*This article contributed by Gerald R Ford International Airport*
Ahh…Spring Break! It’s a wonderful respite from the normal routine; a time to relax and enjoy fun activities with the family. Many of you will travel during this time, which can add another layer stress for mom and dad…but it can be a first day of the vacation adventure with a little bit of planning.
First, whenever possible, plan your travel times with your kids’ schedules in mind. If your little ones just do not rise and shine at 5:00 am, try not to book the first flight out; instead look into a late morning or mid-afternoon option. Likewise, if they are on an early-to- bed schedule, avoid that late night departure if possible.
Next, remember that in the eyes of your children, vacation starts the minute they wake up the day you plan to leave. That’s right! They are already in full-on vacation mode when you get to the airport, so it’s helpful to have plenty of things to keep them entertained.
We’ve put together a list of ideas to get you started…
Airport Activity Ideas
- Coloring books and crayons (younger kids)
- Puzzle books and pencils (older kids)
- Sticker books
- Small white board, markers and an old sock for an eraser (put the markers inside when not using them)
- Age-appropriate reading books
- Card games (Uno, Go Fish, etc.)
- Favorite (or new) DVDs w/portable DVD player or laptop (don’t forget the earbuds or headphones!)
- Digital game device with favorite (or new) games (plus earbuds or headphones)
Airplane Snacks for Kids
- Fresh fruit and veggies (think apple slices, bananas, raisins, carrots and celery) are all healthy snacks and TSA friendly.
- Pretzels, granola, trail mix, crackers, and dry cereals are also kid-friendly and acceptable items that can go through security screening.
- Foods to AVOID include pudding cups, yogurt, juice boxes, apple sauce and other liquid/gel items that will not make it through TSA screening.
Tips for Air Travel with Kids
Finally, we have a few simple suggestiong to help make the airport experience easy for everyone.
- Arrive early – during this busy travel time, we recommend arriving at least two hours before your scheduled departure time.
- Pack Smart – review the TSA 3-1- 1 procedures for carry-on bags before you pack as well as the general rules for checked and carry-on bags (visit www.TSA.gov).
- Dress right – wear shoes that are easy to remove, avoid bedazzled and jeweled clothing, limit heavy jewelry, and remove all items from pockets before approaching the passenger security screening checkpoint.
Airport Appreciation Days!
If you are traveling March 30, 31 or April 1 from 6:00 am – 6:00 pm, consider arriving even a bit earlier to participate in the Ford Airport’s Passenger Appreciation Days activities. The event includes free refreshments, food, giveaways, prize drawings, contests, and more! And as always, be sure to follow GRR on Facebook or Twitter to stay updated on flight statuses, security, contests, and more.