On an overnight flight from California to Alaska, one kid we know (who shall remain nameless) was not just riding on an airplane—he was on a rollercoaster. One second he was happily tuning into Spongebob, the next he was crying over faulty headphones.
Sure, it was cute at first, but soon became pretty tough to keep him mellow for a full six hours inflight.
On the road or in the air, traveling with kids in tow is not the easiest thing—especially during the holidays. Assuming you can get the whole family to the gate on time, that long flight leaves a lot of down time for kids to go stir-crazy—and eat a lot of unhealthy snacks.
Psychologist and mom Zelana Montminy has the secrets to making traveling with kids as smooth as could possibly be. The key: Be prepared. Don’t even think about winging it.
- Bring reading material and coloring books—don’t forget the crayons! (Watch the video to find out why Montminy always prefers paperbacks.)
- In a pinch, make your own easy (and weird) things to keep kids occupied, including a “puzzle” made out of an empty toilet paper roll and pipe cleaners.
- Pack nutritious snacks, like dried fruit and squeeze packs.
- Get fun bags, and your kids will be more likely to carry their own.
- Treat yourself so you can stay relaxed enough handle any potential meltdowns.
Press play to get all of Montminy’s pro tips.
And remember, be nice to your neighbors on the airplane. A little sympathy from them can go a long way toward making your travels more manageable and mellow for everyone. Bon voyage!
Produced and Directed by: Liza Glucoft
Director of Photography: Naeem Munaf
Editor: Stephanie Provence