By Laura Quarantiello

It's a parents worst nightmare: taking a long airplane trip with a child. It's not just getting the child to sit still for several hours, it's trying to keep him or her busy, interested and quiet! Sound like an impossible task? Not necessarily. Here are some tried and true tips for making your child the 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 age appropriate.

    - Pack a plastic Ziploc bag with crackers or cookies.

    - Bring paper and pens/pencils for drawing or for older children to "journal" about their experiences.

Make sure to include everything your child needsin 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. Plan ahead with activities your child can do and remember - variety is the key.

Tiare Publications


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

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