When you're traveling on a plane with kids, it's important to bring an arsenal of essentials to ensure that the flight is as smooth and uneventful as possible.
Check out Pink Peonies blogger Rachel Parcell's recommendations of the 5 most important things parents should pack on a long flight.
1. Have a bag full of tricks
If you're traveling with a young child, be sure to pack plenty of new small toys, games, stickers, magnets, and coloring books in your bag. But don't whip them all out at once—take them out one at a time and don't pull out another until they are really ready to move on.
One of my biggest tips would be to pack a charged iPad or tablet with games or videos or movies (and don't forget the headphones!!)
2. Less is more
Don't pack TOO much, or you'll get overwhelmed and so will your kids. Remember kids enjoy can play with pretty much anything when traveling, even simple seashells. In fact, not having toys stimulates their creativity!
3. Plenty of healthy snacks
My kids love goldfish, pretzels, fruit snacks, raisins, and popcorn. Stock up on a few snacks that you know your kids are familiar with and already like (finger foods in small packages are the best).
4. Give them their own backpack/suitcase
Consider planning ahead and having your kids help pack their activities for the plane. This would be a good time to explain where you are going and how long it will be, and it should help prepare them for what's ahead. Not every child will do well with their own backpack, but use your best judgment as a parent.
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5. Make sure they are comfortable
Plan out your kid's outfits ahead of time, and make sure they are wearing comfortable clothes with layers. Keep it simple so that your child is as comfortable as possible. I'd also recommend wearing shoes and socks, because feet can get cold on the plane. When your feet are cold, your whole body is cold.