Apr 212014
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My boys are experienced travelers. They have flown to Disney World every year since my oldest was five and the little guy was 21 months old (they are now nine and six). We always fly to Orlando out of Providence, RI, so it is a short flight for us (about two and a half hours or so), but this is the second year in a row that we have flown across the country to San Diego (which is where I am right now). That is about a six hour flight from Boston, so it’s almost double the amount of time on an airplane than what they are used to.

They are generally really good about entertaining themselves, but you never know when one of them is going to get bored, so for long flights, I always bring a carry on bag filled with things to keep them busy.


As you can see it’s filled with puzzle books, Mad Libs, mazes, Where’s Waldo books and most importantly – snacks!  I also make sure I have sharpened pencils and a pencil sharpener so that they can actually do the Mad Libs, puzzles and mazes.  I make sure to charge their 3DS’s and Kindle Fires the night before so that they are fully charged before we leave and that way they should last for most of the time we are up in the air.

PS – Spot It (in that little round tin) is one of my kids favorite games.  It’s a picture matching card game and it’s a lot of fun.  I love that it’s small and easy to take on the go!

All that should keep them busy for a while, huh?  Well, despite all that fun stuff, sometimes they still start to get restless towards the end of the flight and that is when I have to bring out the big guns……



Oh yes, I am not above bribing my kids with candy to get them to behave.  It works.

What do you bring along to keep your kids busy when you travel?

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  96 Responses to “Flying with Kids”

  1. Will totally have to remember bribery when the times comes, now!! 🙂

    • I will have to keep the bribery in mind…although I’ll stick to fruit snacks and other healthy options. My son has also become a world traveler – even has to have his own roller bag when we travel!

      We’re planning a trip to Hawai’i with the whole fam, so this will definitely come in handy this year! From Detroit to Hawai’i – 10 hours – hopefully some of them will be sleep time 🙂

  2. Ahhh bribery works everytime.. well most of them anyway. But I don’t fly sooo yeah .. again you are braver than I. Oh btw have a thingie for you to do on my blog pretty please oh please pretty please!!

  3. I love Mad Libs! I always forget about those! will have to get some more of those next time we go on a trip 🙂

    and my kids totally got to have snacks and drinks like the whole time!

  4. Can I be your child for one trip? I was always a little sad that my mother never prepared anything for us to entertain ourselves. We were very good self entertainers, but when I read now about parents who have bags of back up entertainment, it makes me sad that my mother was like “here’s a walkman hope the batteries last for the flight” and that was that! I will say that when we would drive in the motorhome, she was great about playing endless games of rummy or scrabble. But flying, she would have rather had her own private jet with no kids on it and arrival time in a nanosecond! Thankfully, because we had a motorhome for long drives, we never drove far in the car.

  5. Very nice goody stash! Our kids have gotten to the ages where they can drag their own stuff and sit together…across the aisle. Yay!

  6. What a game bag! I would have killed for that as a kid. And I’m with you. Bribe all the way!!

  7. I wanna fly with you! My knapsack is never that exciting!!

  8. We love I spy books, puzzles and even stickers

  9. I want to travel with YOU! LOL. I love the candy bag and the mad libs! Man I miss those! I use to do those all the time with my sisters and we got a bit vulgar with them, LOL!!!

  10. I’m going to fly with my daughter and nephew next month, and it will be their first time on a plane! I love your busy bag idea (and the candy bribing!)

  11. I am not above bribing with candy either! We are flying twice this year. Still getting into the swing of flying.

  12. Those are all great things. I think Mica would love Mad Libs. He doesn’t know it, but I’m putting them on his birthday list.

  13. I have a toddler and our last flight was a disaster b/c he couldn’t lie down on his tummy to sleep. I wish there was a good solution for that! Great stuff to bring — I love the bribery bag.

  14. LOL. So glad when I got down to the bribery photo. Thought maybe we were cheating by doing that. My kids enjoy Spot-It also. We met the Spot-It folks at the toy fair in Chicago and they are great guys. Have different themed versions also.

  15. I love that bag and all the goodies in it! I could do the Mad Libs all day. I think it’s great to bring puzzle/activity books and not just ipads and iphones for a child’s entertainment.

  16. I love that you bribe you kids LOL!! Whatever it takes, right?

  17. I always bring along all kinds of activities and snacks as well. I like to give them something new to do at the first sign they’re getting bored with whatever they were doing before!

  18. I have never really flown anywhere and I don’t have kids – but if I ever end up in such a situation at least I know great ways to keep them a little quiet 😉 thank you x

  19. The kids went flying for the first time about a year ago when we took our first trip to Disney World. It was only a 1 1/2 hour flight, but they can barely sit still for 10 minutes. Thanks to Nintendo DS and a couple of activity pads, they were excellent on the plane, even when our flight home was delayed by 50 minutes.

  20. My kids didn’t get to fly when they were little, but we took a lot of road trips. Packs like this are great for road trips too! 🙂

  21. My kids have never been on a plane, and I haven’t flown since I was 2! Gosh I need stuff to keep me busy in 2 weeks when i fly to MN!

  22. The only time we ever flew with the boys was a few years ago when we went to Disney. We flew Jet Blue and had our own personal TVS on the back of the seats. That was all my boys needed! lol Looks like you were well prepared! Have a wonderful trip! 🙂

  23. You packed some great things to keep the kids occupied. I remember Mad Libs! I used to love those.

  24. I love your itmes. I always do the same thing for my kids when we travel.

  25. Putting this travel bag together for kids is a great idea. My boys haven’t traveled by plane yet but I would definitely have something like this to keep them busy.

  26. That is one HUGE bag of goodies and entertainment! I remember flying with my daughter when she was an infant and it was beyond tough. I still have yet to take her back on a plane as a toddler but I know it’s going to happen sooner or later. I think entertainment is key. You have to keep them occupied!

  27. I’m going to have to remember these tips. I dread flying with kids!

  28. I remember flying as a kid to FLorida; I probably was so annoying for my parents to deal with.

  29. Ah, a bribery bag! That is brilliant! Allison went on her first plane ride when we went to Disney and was terrified. She cried. I wish I would have had a bribery bag. Thankfully she got over her fear quickly, but we will be packing some goodies like this the next time we are on flight!

  30. We always make packets to entertain the kiddos too. Great picks!!

  31. I have to admit that when my kids were little I really hated flying with them. Now not so much. These are great ideas to keep them entertained

  32. We don’t travel as often as we’d like. Basically we take one camping trip each summer. We pack snacks and make sure that the ipad or ipod is charged.

  33. We love to travel! We usually read or watch a movie.

  34. My oldest I ca bribe with candy, my youngest though has that famous really hyper reaction where you just want to run if he has sugar! I hope you are enjoying your trip, I also wish it were further north as I would love to meet you!

  35. We don’t fly like ever but are always in the car so we pack lots of fun things like DS, tablet, coloring books, crayons, regular decks of cards and mini board games.

  36. I was pretty obedient on planes as a kid. Give me a lollipop & I was good to go 😛

  37. There is nothing wrong with bribery at all 🙂

  38. I think I need your travel kit for the next time I fly, haha! I love all the stuff you have in there!

  39. We love Spot It! too! I pack similar bags for the 13 hour car ride to grandmas!

  40. My kids are grown but I use to do the very same thing when we would fly back home. Save the big stuff for last and that would get us through that last hour that sometimes can by impossible.

  41. It’s a good idea to have stuff like this for your kids. 🙂 No to boredom but yes to creativity! 🙂

  42. My kids always enjoyed Mad Libs and coloring books when we travelled. That would keep them busy for hours.

  43. That is a great flight bag to have with kids. Will be so handy on those longer flights.

  44. This is a great idea for flights with kids! We travel every year (usually road trip) but we take along lots of stuff, anything to keep the kids busy!

  45. My 2 youngest have never flown. Whenever we go to Disney, we usually drive – which is 22 hours in the car. Instead of giving them all the games, coloring books, etc at the beginning of the trip, I usually give them something new every couple of hours. It helps keep the boredom to a minimum 🙂

  46. i never flew until i was an adult, but i wonder how i made it through all of those car drives from south GA to MD without electronic devices. I don’t remember the drives at all! Did they drug us? hehe

  47. Ahh the joy of flying with little ones. Mad Libs and candy are key to keeping your sanity lol.

  48. More recently we take the Kindle Fire, coloring books, and books to read. Your Mad Libs book made me think of those black scratch pad books (with color underneath). I’m not sure why, but I’m glad they did because I think I’ll pick those up for our next trip.

  49. I’m a fan of the bribery! Haha – we used to drive from Pennsylvania to Maine and we always made sure as kids we had things to do – usually brought some games, books, and coloring supplies, because as my parents can attest, there’s nothing worse than, “Are we there yet?!”

  50. The last time my son flew with me, it was from PA to St. Louis, with a layover in Chicago. I took along lots of coloring books and his DS. Now we have tablets, so I’d take those too.

  51. My boys love Mad Libs. We’ve also had success with those crazy fact books from National Geographic and Sports Illustrated. They get the biggest kick out of them.

  52. Candy and the DVD player!! They are both clutch! Next time we will bring the tablet, too!

  53. Ha ha!! That awesome! I would totally have a bag full of candy and maybe even some new toys as my back supply. 🙂

  54. You are one prepared and packed mama! I do the same with my kids, they each get a backpack filled with fun activities, toys & books to keep them occupied on the plane. Lately though, they’ve been more interested in watching movies on the plane. Thank goodness United has kids movies for them to watch!

  55. New books, lots of crafting/sticker supplies and prayers 🙂 Love the candy stash

  56. Mad Libs were always a great distraction, but snacks seemed to work the best.

  57. what great things to bring on a flight with kids!

  58. I have not traveled much with out kids yet but I hope to soon. Great ideas!!

  59. I just flew alone with my 2 year old, and she was really into stickers and Color Wonder. I also had a whole section of our carry-on backpack that was nothing but snacks, but she wasn’t too snacky. You can never have too much though – airport food/snacks are expensive!

  60. We’ve been traveling by plane with my son since he was 10 months old so he’s a very experienced traveler. We usually pack his iPad, a few books and some snacks and he’s good to go!

  61. What a great toy bag! The Mad Libs are so fun.

  62. ALL FOR THE BRIBERY THING LOL Coloring Books Crosswords Etc. It Usually Works!!

  63. Mad Libs! I loved Mad Libs when I was a kid. I always make sure to bring plenty of small toys when traveling. I usually end up giving up my phone so that my daughter can watch Netflix.

  64. Flying with kids is sometimes so trying! Keeping them
    Busy is so important and it looks like you’ve got that covered!

  65. I definitely like your strategy! Mad Libs are a big one here. Also Ring Pops.
    only one of mine has been on a plane, and he was 6 months at the time so he basically nursed and fell asleep, woke up and nursed. Easy peasy.
    except for the poor boob shy gentleman in the seat beside me. LOL

  66. Believe it or not… I’ve never flown. Ever. And I SWORE I never would but then… I got invited to my very first conference next month so it looks like I will be taking my very first flight – with my 22 month old. I’m not sure how he will do on my lap that whole time, I hope everything goes well. I can’t imagine flying for 6 hours with older kids but it looks like you’re a pro!

  67. I have yet to fly with my kids, except my oldest and that was when he was a baby. If I do I am bringing all their handheld games and their favorite snacks for sure.

  68. I love the Mad Libs! My daughter is 4 and has flown 5 or 6 times since she was born – we always use her personal bag to store toys, snacks, treats and suprises.

  69. No kids here, but bribery sounds like a plan in my future play book!

  70. My girls have never flown in a plane before. My oldest really wants to though. We are taking a trip to the beach soon so I will be packing a similar road trip bag!

  71. Ha! I Love the bribery bag. Whatever gets the job done!

  72. We will be flying to Disney World month. My littles love the I Spy type books as well. They are each going to have a small back pack filled with quiet toys.

  73. Awesome list mine includes bubblegum to help with their ears =)

  74. WHERE’S WALDO!! My childhood favorite! I could sit there and stare at those books for hours. You are so prepared with great activities to keep the kids occupied!

  75. My two oldest have not ever been on a plane before. I would definitely need to pack a bag like this for them along with some portable chargers.

  76. I must remember this. I am terrified to fly with the kids this fall.

  77. Great tips! Here is my secret stash: Snacks (the kinds they usually don’t get), their own ipad or DVD, and lots and lots of prayers! Ha!

  78. Mad Libs work almost anywhere. My kids are older so they bury their noses in a mobile device or sleep.

  79. I think my son would be much better at flying that I am! It’s not my favorite thing, but he would love it!

  80. Bribery is definitely the key to an easy flight! I remember when my kids were little and we were flying first class for some miraculous reason, and my son spilled Coke all over himself within the first half hour and had to fly cross country in just his underwear! From then on, I was always prepared!

  81. Bribery works with me, too! Lol! You look very well prepared!

  82. Haha…I love it! I’m not ashamed to say that I absolutely use bribery too! Works every time.

  83. Wow! These are all good stuff! The Mad Libs are the best. Haven’t filled one of those out in ages! I tend to do a little bribery too 🙂 I think it’s just necessary for moms 🙂

  84. I loved mad libs when I was younger. We usually bring movies, travel games, books, card games and a few snacks when traveling with kids.

  85. I want to travel with you just for the carry on fun alone!

  86. I got lucky with my son – he’s a very quiet flyer. He’s happy just looking out the window and taking a nap, but I love your ideas!

  87. I love madlibs and my kids do too Great ideas to use when flying. The candy is great for taking off and landing too.

  88. I haven’t ever flown with my three. It has made more sense for us to drive but we pack lots of activities and snacks.

  89. I have never been on a plane, but I always bring some activity books for my son when we’re on road trips.

  90. YOU are an awesome mom! Can I be one of your kids when you travel? It looks like they are set, I would be on a sugar high! LOL I can’t travel with my kids they are wild with excitement and sometimes its hard to keep them calm.

  91. Candy helps the world go round haha. I’ve never flown with the boys but I would like to think I would pack a similar bag like you! Maybe in the future I will fly with them. I think they need to experience that!

  92. Candy bribes all the time though its not that effective on my niece now, lol!

  93. What a great activity bag you have there, and I definitely think a little bribery isn’t a bad thing LOL

  94. Don’t forget the nitendo ds or their tablets or the trip wouldn’t last 30 minutes