Over the next few weeks, many Atlantans will be gearing up for Spring Break. Whether you’re heading out of the country or just a few hours away (hello, Disney World!), if you’re getting on an airplane with a baby or toddler it’s best to start planning for your trip now. My husband and I recently flew with our two-year old to visit family in Texas and, let’s just say, we made quite a few rookie parent mistakes on the flight over (mostly centered around packing healthy snacks and knowing what to take vs. buy at the airport). Since that trip, we’ve wisened up a bit, learned a few tricks, and this is what we now know:
When It Comes to Milk – Take it with you to the airport (TSA allows you to pack enough milk for the flight) or be sure to buy it before boarding the plane. I didn’t know until recently that most airlines only carry enough milk onboard for travelers who want it with their coffee. If you opt to bring the milk with you, pack it in an insulated thermos or simply buy those small boxes of milk available at the supermarket – the good news, many brands of organic milk (like Horizon) are available in small boxes that you can easily chill, pack, and take on the plane.
Choose Your Snacks Wisely – The best airplane snacks are those that aren’t messy, smelly, and don’t require special utensils to eat them with (our favorites are Organic GoGo Squeeze Applesauce, Annie’s Cheddar Bunny Crackers, pretzels, and string cheese). Some snacks that seem like good options, but, you might want to rethink, are super crumbly crackers that get everywhere (like Ritz), dips like ranch or hummus (it’s hard to balance it all on that little tray and not spill), and, messy fruit such as bananas and berries.
Starbucks Isn’t Just for Mama’s Coffee – It’s also great if you’re in need of hot water! Whether you need prepare a bottle of formula or just warm a bottle, get a hot cup of water from Starbucks! Want to prepare a healthy snack of instant oatmeal for your child? Again, just go to Starbucks! Even better, you’ll often find that the hot water is free of charge. Just be sure to buy a cup of coffee or tea from the barista for their kind gesture.
Take and Toss Sippy Cups are Key – This keeps you from having to wash sippy cups in the airplane lavatory (the tap water in there isn’t considered safe to drink) and, they’re stackable, so they don’t take up much space in your carry-on. Better yet, they’re super cheap and if you lose one, no big deal!
Never Underestimate the Power of Biscoff Cookies – On this past trip to Texas, my son was completely off schedule, exhausted, and spent much of the plane ride crying (yes, we were THOSE PEOPLE). It was only until the flight attendant offered him Biscoff cookies that he settled down, stopped screaming, and returned to his normal sweet self. I’m not saying that giving your child treats is always the answer, but, when traveling, it’s important to be mindful of those passengers around you. And, if a few cookies do the trick, just hand them over!
These are just a few of my top tips for those flying with little ones in the next few weeks. Let me know, what are your top tips that’ll help parents sit back, relax, and enjoy their flight?
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