Traveling with kids can be insane, especially on airplanes. With all the rules on what can and cannot be brought onto a plane, it can be difficult to handle snacks for your littlest travels. Here’s some tips on how to keep the kiddos happy- and your wallet!
- Buy individual powdered packets of your child’s favorite drinks. Bring an empty water bottle. All you need is a water fountain on the other side of security and you have an inexpensive flavored beverage. Since staying hydrated is so critical when flying, this can be a good way to entice a reluctant drinker to hydrate.
- Bring high protein snacks in individual packets. Peanuts used to be in vogue, but are no longer recommended due to the high amount of allergies among children and fellow passengers. Check the snack aside of your local grocery store for 100 calorie individual packs of goodies. Keeping these snacks in a hard pencil box (check the dollar store!) will keep them from getting crushed in your carry on.
- Ziploc bags are handy for garbage, unfinished snacks, powdered drink packets, etc. A parent can never have too many Ziploc bags. Space saving bags are also a great travel item. If the whole family is traveling together and you only have one carry on, get space saving vacuum bags. They are generally available at drugstores like Walgreens and CVS. Put an extra outfit each in the bag, suck out the air, and pop it in the carry on. A small electric air mattress pump can be used to suck out the air while you’re staying in hotels, etc.
- Gum and mints can help a preschooler keep their ears clear on takeoff. A pain free child means a happy parent—and happy fellow passengers!
- An extra outfit- and baby wipes. Even if your child is past the age of diapers, an extra outfit is a must. Nothing is worse than needing an extra outfit and not having one. Baby wipes are excellent face and hand cleaners when confined to airplane seats. Take more than you think you will need. It is inevitable that somebody will dump their milk on the cranky person in the next seat the day that you don’t have any extra wipes.
- Have a goody bag of small toys, quiet activities, and other distractions for the children. Sometimes a new thing to do is enough to keep them happy, even during a long trip. Inexpensive items can be found at dollar stores, yard sales, Goodwill, etc.
- If you’re traveling at night, changing the children to their pajamas may help them sleep. Sleeping in your jeans is never comfortable, no matter what age you are. If their pajamas are not appropriate, dress them in comfortable, pajama like clothes, like sweatpants.
Traveling with children does not have to be torture. Keeping them well fed, hydrated, comfortable, and entertained is a big step in the right direction! Your sanity- and your fellow passengers- will thank you!