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10 Tidbits for Tumultuous Toddler Travel

Like anything in life, the more you practice the better you get.  Even flying with kids gets easier the more you hone your practice.   While most of these things are intuitive, I think that I’ve picked up some tricks along the way.  On our last Hong Kong-San Francisco flight, I compiled the following list:

  1. If you’re careful about ripping open the blanket bag at the top, you can reuse the bag for garbage.
  2. On long international flights, they come by twice with a drink service within the first two hours and then not again for another 5 hours or so.  Ask for red wine at both passes and save for when you really need them – 6 hours in, tired kids, achy knees and a serious case of cabin fever.
  3. Snacks like pistachios are GOLDEN for toddlers – opening them takes time, so you get at least four times the benefit.
  4. iPods for the kids, iPads are too large.
  5. Bring baby wipes – even if your toddler is long out of diapers – there WILL be a juice spill or a dirty face, or better yet, a pee incident.
  6. Look at the seatbelt light before you promise a walk about.
  7. Change diapers standing up on top of toilet seat – don’t mess around with the table for kids who can walk.
  8. The little cups in the bathrooms make for great toys (but are wasteful, so let’s limit this activity) and have the potential of making a cabin-fevered tot a happy-water-filling-and-pouring tot.  And it’s fun to see how many people you can cram into the bathroom.
  9. Use earbuds for yourself so that you can still halfway watch a movie while listening for AND attending to the little’s needs/constant whining (you can keep just one earbud in).
  10. On a long flight with kids coming into the US, where you’re not allowed to bring on water  – ask for an entire bottle of water – some flight attendants will roll their eyes at you, but it’s def worth it.  Oh, and bring smaller [spill proof] water containers to fill up.

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