I’m not afraid of heights. I don’t mind rollercoasters. And I really enjoy the thrill of a high speed descent on my mountain bike. BUT there is something about being in a plane that makes me nervous. When I think of flying, I think of being inside a large box with no way to get any more food than what I have in my backpack. That is the first thing that comes to mind and what my mind is working through as I step onto the plane. Sometimes I feel something similar when I leave my house - which definitely motivates me to always have a snack on hand (but more about this point next week).
Should I talk to someone about that? Maybe. But for now you can get a laugh and I can fill you in on how I am already preparing for my flight in 6 weeks time.
I would probably be able to forage food if I was by myself on the airplane (if you can call it foraging when you are 35,000 (about 6.5 miles) above the ground). But when there are little ones along for the ride they might be a little more particular. Bottom line is, have some good snacks. I mean really good. The kind that take a while to eat and the actual process of eating them is an activity. Some examples are: peanut butter/almond butter packets, carrots and hummus, happy puffs, pretzels and avocado, popcorn, or your favorite trail mix.
Part of our strategic plan is to pack games/toys that can be played with for more than 10 minutes at a time. If it doesn’t pass that test it doesn’t get packed. Screen time is always an option, but planes are the perfect opportunity for family bonding, assuming you are in the same row, everyone is in a pleasant mood, and there aren’t any pressing deadlines. Cards, mancala, connect four, coloring, I spy books, and activity books are just a few examples that we have used in the past. We also like to reserve at least one new item for the trip to breakout at a peak and necessary moment.
Even though you are on the plane, don’t miss your meal times! We find this to be KEY. Although some might associate a plane ride with a movie theater, it is possible to still have some relative semblance of your regular day while flying. The best way to do this is to encourage your regular meals and snacks. This way you are still hungry (and satiated) at the right times. And it helps to prevent any hangry passengers that might be in your travel group.
DRINK. A LOT. One of the biggest inconveniences of travel is access to a pleasant restroom. Although sometimes they are hard to come by, your body will thank you for staying hydrated. Traveling is a big cause of unnoticed dehydration and prevention is the only way to combat it. The one thing (in my experience) that they never run out of on airplanes is water.
Another frustrating part about traveling is having too many things for such a small space. Be thoughtful about your carry-ons and what is going inside of them. Have essential items in an easy access spot. And a golden reward is when at least one of your carry-on bags is lighter when you leave the plan than when you boarded. Eating your meals and snacks at the right times will certainly help with that! We like to utilize compact containers which also come in handy on the return flight.
Just to give a real time update, I have all of our snacks for our upcoming trip, games that we will be packing, and I am still deciding on the best options for our meals. Breakfast is most likely going to be these homemade graham crackers, and I’ll keep you posted about the rest!