This Momidarity post has been featured as a guest post on Luv2Nosh! Read it here or on their blog at https://luv2nosh.com/tips-and-tricks/five-things-not-flying-kids/
It's 9:00pm as I sit down to write this, and over a large glass of red wine, I let out a sigh of relief. For today I flew on an airplane with two young children, all by myself. And I'm happy to share that both my family, and the very nice man who was lucky to share our row, have survived to tell you about it.
See, a few weeks ago we decided to accompany my husband on the first leg of his business trip, which meant flying down as a family, but flying back with the two kiddos, solo. Cringe!
Now you can google tips and tricks for successful airplane travel with kids, and there are actually some great suggestions out there. But rather than add to the list of tried and true travel tips, I thought I'd reflect on my experience and share with you what not to do.
Come learn from my mistakes, friends!
1. Do NOT over think it.
You can prepare prepare prepare like the best of us, but at the end of the day, travel is a crap shoot. As planful as you may be, you can't predict traffic, length of security lines, timing of poop explosions, and your children's mood for the day. So don't waste time and energy over-analyzing how things might pan out. Instead use that brain space for more important things like new summer shoes and Pinterest dream kitchen boards.
2. Do NOT be stingy with snacks.
To entertain my one year old, the mom blogs told me to pack toys, stickers and post-it notes, new gadgets and mini play-dos. So like the rule follower I am, I filled a cute little baggie with toys and activities to keep her busy. But turns out those bags had NOTHING on the goldfish. Instead of playing, my daughter happily ate her weight in orange fish crackers, and was happy as a clam doing so.
3. Do NOT dress to impress.
If you're one of those people who likes to look cute while traveling, invest in the cutest pair of yoga pants possible, because this is not about looking good, it's about survival. By the end of our flight I had been spit up on, changed two diapers, had a half of cup of milk spilled on my pants, and may or may not have used someone's sleeve to wipe up boogers.
4. Do NOT care what people think.
I spent way too much time stressing over what the random person sitting 50 feet away in the terminal waiting area thought about my kid's rambunctious behavior. Yes, my children were jumping off the chairs, and yes, while watching the planes come in, Lucy licked the window a few times. But my kids were not crying or fighting, and that my friends is called winning.
5. Do NOT aim for perfection.
Airplane travel with kids is exhausting, nerve wracking, and messy. So when you've arrived at your destination, pat yourself on the back, grab a stiff drink, and laugh about the trail of goldfish you left in your destructive path. Because while in the moment things may be really hard, in the grand scheme of things, you made it relatively unscathed and it's time to enjoy your destination.
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