Yay, the kids are in school. I can’t tell you how cute she was on her first day. She is up and ready in the morning unlike the boy who drags his feet along the way. Sorry I’ve been away from blogging lately, too swamped, and uninspired. Muse fled. Despite the fact that I am excited about school and all, I am consumed with thoughts of our trip to France this fall. What should I bring folks, what to bring these little people for the flight and the time we are spending there. I am having rough time dreaming up the packing list. Anyone else out there traveled to far away places with young ones? What was an item you were glad you brought? I need help here.
Becky and Hollee have done a couple posts on this lately, though most focus on the friendliness of the airlines: http://beckyandhollee.com/?p=3591#comments
The longest trip I’ve been on was to California. But here are some tricks that worked: I always gave them something chewy – preferably low sugar to avoid sugar-induced behavior issues – at the start and end of a flight to keep their ears clear. Once their ears get clogged, they can get cranky and stay cranky. Yours are old enough for gum now, so that’s great.
I packed surprise bags for each kid. My in-laws do this and sometimes give them a new treat every so many miles. The dollar store is great for this. I went for low-cost things that each child loved – coloring books, GoGos.
Maybe you could get J a small sketch pad to journal a comic of his trip. I’ll keep on the lookout for low-cost Webkinz for A.
The biggest distraction besides crayons/colored pencils and paper for longer trips is a movie. We’ve spent the time downloading full movies onto iPods and laptops. We have a headphone splitter for a laptop that we picked up on the way to Midway once (at Walgreens) that you can use. I also have an iPod headphone splitter that we’ve never used if you want it.
If you go the Benadryl route….my advice is to really know how your kids react. Mine differ — from instant sleep to over hyperness — depending on the day so I don’t risk it on planes.
I flew to Australia with my daughters at 2 and 5, and our go-to on-flight toys were small, McDonald’s Happy Meal-sized toys, a sticker book, a book with a bunch of different stories in it, a Mad Libs booklet and…best of all… an iPod touch. We loaded movies, tv shows and a few games onto the iPod touch and packed 2 sets of headphones and a splitter. It was a life saver.
I wouldn’t worry about snacks as international flights have tons of food and part of the thrill for kids is seeing what they’re going to get next. If they’re picky, you can request a kids meal by calling the airline ahead of time.