As a parent, there a lot of things I dread. Cleaning up puke, temper tantrums, kids sleeping in my bed…the list goes on and on. Up until a week ago, I would have put flying with kids on that list as well. Since we’ve had kids, all of our vacations have been road trips. Why? Well, for one they are cheaper. Secondly, you can always pull over and take a time out if the kids get a little too crazy. I really never entertained the idea of putting my two and four year old girls on an airplane. I didn’t want to be “that” family. You know what I’m talking about. The ones they do news stories about. The kids who don’t stop crying leading to all the other passengers demanding their money back. I just didn’t want to take the chance.
So, what happened? Why did I change my mind? Well, the eleven hour drive we would have had to take was starting to make me break out in hives. I could envision a symphony of “are we there yets?” with a chorus of “I have to pee” ever hour. I could feel my neck start to tense and my eyes burn with exhaustion. Wouldn’t it be easier to take a two hour flight and be able to enjoy the day when we arrive at our destination? It sounded like a lovely idea, although I still had anxiety. Would the plane bother their ears? Would they be too scared to even get on the plane?
Well, my girls surprised me…big time. They were so excited to get on the plane that any anxiety they may have had just disappeared. I never heard them say they were scared or that they didn’t want to get on. As a precaution, I gave them some Benadryl just in case their ears started to bother them. But, I never heard them complain. After about fifteen minutes in the air, my two-year-old fell asleep. My other daughter was just so excited, she just looked out the window and took it all in. Before I knew it, we were landing.
The ride home went just as well. This time I forgot to give them Benadryl, but they didn’t seem to really need it. This time both girls fell asleep for awhile! This was 100 times better than any road trip we ever took!
I know, I know. We were lucky. Things could have totally went the other way. They could have been kicking and screaming the entire way leading me to look for an emergency exit and a life vest. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case.
So, if you were like me, dreading flying with your kids, I’m here to tell you to give it a try. You won’t know until you do. I would advise starting off with a short flight(ours was two hours) just in case there are problems. In the end, we were able to enjoy the day once we arrived. It was like having an extra day of vacation. It was also nice to arrive home not feeling like a zombie!
Have you flown with your kids? How was your experience?