Airport Survival: Picture the Scene
It’s a sweltering day. You may as well be breathing underwater such is the humidity. An egg could happily fry on your face… and you’re on your way to the airport. There’s a tense mix of excitement and apprehension in your mind as you ponder how you’re going to successfully navigate your hoard of gnomes back home or into the hotel room hundreds of miles away. Your kids aren’t apprehensive at all. In-fact, they can’t wait! Mom has everything under control… so in the baking heat, and amidst the unbridled excitement, they are intent on causing as much mayhem as possible. It’s airport survival time.
Yes, nightmare scenarios exist at the airport with the family. The stress of organising everything and ensuring it goes smoothly is buzzing around your frazzled mind; and they say holidays are fun. A certain amount of airport stress can be reduced with the right preparations. However there are some elements that you can’t control and it’s important to remember that when things flip from plan A to plan F. Here are some helpful mantras, mind-sets and tips to get you through the ordeal. It might even make the experience borderline enjoyable at times, who knows?
Boredom is not your friend
As soon as they’re left to their own devices, your child’s mind will wander. Their mind might wander in a million different directions that could all wind up being a headache for you. Anticipate the need for combat and make sure they pack books, coloring, stickers, games to keep them entertained.
Keep an ace up your sleeve
Just when it seems that your little one’s hit peak boredom, hit them with the most entertaining thing! If you lead with it, you’re out of luck when they’re bored. If there is no ace up your sleeve, or even the ace has been cast aside, try reselling an old toy. If they brought a teddy with them, make it speak and play and present other ideas. There’s a surprising amount of creativity involved in mom’s airport survival.
Don’t sugar them up, they’re sweet enough
Yeah *great* idea! Give them more sugar than they know what to do with, throw them into an environment with tonnes of stimulus and lots of waiting, then sit back and watch the carnage. The temptation is strong to give them treats as an incentive to behave, and this isn’t a bad idea. After-all hungry kids are grumpy kids, but be careful not to push them into the realm of uncontrollable little gremlins (you know the look, you’d recognize it a mile away).
Preparation is Paramount
The absolute best thing you can do for yourself on the day of travel is to have everything already in place. That means all the logistical things like making sure everything you packed adheres to flight rules and ensuring your bags are the right weight to avoid airline fees. It’s never too late to prepare better: check in online before hand, make your handbags security-friendly (no liquids), and for everyone’s sleep, try to get a good night’s sleep the night before. If you are confident in your trip plan once you arrive at your destination, even better.
Be an Ocean of Calm
Easier said than done, and obviously this is partly what this guide is supposed to help you achieve! Ultimately the way people react to you can be influenced by your own general energy, as this reflects onto others to a greater or lesser degree. Your children look to you first and foremost to see what ‘the mood’ is, so be the mood you want to see in them! Chill out, and remember, that this too shall pass.
Now remember that flying is fun and to take the rough with the smooth. Here’s hoping your family trip has no hiccups, good luck!