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  1. #1

    Travelling with a four year old

    My family is having an out-of-the-country trip. It is a 4 hour trip. I am worried about my 3 year old boy. What can we do to keep him seated and still for the whole 4 hour duration of our trip? I'm afraid that he will run around the plane, chasing other kids and passengers or worst have his tantrums. We will bring with us some of his toys but I doubt it will keep him preoccupied for 4 hours.

  2. #2
    Dear chasermack,

    I can really empathise with you as last year we did two 11 hour long haul plane journeys with a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old.

    For a four hour trip it should be manageable to have a well-planned bag full of interesting objects, toys and games ready to keep your son entertained (I know this is easier said than done). I know it can be difficult but I would try to stay calm (both beforehand and on the plane) because any stress that you feel will be picked up by your son and then he is more likely to behave inappropriately.

    At this age, your son will enjoy looking forward to his plane trip. Get books out the library about planes and families travelling by plane and enjoy reading them together. When children understand what is going to happen then they are more likely to behave as they normally do. You can also buy or make your own flashcards about going on a plane featuring parts of the plane experience your son can look forward to (luggage check, boarding the plane, take-off etc).

    I have found that packing some party-sized bags full of small new toys and games to be invaluable. This doesn't need to be expensive - you could borrow them from friends or get them from charity shops. Toys which have been recommended for long journeys on this forum previously include:

    - travel aquadoodle - you draw with water and then it dries and you can draw again - so it never runs out
    - sticker books are amazing for long journeys - choose one with characters/ a theme that your son particularly enjoys
    - travel puzzles are useful too
    - a small bottle of bubbles is great to pull out if your son starts getting bored
    - a new magazine

    It's also wise to have lots of packs of healthy snacks with you. Avoid anything too sugary as this may alter his attention levels. Snacks which can work well are: raisins and dried fruits, small pieces of cheese, fruit bars, sandwiches etc. Pull out a tasty snack for take-off and for landing.

    As a back-up have a phone or i-pad pre-loaded with some television programs that your son enjoys. The plane may also provide its own entertainment. Cabin crew can also be really helpful too.

    I hope that you will also find this previous post helpful on: Tips for Travelling with Kids

    Good luck and I'm sure it will go better than you imagine!
    Warm wishes,
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 29th March 2014 at 07:20 AM.

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