Airplane travel with children
Airplane travel with children is not a problem in itself. When, however, they get bored and try the patience not only of their parents but of the passengers around them, they can become a problem, and a great source of stress to their parents. An average flight of around 4 hours, or, even worse, a long haul of 10 hours, will seem much longer for a small person aged 5 who, even on routine car trips, will bombard their parents every few minutes with the dreaded, "Are we there yet?"
Here are a few suggestions for the "activities coordinator" to keep your tots busy and yourself sane during the flight.
Reading: not guaranteed to last the whole flight
If he can't read, read to him, and with a little luck, he'll soon fall asleep. If he knows how to read, bring a book from his favorite series. But often the little angel who goes obediently to bed at eight o'clock will also be the one who stays up all night, excited about his first flight in an airplane.
Consider comic books, magazines or books of games, riddles, imagination and observation: some are extremely thorough. Thrifty parents: don't count on a complimentary coloring book from the airline. For those loath to weigh themselves down with extra books, encourage junior to carry them by giving him his own carry-on (ie small backpack).
Video games: in moderation
Consider bringing his usual game console with an adequate supply of games. A simple solution, but why not keep on doing what you already do at home? In moderation so as to avoid any ill effects. Don't forget the headphones, so you don’t have to listen to an annoying Super Mario theme tune!
On many airlines, you will find an interactive touch screen in the headrest of the seat in front of you: great when it works! As for the "children's" programming on the system, it's useful when they have it, and when it's appropriate to your child's age.
Board games (to play alone or with others)
There are travel size versions which are fun if the child already knows how to play. Monopoly, Life, Uno, chess, crosswords, backgammon, cards, etc.
Other helpful Tips
Childs’ security blanket/favorite toy
If you forget it, you risk your child having a tantrum and turning all the other passengers against you.
Motion sickness medication
If your child is so excited about the trip that he becomes hyperactive, if he is afraid to fly or has motion sickness, try motion sickness medication 30 minutes before departure: they also cause drowsiness (for children over 2 years of age, it's better to try it out beforehand).
Bring a few biscuits and other small snacks (for little ones, and adults), which will be helpful throughout the flight (but beware of too many sweets, which may agitate your children).
Reserve your children's meals in advance when you buy your ticket: your child will be served before the adult passengers, so you can help them and eat your own meal in peace afterwards.
Organized parents = parents with peace of mind.