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Surviving Airplane Travel With Children

By Donna Stark

You can sense all of it as soon as you board the plane with your little ones. The silent prayers, the inward groans, the instant judgments ... it's just enough to get your anxiety boiling, and you haven't even found your seats yet. Traveling with children can be bad enough as it is, but when you are thousands of miles in the sky and are trapped in a metal tube with unforgiving strangers, it can be completely overwhelming. Don't let the looks of those strangers and the stress of dealing with your restless children keep you from enjoying your trip. Just stay a step ahead of them all with the following tried-and-true tips. Survival in the skies is possible!

Choose Travel Times Wisely

There are plenty of options when it comes to flying, so choose what works best for your family. For some, that means traveling during your children's normal sleep schedules. Nighttime flights may be the perfect option for this because the plane is usually in "sleep-mode" and there are fewer distractions.

Strategic Seating

Some kids have trouble sleeping on planes and others have trouble sitting next to their siblings, so use some strategy when selecting seats and place yourself in the middle. This position will allow your children to lay their heads on your lap if they need to sleep and will keep most of the sibling bickering to a minimum.

A Seat for Everyone

Sure, you may be saving a few bucks by having your child sit on your lap, but do you really want to spend the entire flight trying to manage all of the extra activity that is going on just a few inches from your face? Do yourself a favor and purchase the extra seat. You'll be thankful for the extra space and your child will be safer with it as well.

New Activities

Before you leave for your trip, hit the local dollar store and stock up on new books or activities for your children to entertain themselves with. Kids can become bored quite easily when they pack their own toys, but that can be avoided with something new in their lap.


The most important tip of the day for traveling with children is to pack your own snacks (including bottles, gum, or lollipops for your children's ears during takeoff and landing)! Having your own snacks and drinks is the best way to keep a hungry child happy and to kill time during the flight. It's also a necessity for those times when the plane is delayed and you are stuck on the tarmac.

The Perfect Flight

Although the perfect flight may never exist, you can make the next one more bearable with some strategic backup plans in place. Show all of those strangers how well-equipped you are the next time you travel and walk onto that plane like a pro!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C.

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