How to Survive a Flight with Three Boys to Disney! Tutorial Tuesday

As we prepare to fly to Florida with 3 boys, the Nintendo DS is the savior of parents everywhere. My kids rarely play theirs, but on car trips, waiting for tables in restaurants, and flying in airplanes, this little gem is worth it's weight in gold. Nintendo, I'm broke from buying 3 of these...but I love you.

As great as the DS is for travel, they can be played only so long before children get antsy. Especially, when said children are headed to the "Promised Land" (aka DisneyWorld). The shear anxiety that this trip has caused my boys is like 10 Holidays rolled into one. They. Can't. WAIT. (I, on the other hand, am wishing I'd just woken them up Saturday and said "Hey, guess what? Get up, because we are going to Disney...in an hour!)

Let me fill you in on my arsenal, compliments of the local Dollar Tree.

Half of these $1 treasures will be gift wrapped and stowed in my carry on bag (the other half in my luggage for the ride home). God have mercy on the security guard who even attempts to rifle through that bag. It is my sanity, my salvation, the only thing that will get me to Florida alive and intact. I will fight for it with my life. (Dramatic much? Have YOU flown with 3 young boys on their way to DISNEY before?)

Where was I? Oh, right, wrap the gifts (Don't get imaginative, just get one of the same for each kid to open at the same time. The other passengers will thank you.) As you wrap, number them. Fun gum is always #1 (you know, the ear pressure thing)

The rest of the packages contain silly putty, cheap magic tricks, puzzles, slime etc... I always alternate my toys with candy. A little candy goes a long way, a lot of candy will leave them hyper and puking. (Just a tip from a mom who has caught her share of puke with her own two hands or in a special puke-catching receptacle otherwise known as her shirt.)

As we get closer to our destination (Disney!) the gifts will get more Disney-ish. You know, this same Disney-themed stuff I got at the Dollar tree would have cost me an arm and a leg in the parks! The last gift is the little project seen here.

I've packaged up lots of Disney stickers and a small notebook for them to decorate their own autograph book for the characters (yeah, Big Guy, saving us money left and right!)

Here is Helper Munchkin hiding his eyes while I wrap. He couldn't stand to be out of the action, but I didn't want him to ruin the surprise. He is practically vibrating with anticipation (he thinks I can't tell he's peeking)

Inspecting the wrapped packages, what is in there?!

Let me show you how the Big Guy and I plan to make it through the trip...


**(This originally posted in March 2009)


  1. Oh I hope you have so much fun! I'm sure the boys will love Disney! I actually used to work there! It was a lot of fun:) Have a great Tuesday!

  2. Looks like you have thought of everything and that can only mean one thing.....there is still one tiny thing you forgot about and it won't rear it's ugly head until it's too late ;-) Just teasing......thanks to your planning you will all have a great time!

  3. Love it!

    I also hit up the dollar store to get several items to reveal along our trek on long car trips.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes! We have plans to pursue Disney, but not for a few years (at least until the youngest does not rely on a nap) to make it more fun for EVERYONE! :)

  4. Another fabulous idea! Do you think you could plan our next trip? ☺

  5. You are very smart to come up with all those great ideas! We are heading to Disney tomorrow. I have 2 girls ages 8 and 6. They usually pack their own bag of things to keep them busy on the plane and then I usually pack snacks and a few other little things including gum in my bag. Our flight is only an hour and a half so it usually isn't that bad. Hopefully this time will be just as good as previous trips! Hope you have a great trip. :) We are super excited and can't wait to get there.

  6. I love how smart our kids must think we are...our younget still thinks that if he walks away backwards while hiding something behind his back we'll never see it! Hope you had a great flight (and Absolute is sooo good to cure mom stress!)

  7. We used to live in FL and visited family in the midwest twice a year. My kids have lots of plane travel under their belts! Another trick for wrapping gifts is to use tissue paper. It wads up smaller than wrapping paper which is nice since the flight staff doesn't come around often enough to collect trash. I gave my kids each their own small back pack stuffed with 'quiet keeper' activities and then supplimented with wrapped surprises and special snacks. Also- it's good to keep them moving at the airport. No sitting to wait- you must walk them. Their poor little legs will be sitting enough soon. Have a great time at disney. We sure miss being right there!

  8. Oh my goodness. What a fun Mommy you are! I hope our state gives you some nice weather!

  9. lolol super awesome post... so creative about the wrapping packages of odd and ends items to entertain. It never occurred to be about the gum and candy. Super tips XD

  10. great ideas!!!!! you ARE a super~organized~creative gal!!!!!!!

  11. Have a great trip. One point though - I don't believe any items can be wrapped due to security reasons. You may want to check with the TSA.

  12. Oh I hope the security lets you through too with all those wrapped gifts. They tend to not like that sort of thing. They've told me to wait til I get there to wrap everything. But who? Who? I ask you wants to buy a roll of wrapping paper on vacation and take the time to do all that work when you're supposed to be playing. Have fun on your trip!

  13. i have a DS of my own and i love it!! It will definitely be in my carry-on for my plane trip next week :)

  14. Like Wendy said above, I am going to hire you to plan my next vacation - seriously.

    Have a great time.

    And yes, I LOVE Nintendo. The DS is one of the greatest inventions ever. We don't let my daughter play it all the time, but it great for extra long car rides and such, like you mentioned. I mean, honestly, there was a huge celebration at our house when she beat Mario Brothers. She was so proud, and I couldn't help but cheer her on and be proud!

  15. don't know if you've gone yet, but wrapped items in my carryon got opened, and playdoh/clay looks like some banned substances and i got super searched because of that package, and i still do every time i fly four years later, its a bit of a joke with my family, but i always get the swipe down and my luggage is always opened because of play-doh, just my experience

  16. Good point, mindingmama! I did place the items with silly putty or that slimy goo into a ziploc baggie and placed them on the belt just like toiletries. They probably would have been opened if they were packed alone. Thanks for the reminder :)

  17. What an amazing idea! I can't wait to try this on our next vacation! So creative!!


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