How To Survive A Cross Country Flight With A Wild Badger.
Hello. I am not sure if you know this but flying commercial coach these days is maybe not the most fun thing you have ever done. Like, even when traveling completely alone, it can totally suck donkey balls. And then there is the added stress and anxiety if god forbid you happen to be fat or bringing a baby onto the airplane. (I once had a man "joke" as we were boarding the plane with a 2 year old Z that he would murder us if my child was rowdy during the flight. I am not even joking.)
Honestly, it sometimes just feels like walking from Philadelphia to San Francisco maybe an easier trip. And I say this a seasoned veteran of flying (sometimes alone) with an infant, a toddler and now a pre-kindergartener. The dread starts in my stomach weeks before a trip. I usually have a tactical plan and most of the time (knocks on wood, runs outside, spins around three times and spits) it works. So here are some tips and tricks that I use in order to survive the 40 days in the dessert where satan is tempting you that we call flying commercial in this country.
- The iPad, computer, tablet whatever is your friend. I do not give a rats ass how strongly for/against you are about screen time. I do not care if you think that electronics will give you cancer. Your number one friend in the air with a child? Movies, shows and games on an electronic tablet to computer. I also highly recommend earphones especially made for children. We bought ours at Target for a very reasonable price. It has volume limits to protect their ears and they fit a child's head. He can play his annoying train games, watch Toy Story for the 11th million time. The only draw back is that Z thinks he has to talk over the sound and yells at us when he is wearing them. HEY I WANT GOLDFISH.
- The only rules of flying is there are no rules. A whole bag of gummy bears? Goldfish only diet? I do not care. He could eat a whole back of peanut butter cups as long as he is mostly quiet and well behaved. I plan ahead and pack a bunch of his favorite snacks and offer them in intervals.
- SURPRISE! It is a bunch of cheap plastic shit! Even though Z has way too many toys, I still buy small plastic surprises that he has not seen before. It buys time and distracts him and keeps him entertained. In the past, I have bought movie themed plastic sets from target and given him the toys one at a time.
- Sticker, Activity and Coloring Books. This trip, I bought the marker books that use a special marker to reveal pictures and a huge Dory themed sticker book. He sat quietly and focused on them for at least two hours. Usbourne books make wirable dry erase books that we love. You can also buy similar things on amazon. Z loves mazes and connect the dots.
- Fake it 'til you make it. We act like flying is a big adventure and try not to stress out in front of Z. On our flight to San Francisco, there was a moment where things got a little dicey. We took a walk to the bathroom and it seemed to help shake out the sass. (Sidenote: Z is terrified of airplane toilets when they flush.)
- BE NICE. BE NICE. BE NICE. It is simple but also sometimes feels impossible to accomplish but it really goes a long way. Flying can be miserable but I have found if you are kind and sweet to other people, it can neutralize any nastiness.
- When all else fails, DRINK.
What traveling tips do you have?