Relaxing air travel for the whole family… even mom and dad.

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Remember when you were a kid sitting in the backseat begging for your parents to adjust the radio or air conditioning and asking “are we there yet”? The folks up north might not be aware of it yet but spring is right around the corner. With it will come lots of family travel and, if you’re not careful, lots of family headaches. Even the most well behaved children can and will get bored during a long day shuffling between airports, time zones and climate ranges. Be thankful, though, that you’re traveling by air rather than in a car.

In the back of the family wagon you probably played cards, travel checkers or something that involved license plates all while almost poking your sister in the side and saying “I’m not touching you”. These activities just won’t do now a day. But, parents, don’t fret, here are three small things that you can do to help ensure that you have a nice travel day and arrive with all of your hair.

1:  Get to the airport early. This may seem obvious to some and to others it may seem counterintuitive. Either way, it’s true. Arriving an hour and a half to two hours early will not only ensure that there is plenty of time to check your bags and find your departure gate but there are other benefits as well. This is a great opportunity to let the kids get accustomed to being in the airport. They will be able to see the planes outside the windows and get used to the idea of air travel if it’s their first time.

2:  Split up. When it comes time to check those bags and get the boarding passes it’s may be best for Mom and Dad to split up. One parent can keep watch over the children while the other waits in line. Standing still in line is, as we all know, one of the most torturous things that a kid can be asked to do. By splitting up, the kids can keep playing and exploring while Dad (or Mom) waits in line and handles all of the boring tasks. Be sure to stay close though; just in case an airline representative has a question for both parents or the whole family.

3:  Keep the kids occupied. Be sure to bring some snacks, water, gum and an iPod or other device that holds video and music. Of course, if you’ve got more than one child you’ll need more than one device. Also, to help with the kids at takeoff, be sure to give them some gum before the plane even begins taxiing. Chewing will help provide a distraction as the plane gains altitude and the children’s ears pop.

Do these things and be patient and we’re sure that you’ll have a great day in the sky. Don’t and you’ll be hearing a lot of “I’m not touching you” and “are we there yet?” It’s your choice but you’ve been warned.