1. Freddie goes on an airplane - this story was cute, but not super detailed. I did like that it included a really good illustration for security, with little Freddie's stuffed bear going through the x-ray machine. One of our few tense moments was when Violet's favorite bunny had to make that same trip. Eek!
2. My Plane Trip - this one is actually a coloring book, but it had the best illustrations and story of the three. The book follows a family packing their bags, checking in at the airport, going through security, watching a movie, eating, and sleeping on the plane.
3. Airport - this book had cute illustrations, but the story wasn't the greatest. It didn't feature a family, which is big for Violet, and was kind of choppy and not very explanatory. She requested this one a lot less than the other books.
4. Going on a Plane - the Tripp family is featured in this book, and the story is very cute. Mr. Tripp spills the bags at one point and the kids are really very included in everything that is happening. Violet really loved reading about the Tripp's trip :) I liked that Customs was included in this particular book.
We also watched clips from an old Sesame Street episode (1090) on YouTube where Big Bird and the gang go to Hawaii. It all worked like a charm. We referred back to the books and episode quite a bit while traveling ("We need to get our seat belt buckled now so we can be safe just like Big Bird") ("Remember how the family went through the special door in the airport?"). It gave her a point of reference and made her much more comfortable with the whole process.
Overall the trip to Australia went very smoothly. Violet read books, watched videos and slept for about an hour on the first flight (about six hours). On the second flight, a fourteen hour red-eye) she watched a video, ate her meal, and slept for the majority of the flight (score!). There was a small meltdown prior to her falling asleep, but luckily we had brought along her formula in case of a reaction while abroad (even though she never drinks it any more), and lo and behold she requested it during her meltdown. It was the only thing that calmed her down so I'm really glad we brought it with us. And on the last flight (a short hour and a half trip) she slept the whole way from customs to touch down.
I think that we got really lucky on the first go and now I just have the trip home to worry about :) Let's hope it goes just as well. Wish us luck!