Whether you’re flying for just an hour, or much longer, a little strategic packing can go a long way toward keeping you and your family comfortable during the journey. From the moment you close your front door to the moment you arrive to your final destination, here are some packing tips to ensure an enjoyable travel experience for all!
Despite the temperature outdoors, most airports and airplanes have varying temperature changes, so don’t just dress for the weather outside. Dressing in layers and packing a light jacket in your carry-on can alleviate any temperature change discomfort. Dress in loose, comfortable clothing (think no tight bands, straps, etc.), and wear comfortable shoes. For young children, you may also want to bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to make them feel more comfortable.
Once you and your family are nice and comfortable in your seats, perhaps a nap or some rest is the goal. If so, consider investing in some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to keep the noise out. A sleep mask and comfy neck pillow (the inflatable ones are easy to pack) will also help. If you or other members of your family struggle with flight anxiety, chat with your family physician about natural supplements/medications, or for kids, essential oils that you can take along with you to help alleviate nervousness. Coloring books or word puzzles may also keep kids or adults distracted and calm while in flight.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Packing your own snacks in your carry-on bag can save you time and money, not to mention your sanity if traveling with young children. Airport food is pricy, the lines are long, and there aren’t always healthy options available. To avoid these issues, pack non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, nuts, granola/protein bars or whole-grain crackers. These types of foods won’t be confiscated by security, and they’re light enough to not add weight to bags. Avoid bringing bottles of water, as they are not security-friendly. Instead, bring an empty reusable water bottle, preferably one with a built-in water filter. If you’d rather not pack ahead, there are kid-friendly snack options on board, and adult-friendly beverages to get vacation started.
Have Some Fun
There are few things more stressful than bored children. Make flying fun, and prevent boredom by being prepared with devices like iPads, tablets, laptops, etc. Make sure they’re charged before you leave, and bring chargers along with you. Before taking off, download movies/books/magazines/podcasts to your devices, as in-flight Wi-Fi or other entertainment offerings (if available) can be expensive. For younger children, pack a new toy or book they’ve never seen before and surprise them with the new find on the flight. Be sure to include plenty of headphones when you pack. Flying with your family can be fun and hassle-free if you do it right, so be sure to pack some patience and positivity, and embrace the experience!
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