I dole out a ton of advice on this blog about traveling with kids. Sometimes, I like to spread the love. That explains my latest piece for the Expedia Viewfinder blog from Expedia—a story that lists five tips for holiday air travel with children. The piece went live earlier today.
The story culls advice and insight I’ve gleaned from six years as a family traveler. Some of the suggestions relate to ideas I’ve mentioned here before. Some of the suggestions are brand new.
The bottom line: We can’t just board a plane and expect our kids to entertain themselves.
Flying with kids at any of time of year requires effort on the part of us parents. Well during the holidays, when airplanes and airports are at their craziest and busiest, it’s even more important for us to stay cool, stay calm, be flexible and be ready to tackle any delay, cancelation, sickness or angry fellow passenger that comes our way.
My No. 1 tip (which you may have read previously in these pages): Bring art projects. Kids love making things at home, so why not put them in position to make the same sort of stuff at 35,000 feet? When we fly during holidays, I bring construction paper and Scotch tape so the kids can make paper chains. My job in the assembly line is to rip the paper into perfect rectangles; from there, L and R take turns making circles, taping circles and stringing the chains up around our seats.
Sometimes we leave the chains for the next passenger (or the cleaning crew). Other times we hand them to flight attendants, who love the thought. Whoever gets ‘em, the process usually kills at least 90 minutes. On a long flight—especially during holiday season—that’s practically a lifetime.