Three Kids Under 4 On a Plane

Early June Andy’s parents gifted us a wonderful vacation with them in St. Petersburg, Fla. The trip included five plane tickets, which I was both very grateful for (it’s a long drive) and terrified of (the boys have never flown). Confession: Worst case, though, I thought whatever happened would make a good blog post.

Fortunately, unfortunately, I have nothing super exciting to post here.

I prepared. Sophie has a backpack. I bought the boys backpacks. And filled them with things they don’t normally get—fruit strips, fruit snacks, Teddy Grahams, cheese crackers, these fantastic activity books, diapers for the boys, an extra pair of panties for Sophie, wipes for everyone, sunglasses for everyone, flash cards and empty Thermos drink containers.

Now you would think such excess would have kept them occupied for a flight to Paris. But after putting all the stickers all over themselves …

and eating all their treats much too quickly …

and going through the flash cards 10 times …

we resorted to letting them turn the overhead lights on and off, on and off. Thankfully, the flight was packed with kids (as it was going from Cincinnati to Tampa in the summer) and everyone seemed to agree that a flickering overhead light was better than a crying child.

It went well. Really well. Andy’s parents flew with us on the way out, helping us when needed. Owen kept saying “airplane” over and over. Sophie was beside herself with the idea of fruit snacks in the morning.


“Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.” —Al Gore