How To Fly with a Young Child
By Brian Sargent of Looky, Daddy!
1. Make It a Party.
Don’t just pack a bunch of new toys in your carry-on, wrap them like presents first. Buy a party hat. Say you’re celebrating National Don’t Throw a Fit Day.
2. Pack Well.
Toys, food, and blanket. And make the food your child’s favorite. The food pyramid does not apply on travel days. If your kid would love five ziploc bags of CheezIts in a row, bring ’em. And a lollipop for dessert. (Feel free to pack a book for yourself if you like to feel disappointed.)
3. Do Not Preboard.
There is no reason on Earth your kid should be the first person to get on that plane. Get on last. That way you’ll shorten the most boring part of flying: Sitting at the gate. Plus you’ll get to see the expression on the guy’s face who, until you got on, thought he had a whole row to himself.
4. Meet Your Neighbors.
Kids kick chairs and make noise, but they are slightly less inclined to do so if they’ve met their potential victims. Especially important is the person directly in front of them. You know, the person whose chair your child’s tiny little feet at the ends of his stubby little legs naturally touch. Introduce your kid to that person right away. And then have your kid buy her a beer. She’ll deserve it.
5. Don’t Go.
Airline tickets are through the roof, and it’s really not worth all the bother. If your Great Aunt Mathilda wants to see her nephew so bad, tell her to pack herself up to see you. And to bring presents. It is National Don’t Throw a Fit Day, after all.