We just finished an early family “Thanksgiving” trip to visit my husband’s family.  While we went a little bit ahead of the official Thanksgiving date, we certainly saw some of the Thanksgiving excitement that include long check-in and security lines, full airplanes, and lots of traveling families.  I actually quite like that last part as it is really fun to have multiple kids on the airplane around your child’s age.  They truly do entertain each other and the laughs and squeals on take-off are awesome.

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Checking in on the four year old behind her

I know some people are worried about the logistics of traveling with a young child (or sitting near a traveling child), but much of the time it really isn’t that bad…at least you get past that squirmy toddler phase!  I post a lot about deals that help you get places, or reviews of places once you get there, but I thought I’d devote this post to what it looked like getting our kiddo from Point A to Point B, which in this case was Grandma and Grandpa. 

Very excited and bright eyed for the journey

Very excited and bright eyed for the journey

Thanksgiving crowds are no match for her excitement - at least with PreCheck!

Thanksgiving crowds are no match for her excitement – at least with PreCheck!

So excited she wants to pass out waiting for lunch before the flight

So excited she wants to pass out waiting for lunch before the flight

Busy gate area

Busy gate area

No worries, there is always a corner to play in

No worries, there is always a corner to play in

Hurry up, Dad, it's time to board!

Hurry up, Dad, it’s time to board!

Let's check out this seat - anyone leave toys for me?

Bulkhead seat is fine – any good reading material?

Let's fly already!

Let’s fly already!

All settled in with a toy and a movie.  Flying is a piece of cake.

All settled in with a toy and a movie. Flying is a piece of cake.

Cranberry juice, please! (just not too full)

Cranberry juice, please! (just not too full)

Getting sleepy

Getting sleepy

....and out.

….and out.

Okay that last picture was staged, though that is what usually happens for us, and did happen on the return flight.

It's a race to Grandma around the corner...

It’s a race to Grandma around the corner…

Down the straightaway

Down the straightaway

and now onto the home stretch!

and now onto the home stretch!

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

If you talk to your kids about the flight as much as possible ahead of time, come prepared with toys and snacks, and follow their lead on what they want/need, then hopefully your flight will be as smooth as ours.

If you want more detailed tips and advice on flying with kids then head to my previous posts here.  I know there are weather issues this Thanksgiving travel week, so pack extra diapers, extra toys, extra snacks, and extra patience.  Traveling home to family for the holidays is worth all the effort – especially when your kids have the traveling routine down to a science!

Posted by mommypoints | 9 Comments

9 Responses to “Thanksgiving Travel With a Three Year Old in Pictures”

  1. Lesli says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I get told on an airplane from strangers that they can’t believe how well behaved my child is.

  2. mommypoints says:

    Lesli, I think that is their way of saying thanks for being a good parent. ;)

  3. Lively says:

    Lil’ C is so cute…she deserves her own TV show! :)

  4. […] Thanksgiving Travel With a Three Year Old in Pictures […]

  5. Nikki O says:

    You’re daughter is such a cutie pie!

  6. mommypoints says:

    Lively, thanks! She would have a blast with that. Ha!
    Nikki, thanks! She is pretty fun. ;)

  7. Lesli says:

    MommyPoints: When my son was under 2 I flew with him on my lap, which was kind of a hassle, but it was free. Once he turned two I carted that car seat right on that plane (during preboarding), strapped it in, harnessed him in, and enjoyed the flight with a strapped in toddler. My son is now 6 and cannot use the car seat anymore, but he has come to learn that we do not get up on an airplane except for bathroom use (and hustling snacks from flight attendants). Of course I also provide a DVD player and electronic game for him. I see so many parents planeside checking their child’s car seat. Just use it. Keeps them quiet and occupied in a contained space. In August we had a mother with a child in the seat in front of us and the child was screaming so loud (because he thought it was funny) that my son actually made a comment about it. That’s bad when a (at the time 5-year old) child is making a comment about how obnoxious another child is being.

  8. mommypoints says:

    Lesli, I agree if you have the car seat it is great to use it (though on these regional jets your kids legs will get smashed in many car seats unless you have the bulkhead). My kid sleeps much better in her car seat for sure. That is funny when your kid thinks another kid is too loud. ;)

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