17 Things I Learned . . . On The Plane.

Things I Learned on the plane featured copy1) Babies do not fly free Internationally. Even on your lap.

2) Sweet little grandmas can be mean.

3) Tattooed leather-clad bikers can be lifesavers.

4) Benadryl is the same thing as Dramamine. Exactly the same thing. At half the price.

5) Split your family’s seats over two rows. If your toddler is going to kick the back of someone’s seat for 11 hours, you want it to be her brother’s.

6) Take the Hotel. If flights are being canceled, there is no way you are getting on standby with kids. Don’t bother. Take the hotel voucher and get out. You can fly tomorrow. (Maybe first class, if you’re lucky!)

7) Many carseats are not approved for airplane use. Check before you go.

8) Inflatable neck pillows. Genius.

9) Some airlines will give you baby food at meal time. Check beforehand.

10) Hoodies are the in-flight-napper’s best friend. Over the top of your head, cover your eyes, tuck securely. Infinitely better than a sleep mask.

And some kids can sleep anywhere.

Some kids can sleep anywhere.

11) Many back-of-the-seat-screen movies are not edited. Be aware of what the guy sitting in front of your kid is watching if you don’t want to deal with nightmares later.

12) Gallon-size ziploc bags, baby.

13)  Fighting to be first on the airplane just means you are on the airplane for half an hour longer. Early boarding is for amateurs.

14) Make your kids as cute as possible. Strangers will treat you so much better if your kids are adorable. It’s unfair.  And it’s true. Time to break out the hats-with-ears.

15)  Kids’ meals on planes are always a better option. Sometimes even for adults. (Buy your tickets directly from the airline’s website to get this option.)

16) Some pilots will STILL let kids into the cockpit to “fly” the plane.

17) It’s all worth it.


 So, fellow Family Travelers, let’s expand the list!  What have I missed?  What else have you learned on the plane?



13 thoughts on “17 Things I Learned . . . On The Plane.

  1. TS3655

    I have 2 things. 1) When I travel with my family, I try to get my seats together ahead of time because passengers are often reluctant to accomodate having families sit together by switching seats. 2) When I travel by myself for business, I try to go out of my way to accomodate families because I feel their pain!

  2. Ryan Stahle

    I love the Chicago airport. The airport is big, they have a playground, and a Rick Bayless restaurant—which has easily one of the best sandwiches of my life. SFO on the other hand. . . .

    1. 80 Diapers Post author

      Ryan, all those things are true. And you can enjoy all those things to the fullest, while you wait 5 hours for your delayed flight. Every time. Unless it’s canceled. 🙂

  3. Jennifer

    Good list. #13 is something I do not get.Why in the world would you ever want to be the first to board a plane? And people pay for this extra feature. I don’t get it. Maybe they enjoy being whacked in the head as everyone tries to haul their luggage and kitchen sink down the aisle.

    1. 80 Diapers Post author

      Very good point, Jennifer! I think a lot of people want to get on first to make sure they have room to stow their carryons, but if people are following Rule #2, they won’t have carryons anyway, right?.

    1. 80 Diapers Post author

      Karin, we found this out the hard way when we arrived at the London airport for a layover and were somewhat held hostage until we paid for the ticket we weren’t told we needed when we boarded the plane in Chicago.

      I did some research today just to make sure, and it looks like some airlines allow babies to travel free to Canada, but for all other international flights, lap babies need a ticket. The tickets are generally 10% the cost of a regular fare, plus taxes and fees. This means it usually costs closer to 30% of the cost of a regular ticket.

  4. Bec

    For us, the best tip is to send Dad on first to get everything unpacked and set up while Mum runs the kids ragged in the terminal until an airline rep comes gets us. That way the kids go straight to their seats where toys, books, snacks and gadgets all await. Genius.

  5. A

    Hoodies are also great for keeping a hold of a toddler careening down the aisle towards the back of the plane… Down the incline and so always barely avoiding falling into everyone’s knees! Also, bring extra socks for everyone, as your “slippers”. Oh, and big binder clips to pin the blanket over the seat and provide shade from that early morning wake up of “lights on”, at the end of a red-eye!

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