Me and the kiddos just took a flight from Northern Indiana to Las Vegas and it went pretty well! It was my first time with two kiddos that could carry their own backpacks (they are 2.5 and 4.5) and that was a game-changer for sure. Here are some ideas and tips!
1. Pack their backpacks WITH them so they know what they have.
I had stuff mostly ready for their bags but had them help with the actual packing. We started in the kitchen where they helped me fill a clear zippered case (one for each of them) with snacks and treats. We put in fruit snacks, raisins, fig bars, pretzels and suckers. Then I had them pack their own activities. I kept them almost identical. There wasn’t enough room for all the activities I wanted to bring so a few went in my bag and were “surprises”.
2. Tablets and headphones – YES!
We don’t really use tablets except for traveling at this point, but when we travel they are a MUST HAVE. We use older iPads with these cases, but if I didn’t have the iPads I would definitely get these Fire 7 Tablets – the content, included cases, and 2-year worry free guarantee make them an awesome deal. I make sure they’re fully charged and that I’ve downloaded shows they like from both Netflix and Prime Video so we can watch without WiFi. I just got them both these adorable cat-ear headphones for the trip and they were great! It was Betsy’s first time using headphones and I had to fix hers a few times because she’d mess with them but they stayed really well on both kids heads otherwise, even when they were looking down to watch the iPad on their lap.
3. Try some new activities!
I got some new and different activities and I think it helped keep their attention longer, just make sure they’re age appropriate so they don’t get frustrated. One of the new things we tried were these scratch and reveal books by Melissa & Doug, I got the fairy tales book for Betsy and the vehicles book for Simon. They were good for their different skill levels because Betsy could just have fun scratching away to see what was underneath but Simon caught on right away to the directions to make patterns with the scratch tool.
We also did these grab & go sticker activity sets, each one had different “play scenes” and sheets of stickers to add to the scenes. Simon got a PJ Masks Activity Set (a show he loves) and Betsy got a Shopkins Activity Set (which she knows nothing about but enjoyed very much!). Tip for littles that struggle with stickers (Betsy at 2.5 does, Simon at 4.5 mostly can do it on his own). Peel off all the stuff in between the stickers, then it’s way easier for them to get the stickers.
Betsy actually stuck with activities way longer than Simon on this trip, so Simon ended up doing more of the things we brought. I picked up this Hidden Pictures Sticker Book and he liked it, it was challenging but he did work on it for a while.
Snacks are the magical thing that just makes everything go better for my kids. We packed a variety and had several “snack breaks” throughout the flight.
5. Suckers for takeoff and landing!
I packed suckers and the kiddos got one for takeoff and another for landing. It helps distract them from the stress of takeoff and landing and I think the sucking helps with the change in pressure. We also had the tablets out for landing and we packed a special taggy blanket as a comfort item.
Hope this helps with your next plane trip! This was the longest plane ride I’ve done with the kids (and it wasn’t that long, just under 4 hours) and it went really well!!!