I recently was flying by myself with the Wingman. Traveling with children can be pretty unpredictable. I was pretty nervous about it, and could just see us being “those people” who make the flight miserable for everyone.
I did my best not to worry about it, though I will say that I stuffed my backpack full of anything and everything that the Wingman might enjoy.
- Snacks. I had an old Puffs container with Cheerios and the Wingman loves taking the lid on and off. He enjoys that more than he enjoys eating the Cheerios, so it was a two-for-one…snack and a game! ;) Fishy crackers in a Munchkin snack catcher (again, two-for-one as he loves eating them and also spent a lot of time trying to reach in and get them out).
- Dollar Store. I went to the Dollar Tree and scoured the aisles for things that might be interesting to him. I ended up with a pair of sunglasses, measuring cups, and duct tape. The first two were huge hits and the duct tape was enjoyable but not quite as mesmerizing. I would take pieces of the tape and stick them on the tray in front of us. He had fun pulling it off and sticking it back on.
- Anything in our house. I found an old wallet, a dinosaur toy he was given for his birthday, this Fisher Price flashlight (also a birthday present), two birthday cards that played music, etc.
- And as a last resort, I downloaded some apps on my tablet. His two favorites were Baby Toy (especially the screen with all the animals) and Ballon Popping (Yes, the balloon is misspelled…no idea if that’s on purpose. lol).
- Books. I packed a lift-the-flap book, a touch and feel book, and several “regular” books.
- Change of clothes. Wingman pretty much never needs a change of clothes during the day, so I didn’t think that we would need it. But…..I am sure glad that I packed it because we did end up needing a change in the airport!
- Gate check. It is so simple to gate check items. I kept our stroller with us in the airport and took it right to the gate with us. Then when we got off the plane it was immediately ready for us.
- And of course diapers and wipes. Way more than I thought I would need.
- When the steward/ess comes to take a drink order, ask for an empty cup. This can provide some much-needed entertainment!
And I kept thinking that if all else fails, my tricks go out the window, and the baby doesn’t like anything I brought….it would only be for a few hours. It will only be a few hours out of our trip.
He ended up doing really well! We didn’t end up being “those people” although I’m not quite sure how considering the fact that Wingman was so exhausted and of course he wouldn’t fall asleep until 5 minutes before we began the descent. But somehow we made it!
What are your tips for traveling with young children?