I love to travel! It is a good thing too because throughout the year, my family and I probably take at least two international and many other domestic (US) flights together. One of the perks of being married to a hotel executive I guess. I have to say, traveling became somewhat less relaxing when we had our daughter. Forget about sleeping on the plane, reading a book, watching a movie…but you know what? I would not trade it for anything.
We have met many people along the way and have had the opportunity to see many beautiful things. I have become quite the strategist when planning and packing for our adventures.
However, no matter the frequency of travel, long layovers and flight delays are still well…a pain. Here are some things to do to pass the time.
Walk the Terminal
When we have a layover, I love to walk around the terminal with my daughter. I get to exercise and burn some calories, while she gets to take a break from her stroller and see things from a slightly different perspective. She loves walking around and waving sweet hellos to the shop attendants as we walk by. I love the fact that there is exercise built in for me and hopefully, my 2 year old will burn off some energy before the upcoming flight. It’s the perfect win-win! While on your walk, you and your little person(s) can window shop, make some quick friends or keep things simple by purchasing some tasty bites.
Be careful, so that you don’t undo the calories you burnt from your walk. Also, be on the look out for indoor airport play spaces and activities. Many airports have them and it is a great way to “pass the time” and get the kids tired…maybe.
Read a Book/Magazine
Now assuming that your kid(s) are of the age where they can keep themselves busy or dad is keeping them busy then, you can read a book. If you are still at that parenting stage where the kiddies are still dependent on you for most things then, you can read to them. This brings me to an important rule:
When traveling with kids, always bring distracters like books and toys.
Take a Potty Break
Closer to boarding time (but before the boarding call), is the best time to take the kids (and yourself), for that last bathroom break. You really don’t want to be the one preventing the plane from departing because you can’t wait until the plane reaches the “cruising altitude” to take a bathroom break.
Email and or Call Your Contacts
Make sure to contact your friends and relatives to let them know about your updated flight schedule or just to catch up. Not everyone knows or is as resourceful to look up your latest flight information on FlightStats so it is a good idea to update them now to avoid inconveniencing them later.
If you would rather email your friends and family or you just want to do some web surfing, avoid paying the excessive fees to public WiFi (some airports charge a fee) and upload a free WiFi finder on your phone. Yes, there is an app for that. It will give you a list of free and paid WiFi hotspots.
Order Some Food to Go
If you tend to find the food on the airplane dull or not suitable for your taste, make sure to pick something up from one of the numerous vendors in the airports terminal. Especially if the flight is four hours or more, consider buying some food before you board.
If you are traveling with a “picky” eater and did not bring your own snacks, this is especially for you!
OK, I am not telling you to hit the bar with this one. Between the dry air in the airport and the recycled air on the airplane, you skin and that of your “babies” will be begging for hydration. Buy bottles of water (once you pass the security screening checkpoints) to ensure that you don’t shrivel like a raisin on the flight. I am not sure about you, but I don’t like having to call a stewardess every time I need a glass of water.
OK, we are off again. Save travels!