Thursday, July 22, 2010
There's a new travel blog in town! AirlineTickets.org has lots of great advice for people who are looking for fun, low-cost, low-stress ways to travel. They have articles on airlines, airports, in-flight food, flight security, luxury travel and more. I love their recent article on Flying with Families -- having flown many times with the kids (and quite a few of those times on my own, without Alfie), I can vouch for each and every one of the tips in that post. Here's my take on a few of the tips in that article:
* Book non-stop flights
Yes, yes and triple yes. It's worth the slight increase in price, especially with young children. When the twins were babies I booked a flight with a stopover from San Francisco to Manila so that I could be on the same flight as my mother, who had already booked. The trip to Manila was fine because she was with me -- but the homeward-bound trip was DIFFICULT. I had two-month old twins in carseats and a snap-on stroller, a three-year old and all the toys, diapers and extra clothes they require. Try hauling all of that through a layover in a busy airport, with all the security checks, boarding pass showings and diaper changes!
* Scope out seats in advance
Most of the time, you can pre-select your seats when you buy your airline tickets, but there have been times when we have not been able to select seats until 24 hours before departure, or there just weren't any seats together. In those situations, make sure you get to the airport early and let the gate attendants know about your situation. They almost always will be able to do some magic switcheroos to get your family seated together, or as close together as possible. If all else fails, don't be afraid to ask your seatmate if he could do you the favor of switching so that you can be together with your child. People can be very nice about switching -- especially if you have an aisle seat to offer them!
* Don't be afraid to experiment with drugs
Finally, someone else has come out and said it, so now I can sing the praises of Benadryl without fear of people looking at me like I'm crazy! It's non-habit forming and my kids use it regularly to control their allergies, so I have no problem with giving it to them on long-haul, overnight flights to help them sleep. Just make sure you give them the right dose because it has been known to make kids hyperactive rather than drowsy!
* Act like an adult
When your potty-training son wants to go potty and your preschooler is whining about the power on your iPod running out and your third child is kicking the seat in front of him, it can be all too tempting to shove one of them to an unlucky flight attendant and dare the poor passenger in front of your little seat-kicker to complain. I totally sympathize and suggest that you treat yourself to a square of chocolate (or the whole bar) when your kids finally fall asleep.
But take heart-- this too shall pass. It did for me; last month Alfie stayed home while I took the kids on a flight to Chicago. We did not have advanced seat assignments so I appealed to the gate attendant. She worked her magic and got the 3 kids together in a single row, while I got an aisle seat about 5 rows forward. I considered asking a person nearby to switch -- then changed my mind. With 5 rows of passengers between us, there would be no parent for them to whine to and they'd have to work out their own problems. And you know what? It totally worked. They got through the 4-hour flight all by themselves, with no problem at all, and I got 4 hours to myself.
Win an iPod Touch
Here's the perfect gadget to keep your kids entertained on long airplane flights! One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win an iPod Touch, courtesy of Airlinetickets.org.
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AirlineTickets.org is giving away an iPod Touch on @bonggafinds! Enter now at http://tinyurl.com/325btfh
US Addresses only. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on August 5, 2010; I will draw a winner at random on August 6 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. Airlinetickets.org is providing the giveaway prize and is responsible for prize fulfillment. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.