You have been waiting for your well deserved vacation, but do you find that the memory of the last flight with your three-year-old still haunts you?
Here are some things you simply must pack when travelling with a three year old to ensure a smooth and pain-free journey:
- A zip-lock bag of crayons or markers and small pad or colouring book. Do not hand your child all the colours at once, because most three year olds are naturally a little clumsy. You might find yourself spending the rest of the flight on the floor between the seats collecting dropped crayons. Instead, keep the zip-lock bag with you and allow your child to point to or ask you for the colour they need next.
- Easy to eat finger food or snacks. Keep a small assortment of your child’s favourite foods stashed in your hand bag because hungry children are miserable flying companions. Also, when your child is sitting with a box of popcorn or banana chips and staring out of the window, you might be able to sneak yourself a short nap. Pack something chewy or something to suck on for take-off and landing to avoid earaches caused by change in altitude.
- Cotton ear plugs. Stuff your child’s ear with cotton to prevent altitude related earaches. Most airlines do provide it when requested, but it is always good to keep some at hand.
- Calpol syrup for earaches. If the cotton and candy don’t help, calpol will come to the rescue.
- Smartphone or tablet with games and movies. Download your child’s favourite movie or tv shows and games. Don’t forget a pair of headphones.
- Picture Books. Carry a couple of your child’s favourite picture books and a couple of new ones. When selecting new ones, try choosing books related to where you might be going or planes and travel. Choose books with few words and large pictures that your child can spend a lot of time exploring.
- Favourite toys. Does your child need his favourite stuffed giraffe to fall asleep? Well, then definitely pack it.
- Sticker Books, easily available in all bookstores, are a hot favourite of kids of all ages. If you find them, try and get reusable or magnetic sticker books that allow your little one to create multiple scenes over and over.
- Extra set of clothes and napkin for those unexpected accidents. When flying, dress your child in loose and comfortable clothes.
Comfortable, well fed and well rested children are better able to cope with delays and minor discomforts. And if your child is restless despite all the entertainment you have planned for, take your child for a walk to the restroom and back.You might find that some of your best vacation memories come from doing fun things together at your seat thousands of feet in the air.