If you're planning to fly with kids anytime soon, there's probably one big question you're asking yourself...how on earth am I going to keep them entertained?
Especially if you're flying standby and you just know that there's every chance you'll be killing time at the airport for a few hours before you actually get on the plane!
We've put together a few of the most tried and tested ways to entertain kids on the plane (and in the airport).
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For both long and short flights, it's hard to go past some sort of tablet device for entertaining kids of almost any age. Load it with their favourite apps and movies and it can entertain for hours. You can grab a cheap pair of kids headsets from your local K-Mart or Target store or anywhere that sells electronics. You may want to also get an aeroplane adaptor jack with 2 prongs so the kids can get sound in both ears if they're using the in flight entertainment system.
Don't forget to check it the airline you're flying with has an inflight app that you might wish to also download before you fly. This will allow you to watch their in flight entertainment as well as what you have loaded on the tablet.
I'd also recommend getting a shock proof cover to protect it from accidental drops and knocks. Look for one with a handle and stand so they can set it on the tray table to watch if they want.
Before you call me crazy for suggesting you take paint on an aeroplane (I am definitely not suggesting that), but I do recommend the water paint books. These are relatively mess free, and nice and light to carry.
I love something like these Melissa and Doug ones which come in a heap of different themes. They come with their own paintbrush, but I would definitely recommend spending a little bit more and purchasing one where the water is stored in the handle of the brush. This reduces the risk for spills and mess even more!
There are hundreds of different puzzle books around which are suitable for kids of all ages. Look for ones that have a variety of puzzles that your child will be able to do without a lot of input from you. Colouring is good for younger children. If you're taking colouring books, having some sort of tray with a non slip base to store the pencils in will reduce the number of times you have to rescue a stray one after it's rolled onto the ground. Here's a few to get you started.
Take a trip back in time to your childhood and remember how many hours of fun you could get from a slinky. I'd recommend something cheap and plastic like these ones from Amazon. They're also available from shops like the Reject or $2 Shop.
Another lightweight, relatively disposable toy which can entertain a range of ages both in the plane and at the airport.
Yes, masking tape. This is mostly for the younger kids. You would be amazed how much time a child can spend sticking and unsticking tape. They can roll it into sticky balls, make shapes and patterns on their tray tables with it, create sculptures from their meal items...the list goes on. Just make sure you get the painting one since it's designed to be easily removed.
I wouldn't recommend going overboard with books as they can be heavy and are also not readily disposable, however a book can make a beautiful travel gift.
Look for one about airplanes and travelling like Playtown: Airport. It's a little on the heavy side but is a "Lift the Flap" book so will entertain most kids for a little longer.
For older kids, something like Where's Wally (Waldo) isn't too heavy but can keep kids occupied for hours. Make sure you get them to find all the items in the checklists at the back of the books, not just Wally and his friends.
Even if your child doesn't have a soft toy that they're particular attached to, they may find comfort in having one when they travel. It doesn't have to be a large toy - unless that's the one your child can't live without, in which case, you'd better figure out how you're going to take that one with you. Beanie babies are great and so many different characters are available. You should be able to find one that suits your child! Itty Bittys by Hallmark are also fun and there is a huge range to choose from.
Stay away from anything with too many pieces if you can. Lego, card games etc may seem like a good idea at the time, but they can slip off the tray tables so easily and trying to retrieve lost pieces is not always the easiest task.
You may want to give your child their own backpack too once they're around 2-3 years old. Sure, you may end up carrying it for most of the trip, but it makes it a lot easier to find each child's toys and clothes if they have their own bags. They can also be a bit more independent in choosing what they want to play with.
I'll be honest with you though, when it comes to keeping the kids entertained on the plane, a lot of them won't go past the tablet or the inflight entertainment! But it can't hurt to have a couple of extras tucked away just in case.
STYLING YOUR BUSINESS CLASS TRAVEL
With Melbourne Stylist & Fashion Editor– Kirsty Milligan
Now that you have your Business Class travel ticket in your hot little hand, welcome to the world of delightfully decadent travel. Champagne on arrival, silver service with menu options, seats that don’t touch the person next to you and sleep, real honest to goodness lying flat out sleep. Even if there wasn’t a dress code, you should still dress up for this.
When you’re travelling Business Class your holiday starts the moment you get on the plane. So your holiday packing should definitely include travel outfits. As a pilot’s wife you’ll be well aware of the company dress code for travelling with your staff benefits.
Not everyone else in Business Class is heading to interstate meetings; many are actually heading on holidays too. So you don’t have to get dressed up in a suit and tie or corporate dress and stilettos to fit in.
Very smart casual is definitely the way to go. The knack is to look super stylish, but effortless at the same time. You want to look like you belong in your fancy seat and be comfortable as well.
So here are my Top 5 looks for travelling on Business Class:
The Maxi Dress is one of the easiest and most versatile ways to dress up and stay comfortable on your travels. V-necks are my favourite for a slimming effect, and a lovely long necklace will dress it up just enough. This look will work amazingly by itself or teamed with a leather or denim jacket for those cooler months. A strappy wedge will be comfortable and super stylish, and your biggest, bestest dark sunglasses complete the look.
There’s nothing fresher than a crisp white top. If you want to look as cool getting off the plane as you did when you got on, this is the look for you. Just remember to use your napkin wisely when eating your delicious three-course meal. Yum.
Dark jeans are not only a casual Friday staple, they are a stylish Business Class staple too.
Don’t wear jeans with rips or frays in them, many dress codes disallow this and they don’t look classy.
For comfort a tailored or hi-lo shirt will look stunning and be wearable at the same time.
You don’t need to pop on a heel for these looks to be glamorous. A ballet flat or comfy wedge will look just as gorgeous and get you in the holiday mood.
Anyone who knows me knows I love my heels. I even refused to let them out of my sight at 37 weeks pregnant with twins. I know not everyone carries the same fetish, so here are some gorgeous outfit ideas with the humble flat.
Think Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and you’re on the right track.
It’s all about colour coordination with these little beauties. Please believe me when I say this is no place for a ‘pop of colour’ (one of the most over-used terms in styling, blah!).
Don’t draw attention to your feet with brightly coloured shoes. It will make you look shorter and stubbier. Keep them in neutral tones or the same colour as your pants. And leave the over-worn, frayed, faded, stretched out pair at home. They may be comfortable but they make you look disheveled. (btw, your true friends would have told you this as quickly as telling you there’s lettuce in your teeth).
As versatile as it is gorgeous, the shirtdress is another staple piece for your stylish Business Class travel wardrobe.
Like the Maxi you can dress this up or down. Add features like a slim line belt or scarf. The navy and tan combination always looks very Ralph Lauren to me – love love!
A matching travel tote will have you looking like a seasoned Business Class traveller and no one will question you occupying a seat there as they pass you on the way to economy.
Quite honestly, not everyone will get to travel Business Class in his or her lifetime. Whilst it’s vastly more accessible now than it was when passenger flying began, it’s still an offering for the few, not the many.
When you get an opportunity to enjoy the luxury and incredible service of a Business Class flight, make the most of it. Dress well. Based on the service you will be getting, it’s actually respectful to do so. Enjoy the fact that you’re dressing up for your travel and not throwing on tracky dacks and sneakers.
Life changes in an instant and you never know what’s around the corner. Enjoy this moment of relaxed, inflight pampering. It’s rare. Be as indulgent as you are grateful, and as stylish as you are comfortable. Enjoy!
Love, Kirsty xox
Kirsty will be offering Sky Families members 10% discount on all services and 15% discount on rebookings. In the meantime, she has a special offer for the month of January on our Facebook page for all our Facebook followers.
Find our more about Kirsty and her services on her website www.shopandstylespecialists.com
Photo Credits from the top left to right: