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Children and Vacations:  How to Have a Calm Flight

Vacations bring some of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have. However, not planning and organizing your family’s trip can make the all the difference in the world.

Try these suggestions to make your flight peaceful and enjoyable

  • Get the kids emotionally ready for the trip. Gather information in advance about your travel destination and share this information with your children to prepare them for the trip.

Plan daily activities before the trip

  • Discuss these activities with your children in advance so they’ll have something to look forward to.
  • Read a book about flying. If your children are seven years old or younger, look for books about flying that are written for their age ranges. Preparing children through stories and pictures can go a long way in quelling any fears they might have about flying in an airplane.
  • Make the story time fun and add in some of your own flying experiences for discussions with your youngsters.
  • If your children have flown before, talk about the previous trip to help refresh their memories.

Take something familiar & something new!

  • Let your child bring a favorite stuffed animal or toy on the trip to help keep them calm.
  • Help your kids pick that special toy or stuffed animal.
  • Instead of a new toy, choose a well-loved item. This might be a stuffed animal your child sleeps with or carries with him throughout the day.
    • Include simple, inexpensive toys and games your children enjoy. Purchase some of these items to pack in your carry-on bag. Then, pull out surprises every hour or so during the plane ride.
    • Plan to have enough surprise items for the trip home as well.
    • For example, if your son enjoys crossword puzzles, buy a new crossword puzzle magazine and pack it with a pencil.
    • Maybe your daughter enjoys reading and has a favorite author. You might surprise her with a new book by her favorite author to read on the plane.
    • Fun gadgets keep their attention. If your kids are old enough to have their own tech gadgets, whether to play games, listen to music or watch movies, ensure they’re packed in the carry-on.
    • If possible, give your kids a new game or new music for the trip. This could keep them quiet, calm and occupied for the duration of the flight.

    Make the flight into quality time

    • Engage the kids in discussions of subjects you want to talk about with them.
    • Listen to each of your kids talk about school, their favorite subjects, and their current interests.
    • When the kids wind down from this discussion, shift gears and bring out some of those little surprises mentioned earlier.
    • Be aware of how the seating arrangement on the flight determines whether the flight is calm or not. Sometimes families are split up on flights. Try to keep your children with you. Sometimes sitting between two children will eliminate arguments.
      • Another option is to seat the children side by side to see if being together helps keep them occupied with positive interactions.

      Planning ahead for your family’s flight increases your chances of having a peaceful travel experience. Follow the above suggestions to ensure that your family will arrive at your vacation destination relaxed, calm and ready to enjoy a memorable family vacation.

      Once you arrive at your destination, saving money with your children can help make your dollars go further and help you have fun!