1. Check the car seats if you can. I refuse to rent car seats, I've seen what my car seats look like and there's no way I want a rental. It's between $9-$20 a day to rent a car seat. You can find a booster seat for around $20 at any big box store. Besides the ew factor, I KNOW how to install my seats safely. If there's one thing I'm a complete freak about, it's car seat safety. I want to be sure that my kids are safe so the best way to be sure of that is to take a seat that I'm confident that I can install securely and safely every single time.
2. Hand sanitizer, don't forget it!
3. Have each kid carry their own backpack if they can. Our kids are 3, 5 and 7. We made them each responsible for their bag.
4. Now is NOT the time to limit electronic time. Think sanity of you, your kids and fellow passengers. It's called survival!
5. Be sure your electronics will work in flight. Santa bought Kindle Fire's for the kids a few years back... well Santa isn't so smart. He forgot to load movies that can be viewed in flight. DOWNLOAD them to your device so they can be watched. Also be sure those bad boys are fully charged!
6. Snacks, lots of snacks. We packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, graham crackers, raisins, nuts and a few other snacks. When you think you have enough snacks for every one, pack a few more.
7. Water bottle. I did not want to be the mom that had her kid spilling the free beverage all over. We brought their empty Klean Kanteens and then we could fill them once passed security. We used our water bottles to help prop their Kindles on their tray table so they didn't have to hold them too.
8. Bring a jacket for each kid. We packed this in their own backpack. It got chilly on one of our flights and we were so thankful to have them. If they don't use them for warmth, they can use them as a pillow (haha, you thought they'd really sleep?!)
9. Gum. Our kids are all able to chew gum (and not swallow it- bonus!) so we gave them gum on the way up and the way down. We had a few complaints about ear pain and gum or drinking water fixed that quick style.
10. Headphones! No one wants to hear Annie for the 10th time, not even me. Headphones got packed in their backpack for each of them. Thank you lord for not having to hear 3 different kid shows for 6 hours!