Every parent will have to, at some point, fly with young children. Are there ways to make trips less stressful? MarketWatch’s Catey Hill discusses with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Vsurkov
HERE’S something you didn’t already know: travelling with kids = a complete nightmare that is not a holiday at all.
Actually, that’s not fair. I should rephrase that to “travelling with toddlers” because the teens don’t really need that much apart from an iPad, a good movie, and some of their favourite tunes on a playlist.
Right? Well, I actually don’t know because my kids are still stuck in that “a holiday with them is my idea of hell” phase.
Which is why I have become the expert on entertaining them while travelling — whether it be in the car, on a train, on a boat or in a plane — a lot of my family and friends come to me for advice.
I don’t claim to be a know-all, I just know that the reality is, I have children and need to keep them happy in order to come back from my holiday with a full head of hair.
Now, while I do claim that playdough is an absolute MUST for plane trips with children under the age of five, I recently discovered a travel hack that I didn’t previously know.
ARE YOU READY?
Forget snacks, toys and colouring books, apparently the humble, cheapo balloon is the one thing a lot of parents swear by when it comes to travelling with their kids.
A parent on Reddit recently discovered the travelling tip and wanted to share it with other parents who thought their travels were doomed forever.
“Many times I have been saved travelling with balloons. We’ve played with them in a hotel room when the kid need to get energy out. And when I had a plane that was delayed at O’Hare [airport, in Chicago] I was able to whip out a balloon that was in my carry on & blow it up,” the user writes.
“We found a gate that was empty and play volleyball over the seats for 90 minutes before the plane boarded. There’s almost infinite games you can invent with a balloon, and they work as well for 15 year olds as they do for 2 year olds. All hail the great balloon. PS; it’s fun for me too.”
ANYTHING INFLATABLE GETS A TICK FROM PARENTS
The thread has almost 60 comments with other parents sharing the love and their own similar tips.
Another parent revealed she also relies on inflatables to entertain the kids on their travels because they a) are easy to pack and b) keep the little ones happy.
“I do this but with inflatable beach balls. You can collapse them down to nothing and then inflate them in, say, an empty-ish gate of a layover airport to get some good run-around time in, then deflate them again to board,” she writes.
So there you have it, if you don’t take my tip and stock up on playdough, do yourself a favour and pay a visit to your local two-dollar store and nab yourself a cheap pack of 50 multicoloured balloons before you even think about handing over that boarding pass. Just convince someone else to blow them up.
This article originally appeared on Kidspot.