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By Laura Quarantiello 

It's a parent's worst nightmare: taking a long airplane trip with a child.  It's not just a question of getting the child to sit still for several hours, it's trying to keep him or her busy, interested and, above all - quiet!   Sound like an impossible task?   It doesn't have to be. 

  Here are some tried and true tips for turning your child into a perfect airline-traveling companion: 

  • Pack plenty of books and games, especially handheld electronic games (don't forget the batteries!) - Bring along coloring books and crayons.
  • Carry a cassette player with your child's favorite music or prerecorded stories. 
  • Bring a map and let your child have the window seat. Point out landmarks and have your child try to find them on the map. 
  • Take advantage of in-flight movies, if they are age appropriate. 
  • Pack a plastic Ziploc bag with crackers or cookies. 
  • Bring paper and pens/pencils for drawing or, for older children to "journal" (write) about their experiences. 

Make sure to include everything your child needs in a carry-on bag.  A child-size backpack is usually perfect.  Remember that most airlines don't carry diapers, baby food or formula.  If you're traveling with an infant, make sure you have whatever you're going to need stashed in your carry-on luggage.  Traveling with kids doesn't have to be a trying experience and it won't be if you plan ahead with activities for your child.  Remember - variety is the key!

About the Author:
Laura Quarantiello is the author of several books, including "Air- Ways: The Insider's Guide to Air Travel." More info can be found at:

Tiare Publications

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