Family Flying Tips

Budget Travel Editors and Readers Share Their Secrets

Let Me Entertain You

The key to flying with kids is distracting them. Consider buying a portable DVD player: It can the hours zoom by.

The Experts' Favorite Website

There's a website called flyingwithkids.com that has everything you need to know about planning air travel with infants and children, including information on gear, packing, and what to expect at specific airports.

Advice From the Front:

When traveling with your kids, give each child his/her own small carry-on bag. Fill it with new, surprise treats to occupy the downtime -- layovers, long flights, time in hotels -- as well as a few familiar items from home. Include a notebook and encourage your child to write a travel diary. Joan White, Dallas, TX

Tent your toddler. For quiet time on a plane, clip one end of an airline blanket under the top of the folded-up tray and the other end under the headrest (behind the child). Voila: You have a "tent" that lets your toddler take a better nap on the plane. We put this together one night when we were stuck on a runway for almost six hours, and it saved a very bad travel day. My child rarely naps anymore, but he still asks for an airplane tent, if only to play inside. Roy Youngblood, Chicago, IL

Before my last long flight, I went to LibriVox.org and chose a bunch of books, short stories, and poems to download to my iPod -- for free. The site has both adult and children's books (Pride and Prejudice, A Little Princess, The Call of the Wild), and the list is growing. All of the titles are in the public domain and they're read by volunteers, so there's no question of copyright infringement. Even if you don't own an iPod, you can download them to your computer and burn them onto a CD. Diane Bowman, Huntington Beach, CA

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