If you have your heart set on a family vacation in Mexico or Hawaii, you're probably aware of how long the flight can be. While airplane travel can be fun & exciting for kids at first, as a parent you are likely already anticipating the point when boredom & crankiness set in.
Although we can't predict how your children will handle a long flight, we have a few tips to make the flight as enjoyable as possible for all members of the family:
1. Look for non-stops & fast-tracks One thing we can do here at Beach Bum Vacation is book you the most convenient flight possible. If you wish, we can look for a direct flight so you don't have to worry about leading the kids through airports multiple times or keeping them occupied during layovers. Remember to speak up once you're in the airport & take advantage of benefits like early boarding & fast-track lines for families with small children.
2. Choose travel time wisely A 5 a.m. flight seems like a good idea so you can get to your destination as early as possible, but waking your 4-year-old up at 2 a.m. is guaranteed to create a stressful situation later in the day. You will also want to plan your arrival time so you can check into your luxury hotel in Hawaii right when you arrive – otherwise you may have a couple of kids who need naps on your hands with nowhere to lay them down! Let us know about any time preferences you have & we'll happily work them into your travel package.
3. Keep it simple Parents & kids should wear clothes (especially shoes) that will make security checkpoints easy. Flip flops & sandals are a good idea, as are strollers that easily fold. Bring just a few carry-on bags so you can have your hands as free as possible.
4. Bring comfort items If you're concerned about your kids getting grumpy on the flight, being unable to sleep, or being otherwise uncomfortable, it's a good idea to create a "comfort pack," filled with things like snacks, medicine & comfort items, like a blankie, favorite stuffed animal or binkie. You should also pack ear drops for changes in altitude & children's Benadryl, which works like a charm when it comes to helping kids fall asleep.
5. Bring your own fun Pack plenty of fun for both the flight & all the waiting times in airports. Coloring books, crayons, playing cards & other travel-friendly activities are a must. If you have an iPad, LeapPad or other portable electronic devices, make sure you download some new apps, movies or games & bring the charger or extra sets of batteries.
With these tips in mind, you may even find you love traveling with the kids!