Monday, July 26, 2010
Flying to Rio de Janeiro with kids
Flying internationally with kids is not one of those parental things we necessarily look forward to. I was reading a friend's blog post about a domestic flight with kids (The Little Hen House) and it got me thinking. Then I had two other friends ask me for advice about flying to Rio with little ones. You see where this is going.
Here are some sanity saving guidelines to follow:
1. You will not get any sleep on the flight. Do not plan on it, do not even pretend to be hopeful about it. If you go into this like a warrior ready to take on Rome, you will be pleased with the hour you may manage.
2. Your kids will not like the airline food. Seriously, need I explain this one? Is there anyone who does like airline food? That does not count if you are flying 1st class internationally. If that is the case, I am available to be your nanny.
3. This is not the time to be cheap when it comes to toys. Buy one decently complex new toy and at least one other cheap one (per child). Do not show them these toys until in the air. Better yet, don't even tell them they exist until you need them! Do bring some old toys to entertain until you need the new ones. Yes, that means 1 carry on for entertainment.
4. Snacks! Your kids will not be eating healthy on this trip. Please do yourself, your children, and all other passengers a favor and bring A TON of favorite snacks. You can put these in the toy carry on.
5. Children's Tylenol. This especially goes for the first flight. Do not let your child scream in pain the entire time because you think that 3 drops of a medication is going to make their IQ drop 1/10 of a percent. Hello. This is not the time to be irrational.
6. Speaking of drugs, DRUGS! Hello, my name is Dramamine and I am your friend. Get a px from your pediatrician. If they say, "no, you really don't need it", ask them if they are flying 16 hrs (2 planes) with your child/ren. When they say no, repeat your request. These kind of pediatricians royally piss me off. No need for your kid, you, or all other passengers to suffer. It's a night flight to Rio. I have a hard time simmering down enough to sleep, why would my toddler be able to do it. Disclaimer, I do not recommend this for children under 1 year of age.
7. Be prepared for an adventure. It's going to be one. There will be laughs, tears, and heartache. You'll have enough material to start a blog after this kind of trip. But that's what adventures are for. Enjoy it. Seriously.