|Blurry selfie while we waited for lift-off|
So we recently returned from our short jaunty to E-town, the first time we've been back since our Granny's passing last September. It has also been nine months since Little L last flew, and in kid-time, that is an eternity. A lot of growth happens in nine months (e.g. a baby goes from being a newly conceived embryo of cells to a full-term fetus, etc.), so we were well aware that the little girl that we flew with to Maui last fall was not going to be the same girl we'd be doing the return 1.25h flights with. We weren't quite sure what to expect, despite having flown with her dozens of times before.
Well, let me say that it was a cakewalk. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. A pleasure, even. Here's what worked for us:
- quality kids' headphones with age-appropriate volume limits (we used a Philips brand one)
- a fully charged iPad with preloaded apps, videos, and books that don't need WiFi (we have an Epic books subscription that allows you to mark "favourites" to be read offline, along with an Awesome TV app that stores some of her favourite kid vids)
- pre-cut fruit and veggies in small Tupperware containers (because while junk food is readily available, short flights and airports have a dearth of healthy kid-friendly fruits and veggies)
- a ziploc of other savoury and sweet snacks for in-flight noshing, including lollipops for take-off and landing
- an empty water bottle and a bottle of water to be purchased after clearing security
- one "treat" purchased at the airport on each flight (Little L chose a Miss Piggy Pez on her way there, and Hello Kitty cupcake candies on her way back)
- a comfy umbrella stroller in case your kid can't walk that fast to the gate (we brought our City Mini Zip stroller)
- small toys and activities stored in a kid-sized backpack for in-flight entertainment (for us, this was a Teeny Tiny Mini-Farm, some Littlest Pet Shop critters, a book, crayons/paper/stickers, a Daniel Tiger trolley and some DT figurines)
- an in-flight snack item from the flight attendant (in our case, corn chips there and pretzels on our way back, plus I bought Little L a lentil crackers-and-hummous premium snack on each flight)
Maybe it was because the flight was short, or perhaps we flew at a good time (10:30 am there, 4:00 pm back), or maybe it was all the snacks and treats, but we had no issues with whining or complaining during any part of the flights, despite interrupting her nap for one flight and forcing her to wait on our car seat install upon arrival.
Our next flight is in December, and it will be twice as long as this one (3 hours). Little L will also be five months older and wiser, and officially a student (preschooler). I'm sure that the experience will be different yet again, not only for her but for us, but I am looking forward to seeing how we do en route to Palm Springs.
What do you find useful for traveling with a 3-4 year old?