Traveling with children is not always easy, especially on a five and a half hour flight to Hawaii from the mainland. However, with a little preparation, your traveling time can be as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Kids like being in charge so give them something to be in charge of. A backpack is perfect because it stays put, unlike a bag which can slip off their shoulder and you end up with one more thing to carry.
Put all your favorite ideas from the list below and let them take charge! One advantage to this idea is you have built in In-Flight Entertainment as well as stuff for them to do once you reach your destination.
There's never enough time in the day to read to the kids so take the opportunity of the long plane ride for some one-on-one. Pack your kids' favorite books for you to read or easy reader books for them to read by themselves. There's no reason to plug their brains into electronics for the whole flight. Expand their imagination through the endless possibilities in a good book.
Car Seat on the Plane
One way to rein in a squirrelly toddler is to take their car seat on the plane. They behave much better - which keeps everyone happy. They actually are able to rest and fall asleep easier in their car seat just as they often do when riding in the car.
Check with your airline for any requirements as to where you can place the car seat on the plane.
The downside with any small, round object is it rolls if you drop it and then it's gone. You're left with one unhappy camper. Even a sippy cup can create problems but you'll probably take your chances with that one.
So, if coloring is your child's favorite pastime then pack in the coloring books, but go easy on the crayons, and keep an available hand to help hold the ones he or she's not using.
Make sure to pack plenty of snacks for the flight. If you're on an early morning flight try some cut up apples or bring a banana or two. A fun trail mix with some granola, their favorite cereal and dried fruit can be a refreshing change from sugary snacks. Good old fashioned PB&J's are hearty sandwiches and can usually take a beating pretty well.
Whatever you choose, throw in a few of the mainstay favorites along with some healthy choices. Then you won't feel so bad seeing them eat through the entire flight. Tip: Don't put their snacks in their special backpacks or bags. While it's great for them to be in charge of their games or coloring books, you may not want them in charge of snacktime.