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Helping Your Tween Pack for a Flight

by Michele | May 19th, 2016 | Seasonal, Tweens

backpack-1149544_640If you’re the parent of a tween, you know that he has a decent level of independence (or should). Your tween is at a point where he is handling most of his packing and organizing. Hopefully he’s doing things like packing his own lunch, organizing his backpack, bringing the appropriate items to sports/music practice. By this age, your child should be responsible for preparing himself for most outings.

However, a flight is an outing of a much different nature. Even if your tween has taken other flights, you will want to supervise preparations. Unlike a trip to the mall or a sleepover at a friend’s, it isn’t easy to return home for forgotten items.

To keep your tween on the path toward independence but also be able to keep an eye on things, start by creating a packing list together. Brainstorm the list, let her do her own packing, but review a few hours before leaving home. In addition to the items that you’ll need in the suitcase, make a list of things she’ll want on the flight:

  • Digital entertainment- If your child has some sort of device (phone, tablet, etc.), make sure it is charged before you leave home. Also, unless you’re paying for wifi on the flight, be sure there are offline entertainment options- upload movies, ebooks, and whatever else is of interest.
  • Backup for devices- Since you’re bringing a phone or whatever, if you have an extra battery, pack that also. Between waiting in airports and the car ride there, your tween’s device may devour lots of battery.
  • Chargers for devices- Keep this in the carry-on, if possible. You may not be able to charge on the flight, but you might be able to find an open outlet at the airport.
  • Earbuds- No one else wants to listen to your tween’s music/movie, be sure to pack them.
  • Old school entertainment- Pack a bag or magazine that will help while away the time.
  • Snacks- Depending on the length of flight and airline you fly, it may be a while between meals. Well-fed tweens are happier travelers than hungry tweens.
  • Gum/hard candies- Not only will they help with popping ears during takeoff and landing, they serve as a distraction.

Your tween may give an eye roll or an assertion of “I’ve got this”, but the checklist will be appreciated. We travel fairly regularly, and in our house all of us (parents included) typically review a checklist before heading out the door. There’s nothing worse than being halfway to the airport and realizing that you’ve left your phone charger at home. As a tween, that phone may be their lifeline, but packing the charger may be an afterthought.

With a little parent/tween teamwork, the flight should be pleasant for all!

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