckles
I avoid wearing a belt when flying, and I won't let my kids wear them either. Since my kids favor sweatpants and leggings, so that's rarely a problem anyway. This item isn't so much a problem on board as it is at the airport: that buckle might make every single metal detector beep, slowing you down considerably.

8. Bags of crumbs
Your hand luggage will probably take a beating on board. It might get stuffed into the overhead compartment with a lot of other bags, or you might end up sticking it under the seat in front of you, where it will inevitably get stepped on and kicked at. Snacks that could get crushed (like crackers) are best put into a hard plastic tub: if you leave them in a bag, they can end up as nothing but crumbs.

9. Sharp objects
These types of objects are pretty much covered in the list of prohibited items linked to at the top of this post. However, sometimes kids can bring along sharp objects you don't think of as sharp until it's too late. My son and daughter once hid a really big plastic triceratops dinosaur in their hand luggage. It had a very pointy and sharp horn and in cramped quarters on a plane, pointy, sharp toys are not a good idea.

1 comment:

  1. I think some adults could learn from this, too - especially the bit about 'noisy toys'!


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