- Eat as healthy as possible. I pack healthy snacks, avoid airplane food, and buy salads, yogurt, and fruit in the airport if I have to do so.
- We drink tons of water. I used to let my kids have a sprite as a special treat, but now I just push the water. We carry water bottles so it can be filled up on the plane instead of the tiny cups that are usually handed out. With every transition, I try to have everyone drink a glass of water.
- Try to exercise! Every twenty minutes we do something small on the long flight to exercise. We stretch in our seats, walk up and down the aisle three times, or we go to the back and touch our toes and stretch up high! Of course, we always try to make sure we aren’t bothering other passengers, but a little bit of movement can make a big difference.
- Each kid carries their own backpack. Every kid, starting from when they can walk, carries a change of clothes, some toys, a variety of art supplies, and snacks in their own rolling backpack. I have found that they are thrilled to carry them and excited to be in charge of all of their own things. This makes life much easier for me!
- Finally, we always leave plenty of time for transfers. Of course, this isn’t always possible but it can make a difference for everyone’s sanity if you aren’t rushing and hustling. Having time to go to the bathroom, buy an apple, and do some fast walking for exercise can make it bearable to get on to your third, fourth, or even fifth airplane of a trip.
What are some of your survival strategies for long flights with children?