Sunday, June 29, 2008

Travel tip - family pre-boarding on the airplane

To pre-board or not pre-board? There are many stories on the web about the benefits of pre-boarding the plane when traveling with a baby or small child. The option of pre-boarding is a personal preference, but personally, I have never pre-boarded and try to be the one of the last people on the plane when I traveled with my young children.

I traveled quite frequently with both my children when they were between the ages of 6 months and two years old. Both my children were very active and curious, even as small babies. Being confined in a car seat or even on mom's lap never was the most exciting part of their day. They loved to move and explore. So whenever we traveled, we would walk all around the airport exploring and boarded the plane at the very last moment to avoid having to be seated in a confined space for too long. Even the slow walk up the aisle to our seats, has provided entertainment for the baby who enjoys people watching. By the time we find our seats and get situated the plane is usually ready for take off and we are on our way.

I alway brought along small toys and snacks for the plane ride. Whenever I traveled with my son, who was by far the more active of the two kids, I used to bring a empty wipes container filled with ordinary objects from around the house that would be new to him to explore. Things like cotton balls, popsicle sticks, rubber ducks, stacking cups or a ring of measuring spoons, helped keep his attention away from standing up and grabbing the hair of the person sitting in front of him! Most of the items we brought were inexpensive so if we lost them on the plane or anywhere on our trip, it was not an issue. My son once dropped his bottle on the plane during ascending, and the bottle rolled back about five rows before being stopped by someone's bag under the seat! We didn't get it back until after we were getting off the plane.

My choice of not pre-boarding would be different if we were traveling on an airline that didn't issue seating assignments, but I have been lucky to never have been in that situation.

Patty, owner JetSetBabies

No comments: