Have Toddler, Will Travel

By: Jessica Aldred 

I get car sick-really really car sick-but other than the fact that I have to be the driver on our road trips, nothing stands in our way of travel wherever, whenever and with whomever. airplane-698539_640That said, I’m approaching my first airplane ride with a toddler. I’ve flown with my kids at 6 months, 2 ½ years and older, but never a wiggling giggling toddler. We specifically picked this age to take him to meet Mickey Mouse because a.) he’s free in Disney Parks and can eat off my plate for free and b.) I don’t need a seat for him on the plane while he’s under 2. Here’s the inherent problem, he’s going to be 18-months old when we fly and while he’s a totally happy and friendly guy, he likes to be free. Don’t get me wrong, he certainly enjoys cuddling but when he wants to run wild he can throw a pretty standard toddler tantrum and I’m a bit concerned within the confines of an airplane.

I refuse to take anything but direct flights period, let alone with my kids. I’ve adopted the mentality that we need to get in there, shut the doors, hunker down and get through it. My little guy is a pretty tall, and strong, little bugger so I’m a bit concerned on how he’s going to handle it. Did I mention that I also have a 5 and 7 year old, as well as a husband to keep in check. My normal concerns combined with the uptick in media coverage on families being kicked of planes due to unruly toddlers has me on the hunt for tried and true tips and flying failures of other parents out there.

I’ve started a list of some of the most common recommendations/ideas I’ve run into. I’ll include them below but I’m certainly looking to expand on my list if you’ve got additional tricks in your back pocket.

  1. Benedryl (don’t judge)
  2. Snacks-but low sugar snacks
  3. Lay off the fruit juice or sugary drinks before flying
  4. Don’t pre-board
  5. New toys, App’s, movies, etc.
  6. Save lollipops for take-off/landing
  7. Time flights during naptime
  8. Passenger favors/pre-apology notes
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