Oh no!!! The travel ban on electronics has impacted travelers to several countries on certain airlines and could spread to travel from Europe soon. The ban prohibits any electronics larger than a cell phone from being carried on the flight. That means no laptops, kindles, tablets, or e-readers on a long-haul flight with children under 10! Does that seem like a nightmare to you? It doesn’t have to.There are still many things to do to keep the kids entertained and get yourself some rest on a long flight, even if yours kids don’t have their electronics. Here are a few:

  1. Let them watch the movies on the plane. Most flights over 5 hours will have a good selection of movies, including kids’ movies.   Hopefully your child will find his or her favorite. If not, they can discover a new movie or show. One way to pass the time is to look at each movie selection and ask your kid would he want to watch that movie. Let him choose!
  2. Bring some books to read. Don’t bring a lot of books because books are heavy. However, a few Little Golden Books or small education-based books should do the trick. Read with your child or let them choose and book and read it to you. Throw in a word find book for older kids.
  3. Bring coloring books and crayons. This worked for us big time on a near 5-hour flight from Washington, DC to Los Angeles on a flight that did not have entertainment. Be sure to get the crayons with 168 colors to really keep your kids busy.
  4. Teach them a new game. Let’s just go old school here. On a flight to Chile, I taught my 3-year-old how to play “go fish”. She liked it once she got the hang of it. Don’t forget to try other card games, like Speed, or paper games like hangman or tic-tac-toe. There are also travel size versions of many board games, like Candyland, that will keep children entertained. And well, you can always make up a game, like counting how many people on the plane have on red shirts or something!
  5. Give them your phone. Hey, I’m not blind. At some point, most kids are going to want those electronics. If there is WI-FI on the plane, which I’m almost 100% there will be on a 10-hour flight, then let them watch YouTube videos of their favorites, a downloaded video or whatever else they entertain themselves with on your phone.


Tip! As a bonus, some of the affected airlines, like Etihad, provide inflight nannies that keep your children entertained. On our flight from Kenya, the inflight nanny did face painting for the children. The nanny is assigned to all the children on the flight and all he or she does is care for children; they don’t do any other flight attendant duties. If you need a nap, call the inflight nanny!

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