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There's nothing worse than being trapped in a flying metal tube with crying babies or tantrum-inclined toddlers.
If you're a parent, you dread the day kids freaks out on a plane and makes everyone uncomfortable. If they're your own children, you must endure their stressful antics along with the stares of judgmental passengers nearby. And, if they're not your kids, you must sit through cries and shrieks while being entirely helpless to stop the madness.
I've been there. You've been there. We've all been there. But, what's a parent to do?
If you insist on flying with kids, there are plenty of do's and don'ts that can make the experience better for you and everyone around you:
Do bring stuff for the kids to do. It's amazing how a Kindle and some coloring books can keep kids happy and content for a long plane ride.
Don't forget to bring chargers for your devices. If your kid's Kindle or iPad dies two hours into a flight, there will be hell to pay.
Do bring snacks that are easy for kids to eat. Think: crackers and other non-messy snacks.
Don't bring messy snacks that will cause an in-seat catastrophe and incite a riot or environmental disaster. Also, don't forget to bring wipes regardless of your children's ages.
Do sit near the restrooms if your child uses the bathroom often.
Don't let your kid go to the bathroom just for kicks. Also, take your kid to the restroom before you board the plane.
Do bring headphones for your kids to use while they play games or watch movies.
Don't forget that the people around you don't want to listen to your kid's device the entire ride. Make sure the volume is down low and your kid is wearing their headphones.
Do sit next to your child so you can keep an eye on them. That way, you can squash any behavior issues quickly.
Don't let them kick the seat in front of them because they're bored.
Do let your kids enjoy the airline-provided snacks and drinks. That's part of the fun, right?
Don't let your kids get hopped up on caffeine during a long flight. Make them choose juice or a non-caffeinated beverage like Sprite.
Do arrive at the airport early. That way, you won't have to rush.
[READMORE]READ MORE: Common Courtesy 101: How to Travel With Kids[/READMORE]
Don't forget to select seats as early as you can. The last thing you want is to be separated from your family.
Do schedule flights when the kids might sleep. If their regular naptime is noon, for example, try to plan for that.
Don't schedule flights that might throw your small child's schedule completely out of whack. For example, don't fly at 5:00 a.m. if your baby normally sleeps until 8.
Do book flights with layovers if required. And consider getting a travel credit card with lounge access to make your layovers into a fun event.
Don't book flights with tight connections when you have kids in tow. It's hard enough to hurry as an adult; it's impossible when the kids are along.
Do bring antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. Planes are dirty, and kids aren't nearly "concerned" enough when it comes to germs.
Don't let the grossness of flying spoil your fun. Try to keep their paws as germ-free as you can, but remember that they're kids: They'd probably touch an airport toilet if given the chance...
Holly Johnson is an award-winning writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson writes for publications such as the...
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