Watch people as they board a plane. They eye the passengers already seated and then look up at the row numbers to make sure that it’s either a) their seat, or… please god b) – not their seat. It all depends of course if the passengers already in the row include the dreaded toddler or infant.
If you are the one holding or accompanying the youngster, with proper preparation you don’t have to be cursed by the surrounding passengers.
Here are a few tips from those who have been there done that or from the airlines who see it all.
– Know your child and be honest with what you can expect. Is your child fussy or entertained easily?
– Consider how far your destination is and what options you have. The non-stop flight sounds perfect, but is it the best for your toddler? More than four hours trapped in seat 5B is really long for a child.
– Watch those connectors. Dashing to Disney World from Calgary can include the dreaded 12:20a.m. red-eye flight to Toronto to connect the next morning. Forget it. Your kids are too pumped to meet Mickey to sleep, you won’t sleep and neither will the two rows that surround you.
– If your child is old enough to drag or carry their own carry-on, let them pack it. But check what is packed for TSA contraband of course and for weight.
– Take a trip to the dollar store and pick up some cheap yet entertaining toys, a fresh deck of cards, or dig deep in the toy box and bring some forgotten gems. Then as the flight progresses, slowly bring out fresh toys. Yes, it’s a form of bribery, but it works.
Is there anything more delightful than a fresh box of crayons and a new colouring book?