The travel frenzy is everywhere. More cars are on the road, trains on the track, and planes in the air to get families to far-off (or close by) destinations for a chance to relax. Raise your hand if this just sounds like a one-way ticket to stress!
Recently, we traveled overseas – total flying time there 16 hours, nine of those hours included an orchestra of crying kids each out-screaming the other. At one point the stress level in our section was so high even the adult passengers joined in just to feel like they were also being heard. While you can’t program good behavior when traveling, preparing before you go will help your child feel more safe, secure and ready. Here are a few Chipper Tips so you’re ready for takeoff:Plan Your Flight: Picking the right day and time is important when looking for best fares but it is also important to think about how your child feels during the day. So, night flights might save you some spending cash but the stress of keeping fellow passengers awake because your child can’t sleep isn’t worth the savings. Download and print our Chipper Checklist for your child!
1. Think about what’s best for you as a family when it comes to timing.
2. Bulkhead seats offer more legroom which can allow for some “floor time” when flying so choose your seats wisely.
Pack Right: Packing is the perfect opportunity to get your child involved and it helps empower independence.
1. Make a checklist together and then get packing.
2. Favorite T-shirts, shorts or shoes – get them in the bag.
3. A small tote or travel pillow backpack that your child can carry will help them feel like a happy traveler. Have an extra set of clothes, favorite plushy, coloring book or activity, and a special snack or sweet they get to choose on their own to have on the flight.
Be On Time: Dashing to the gate is fine when you’re on your own but it is a stress builder when traveling with a child.
1. Before you go discuss what happens through check-in.
2. Arrive early and ask questions to help your child guide everyone and feel like the travel leader.
3. Be at the gate and wave to everyone on the ground – count how many people will wave back to help your child feel a part of the process. Most importantly though, be there to get first boarding and help your child say hello to the flight attendants. Establishing a deeper relationship will help build respect for all travelers.
In-Flight: Most importantly, check your own emotions; if you’re stressed your child will stress. Expect a smooth flight and be prepared for a few bumps along the way. Download and print our Chipper coloring sheet for your child!
1. For non-drowsy passengers, have your activities but also relax the “no media” rules as most flights provide entertainment and it’s a treat to get to watch together.
2. Take a walk through the cabin and play “The Captain Says.” It’s just like Simon Says and you can take a couple turns through the cabin having fun while stretching your legs and relaxing your child. Some favorites for us: “Walk like a penguin;” “Reach up high and stretch your arms;” “Put your hands on your knees like you’re hiding from the flight attendants;” …then back to your seat.
3. Always have a favorite food and a few special snacks in your own bag. If your child loves pizza bring the slices. Have a lollipop for the descent as it keeps kids busy and the swallowing helps keep ears clear.
Pressure-Free Landing and you’re on your way. Children even under three can understand your visual prompts and conversation when packing and preparing to fly so start early when getting ready to go and include your children.
When we include our children in the process of planning and preparing for a trip or even daily activities we help them gain independence and the confidence to help out in the home.
Are you ready to fly? Get ready to travel with our Chipper Tote and activity set!