Saturday, May 28, 2011

15 do-s & don't-s when flying with kids


Do...
  1. ...clean your kids' hands, and your own, with soap, hand-sanitizer gel, antibacterial wipes (or all of the above!) every time you've been in the airplane or airport bathroom, and every time before you eat.
  2. ... put your plastic bags with liquids where they are easy to find and reach: you will probably be asked to remove them from your bag at security checkpoints.
  3. ...turn around to check if you left something behind at the check-in counter, the restaurant table, in the washroom, or anywhere else you stop and might put stuff down.
  4. ...let your kids watch the same movie or cartoon or old TV-episode 50-eleven times over on the long-haul flight if that's what they want to do: variety is overrated! (It's also oddly relaxing, and almost hypnotic to see the same show play out over and over and over again: some kind of zen meditation?)
  5. ...put your kids' drinks in sippy cups to avoid spills and to be able to save their drinks for later: a half-empty, regular cup of juice sitting on a tray table in front of a preschooler is just an accident that's going to happen.
  6. ...get up to take your kids to the washroom, even if they just went. Sure, maybe they're just doing it because they have some odd fascination with the cramped quarters, but still: better safe than sorry! Plus, moving around reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs!
  7. ... try to sleep when your kids sleep on board. Unless you haven't had the time or opportunity to eat your meal yet: in that case, do that first. Eating undisturbed is a rare occurrence when you're flying with kids, so enjoy it!

      Don't...
      1. ...ask your kids who gets the window seat if your traveling with more than one (competitive) child: it will only end in tears. Instead say "So, it's X's turn to have the view on this flight, Y gets the nifty aisle seat! And then you switch on the next flight!" Or, even better, throw a dice/draw straws before the flight to determine who will get to pick first.
      2. ... wait until just before the flight boards or the plane lands to ask your child if they need to go to the washroom: if they say yes you might not be able to get there in time.
      3. ... put a carry-on with vital items like diapers, snacks, or toys in the overhead compartment if you can help it. All that up and down and digging around for your bag gets old fast.
      4. ... travel without a change of clothes for your kids and yourself: it's just tempting fate!
      5. ... wear tight socks or shoes on board: once your feet swell up from the altitude you'll regret it.
      6. ... wear random big metal items (belt-buckles, jewellery) because they will probably set off the metal detectors and slow you down in every single security check.
      7. ... forget to bring a second soother if your child uses one.
      8. ... forget to bring your own comfort items (it's sometimes easy to forget your own stuff when you're all worried about remembering everything for the kids). For me, the comfort items include a small tube of moisturizing cream that can be used on hands and face, and a chap-stick. Starting on my next flight, it will also include an inflatable neck-pillow.

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