If you regularly sit next to kids on planes, you know there's a lot to dread. They have short attention spans, they get hungry at inconvenient times, they are not beholden to social norms about breaking down and crying because their seat-back screen is broken. But... there are definite upsides as well. Here are seven reasons to love sitting next to a kid on the plane.

They're the Right Size for an Airplane Seat

Kids are actually the exact right size for most airplane seats. And that means they, unlike adult-sized seatmates, are not going to be constantly, accidentally (or not) overflowing into your space simply by being there. In fact, they've probably got a bit of extra legroom they're not using... and might be willing to share.

They Don't Block the View

You may not realize it, but when you sit in the window seat you're pretty much completely blocking the view for your fellow seatmates. Kids, however, only take up the bottom half of the window, leaving the top quadrant free for the rest of the row. So next time the pilot gets on the intercom to ooh and ahh about the Grand Canyon out the left window, you might actually be able to see more than the back of someone's head.

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They Turn the Window Into a Magical Portal

Fly frequently enough and the exceptional fact that you're zooming through the sky, dodging clouds and looking down on the world far below starts to feel pretty yawnworthy. Put a kid in the window seat, however, and they'll be gobsmacked, which may just remind you that, yeah, this is amazing.

They're Unlikely to Get Drunk

If my history of random seatmates is anything to go by, there are a lot of people getting drunk in the air. Sit next to a kid though, and you won't have to worry that the person next to you is going to start laughing hysterically for no reason, break into a slurred but heartfelt rendition of "Pour Some Sugar on Me," then fall asleep on your shoulder. (Actually, you may still have to worry about all these things, but at least it won't be alcohol induced.)

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They Don't Manspread

Even at its worst, kidspreading is no match for manspreading. Plus, kids are used to being reminded about respecting the outer boundaries of their personal space, whereas manspreaders seem deliberately oblivious to the physical world around them. Hooray for not being used as a structural support for the meaty leg of a stranger.

They're a Natural Row Repellent

Next time you want to leave that middle seat open on a choose-your-own-seat airline like Southwest, share the row with a kid. If you want to up your chances for success using this strategy, give that kid messy food and drawing supplies to keep them busy during the onboarding process—it really seems to tap into people's worst fears about emerging from a flight covered in scented markers and Jell-O.

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They Ask Inspiring Questions

It's not just the window that yields delights for kids on planes; every aspect of travel is pretty impressive to anyone who isn't jaded after years of security lines and baggage fees. How do we go so fast? Why is time different where we're going? Kids remind us that travel is amazing and special and worth being impressed by. That alone would make them ideal seatmates.

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Read the original story: 7 Great Things About Sitting Next to a Kid on a Plane by Christine Sarkis, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

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