3. Go New. Invest in a few new movies, books, and card games that the kids have not seen that you can pull out when everyone starts getting antsy.
4. Less is Better. Trust me. Every single time I have ever flown with the little guys, I always wish I had brought less. Hauling a huge, 50-pound backpack around airports and trying to cram it underneath the seat in front of you is not a stress-reliever for you as a parent. Really. They don’t need seven new hardback books and fifteen board games and two dvd players. Go simple. And then when you think you’ve gone simple, pull out a few things more.
5. Bring Snacks. Especially if you are traveling to a foreign country, on foreign airlines. The kids may not like the food they serve, and they may need a snack (or a distraction) when the meals aren’t scheduled to come anyway. Bring healthy foods that make them excited (Don’t bust out the carrots and ranch, necessarily, but try to bring fun, lower-sugar foods. Our kids love the South Beach Caramel Meal Bars).
6. Bring Carseats for the Little Ones. Yes, they are a pain to lug around the airports during layovers, but containing a squirming two-year-old is even more un-fun. You can strap them in for a sleep so that you won’t be stuck holding a sweaty toddler for eight hours, which is also helpful. Unless you have a small infant who will go in the airplane bassinet or who will sleep in a child carrier, we’d suggest bringing a light carseat for any child 3-4 or under.
7. Quick Advice: Pray. Give grace (to them and to yourself). Smile (force it if you have to). Be polite (It’s not the stewardesses fault that you have small, probably grumpy kids). Treat yourself to a magazine. Remember that (like childbirth) it will be over eventually (and the memory of the pain will fade). Pray some more. And try really hard not to cuss.