Arriving in Departures to board your long haul flight, I’m sure that as a parent with a young child you will be worrying about how your child is going to cope in the confines of an aircraft for the hours that follow. Going through your mind will be a number of different scenarios; will your child be the one running up and down the aisles, knocking over the lap trays, fidgeting for hours, crying out of sheer boredom and throwing major tantrums for the entire plane to hear?
To be honest on most long haul flights I have seen this in action, kids screaming, parents embarrassed, other passengers shaking their heads at them, and then the parent promising their children anything just to get them to sit still and be quiet for 5 minutes. I’m not saying that flying with children is easy and that I have the perfect child who sits still for 8 hours without a peep, far from it but I do have some top tips to share with you that really work.
Be prepared, some long haul flight tips of flying with children!
- Although the flight attendants will want you to board first, try to board the plane last, the less time the children are on the plane the better!
- Make sure your child has exerted all of their energy in the airport, let them be active and run around (within reason).
- No sugary food or fizzy drinks prior to boarding, you need them to be as calm as possible. Children should be well hydrated so plenty of water and healthy snacks are fine.
- Until you get to your destination let them follow their usual daily routine (don’t worry about jetlag until you are on holiday, children adapt very quickly)
- New toys – although it can be expensive, let them choose a toy at the airport to play with. Additionally pack a variety of new toys to amuse your child, ones you’ll know they’ll love. Books, stickers, puzzles etc. tend to hold their attention but nothing too noisy. If the flight is 7 hours then take 7 new toys and let them open 1 an hour based on their behaviour.
- Pack your own food – children can be fussy eaters, so make sure you pack their favourites to enjoy as they will feel better with a good meal during the long haul flight.
- Reins – These are really handy to have on in the airport, especially when you are trying to juggle your passport, hand luggage and a toddler but also on the plane if they want to go for a walk down the aisle.
- If your child has a soother or comforter make sure it is packed in an easy place to get to.
- The majority of planes have individual inflight entertainment now, so find any suitable cartoons to amuse them.
- Don’t expect perfection, just be as prepared as possible and you’ll enjoy the journey.
Don’t be put off by the flight, still go long haul. You’ll have an amazing holiday when you are there and you will find that flying with children is not that bad, you only have to be prepared. You can find some great offers available at the moment, so don’t delay booking your cheap long haul flights now for all of the family!