By Imma Dearest, an exclusive parenting blog for the 5TJT

If you are looking for ways to make flying with children painless, you might as well give up and settle on this article for a laugh. Here are my tips on flying with children:

  1. Get some children.
  2. Book airline tickets.

You did those already? Congratulations. Doesn’t it feel great ticking off items from your to-do list? You’ll need that boost of self-confidence to follow through on the next tips so keep reading.

  1. Stock up on some silent, non-messy junk that won’t be questioned by TSA, from the dollar store. Examples include crayons and coloring books, figurines or stuffies, card games…
  2. Let each child pack a knapsack (their current or previous one from school is great) with their choice of junk and you can even encourage them to pack a bag or two of nosh and something comfortable that will encourage sleep, like a little blanket.
  3. This is your chance to use that huge diaper bag. You thought no one could possibly ever need that much space. You need it now. All the last-minute items, from phone chargers to pacifiers to socks, will end up in there. Keep a full day’s worth of diapers if necessary, wipes even if you think they’re not necessary, gum, snacks, and cosmetics with you. Make sure your phone and extra battery charger are fully charged and keep the phone off most of the day anyway.
  4. Use an umbrella stroller(s). Flying is not the time to show off the newest space-age-style uberexpensive stroller all the cool moms use. It’s time for the cheapest, smallest concoction that resembles a large paper clip that somehow also holds a toddler. I’m not sure at what age children can fully walk on their own. Maybe the teens? Maybe when a child has a smartphone, it’s also time to say goodbye to the stroller(s).
  5. Carseats? Yay or nay? I have not had luck using carseats on a plane so we just bring the cheapest ones we have and check them for the car at the destination.
  6. You may want to consider using a leash for children, particularly when it’s time to deal with luggage. Ignore criticism. This is clearly a safety issue and not a civil-liberties issue.
  7. When packing, count out how many days you will be away and bring one or two more outfits than that. (If possible, find a laundromat that offers drop-off service that you can use to do laundry on vacation without doing laundry on vacation.) Lay out all the outfits on top of each other and roll into a bundle. This saves space and wrinkles. Also invest in a luggage scale. You will save that money twenty times over from not paying overweight fees.
  8. Daven. From start to finish, every minute of travel reminds us how deeply we depend on Hashem. There’s no other way you can be totally sure to not lose your children at the airport or to have an uneventful flight.
  9. Are we there yet? Once on the plane, try to walk back and forth at least once an hour with a child or two. Use the bathroom. Ask for bottled water. It’s healthy to keep moving and good to avoid boredom. You might also want to invest in the movie they are showing and let your children do whatever they want with the screen in front of them.
  10. Food. Don’t let any of the airplane snacks go to waste. Save them to help get you through “Survivor: Luggage Edition” rental-car ordeals, and basically until you actually know when and where your next meal will come from.

Safe travels.

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