1) CARES If you're not into bringing the carseat on the plane (me!), then the CARES Safety Restraint ($69) is a genius alternative to give your little ones that extra protection. The Cares Restraint is the only FAA-approved and adjustable child restrain harness other than a car seat, and can be used for toddlers over 22 pounds.
5) Nook Color If you don't have an iPad, you might want to consider the Nook Color ($299.99) to upload all your children's favorite books. The Nook Color is a hybrid between an e-reader and a multi-functioning tablet like the iPad and will keep them entertained for hours.
6) Portable DVD Player
7-inch Philips for $69) and fun headphones ($17) are a lifesaver assuming you allow your children to watch videos. Tip: Target has some great DVD's for $5.00. Before the trip, go buy one and wrap it in gift paper so they extra excited to watch their new/special movie!
7) iPhone/iPad Apps Ask your other mommy friends and get your iPhone loaded up on kid-friendly apps before you take off. A favorite: Where's Waldo. If you’re taking along your iPad, make sure to download the ColorStudio HD app. The magic color book won't have you searching for lost color crayons under the seat and will keep the little ones busy.
8) Non-electronic distractions - aka toys
Yes, in 2011, there are still non-electronic travel toy options that will entertain your children — such as the FeltTales storyboards ($19.95) and airplane/car travel trays ($24.99). Tip: Go to the Dollar Store and pick up five small toys (matchbox cars, books, dolls, animals, etc) and wrap them in gift paper. Throughout the flight, randomly take out a new "present" they get to open. Make sure to tape them well so it eats up time on the flight. Let them play with them for a bit. When they get bored of that toy, pull out another.
9) Munchies Lots of them!! Who cares if your child already had breakfast or just had lunch, food is a distraction and it will buy you TIME. There are so many portable food options - puffs, yogurt bites, fruit and veggie pouches - that it makes packing the diaper bag super easy. Tip: Once you are asked to shut down your electronics for your descent, give the kids a Tootsie Roll Pop. They are big enough to entertain them for the entire 20-30 minutes left in the flight. Happy Travels!!!