by Miles Young,
With today’s security rules, traveling through the airport is more stressful than it is exciting. Though you might feel anxious about the process ahead, you can help your children hang on to the thrill and anticipation of the journey by preparing them properly for what’s to come. A trip to the airport doesn’t have to be stressful. Instead, try to make it an adventure for both you and your child!
Start the Learning at Story Time
There are many great children’s books that talk about airplanes and airports. Pick up a few at your local library or bookstore and begin incorporating them into your children’s story time a few weeks before your departure. Talk about what you’re reading and include your own explanations of what will happen at the airport if they’re not readily available in the story.
Act Out Your Airport Adventure
Toddlers and young children can learn a lot by acting out a situation. Use an empty cardboard box that’s open on both ends to simulate an airport scanner. Practice placing beloved toys and blankets in the tray and letting it pass through the box. Observe how everything comes out safe on the other side.
It also could be beneficial to park outside the runway. Introducing your children to the wonder of flight and large commercial airplanes in a controlled experience is a good way to ease tension and build excitement for your upcoming trip!
Talk About Things to Look Forward To
Don’t focus solely on the trials of airport travel as you’re preparing for your vacation. Read stories or look at brochures about your destination as well. Keeping your end point in mind may make it easier for children to put up with the hassles between.
Know What to Expect at the Airport
Look into the latest TSA rules and regulations before your trip to make sure you’re up to date with the process. Share this information with your children. At this time, children under the age of 12 are not required to take off their shoes. Children are also allowed to pass through the scanner multiple times to resolve alarms. Pat downs happen in rare situations, but they do happen on occasion, so talk to your child about what to expect.
Let Your Children Assist You in Packing a Travel Bag
Packing a bag of goodies for the plane is an exciting part of travel that will give your children something to look forward to. Take them to the dollar store and let them pick out a few small toys or coloring books just for the trip. You can take dry snacks, but not dips or liquids. Encourage each child to carry his or her own small bag or backpack for airport entertainment.
Offer Rewards for a Job Well Done
Keep a few small rewards on hand as a nice surprise for your children after they get through security. Stickers, a special snack, or a little spending money for the gift shops on the other side of security can show your kids that you recognize the challenge of getting through security and appreciate their patience and efforts.
Traveling by air with children isn’t always easy, and some families will find that they simply feel more comfortable going by car. If your own vehicle isn’t up for the trip, stop by Team Kia to explore all your travel options before making final bookings.