As the little Dekel clan of ours is getting ready to fly down to Miami , I start reminiscing about travel with family through the years. My five year old, Yuli, always spends a lot of time talking about how much he wants to go on a plane. This should be no surprise to any parents of Gen Y children, since little Yuli was born into a world where his Israeli parents flying to their homeland several times a year is the norm. In fact, he himself has flown dozens of times across the country and world!
Due to my husband, Noam's, heavy work schedule, I've actually flown a number of times to Israel alone with the boys. Many neighboring passengers see a mama and two little children board the aircraft and are rather afraid to sit next to us! Please tell me this has happened to any of you other sweet mamas?! I hope I'm not alone here!
It definitely is not easy flying with two little ones sans hubby, but thankfully all of our family flights have gone safely and smoothly, as a result of a few simple tips I'll share below. In fact, I really can't wait for the flight to Miami in a few days (Noam is coming, too!)- I'm ready to be on the way to the airport, at this point! Lately, Yuli has been asking a lot about flying to Israel to see his grandparents and cousins- what a sweet boy he is. But, when I told him we'd be flying to Miami in the near future instead, his eyes widened and he got all excited. Like mother, like son! Anyone can benefit from a nice beach week - at least that's what we Dekels believe!
The flight down from New York to Miami is only 2.5 hours - practically nothing, compared to a 12 hour flight across the Atlantic! By the time you sit down and relax on the short flight, they're preparing you for landing and the warmth of Florida sun. And, after so many hours of flying with two kiddos, I've learned a tip or two about how to make the flight pass easily and enjoyably with children. Check out my top tips below, for mamas flying with their little ones!
1.Do Not Take Day Flights Lasting Longer Than 6 Hours
Take it from someone who's made this mistake before - don't do it. I found myself flying with a three year old and a six month old baby on a day flight to from Israel to NYC (aka 12 hours that felt like forever). My six month needed to sit on my lap the entire time to prevent crying, and it was actually quite difficult to sit in the airplane seat, pretty still, for many hours at a time! My three year old, on the other hand, only wanted to walk up and down the aisles the entire time. This created the challenge of watching out for a child on the move and keeping a baby at peace. If I haven't convinced you yet, believe me when I say it is unwise to fly long distances with multiple children and no help! Short flights or long overnight ones are the way to go with kiddos.
2. Always Make Sure to Have Comforts on Hand
However comforts are defined for you and your children - make sure to have activities/snacks/home items on hand and ready to go for your kids, should you need to pull them out at any point in the flight. If the older kids are enjoying themselves, they will be more relaxed and require less constant hands-on attention (which means more time to focus on the youngest travelers). Yuli's favorites are his iPad, headset, and comfortable flight pillow.
3. Pack Extra Essentials!
I can't stress this enough - pack extra underwear/socks/pants (and any other essentials) in your carry-on luggage, just in case your checked bags go missing. Beyond that, children are messy and mistakes happen (bathroom accidents, food spills, dirty floor crawling), so extras are always good to have on hand should a situation arise. Packing an extra set of clothing staples will put your mind at ease - and that is reason enough to use this tip!
4. Surprises are the BEST!
Children love surprises - a little toy, a bag of candy, a sticker book. I always find that it's good to have a few treats on- hand in a time of need. They will come in handy when you need to revive and/or console a child in a pinch
Enjoy your Monday :-)