Top Survival Tips for Long Haul Flights with ChildrenLong haul flights aren’t easy at the best of times – even the most frequent flyer will probably dread hours in the air to reach their destination halfway across the world, and that’s without even thinking about travelling the distance with children. Travelling with kids can be a nightmare if you’re not careful, causing unnecessary stress for all involved (and other passengers too!). However, don’t let that put you off making the journey; if you tackle the flight head-on and make sure that you’re ready and prepared for anything, you’ll find that the flight will pass by with no problem at all. Here are some top tips to help you.
Fly through the nightIf possible, book a night flight so that (fingers crossed) the kids sleep for the vast majority of the flight. It will mess less with their circadian rhythms and will give you more chance of a stress-free trip. You could even dress them in their pyjamas too, to give them a sign that it’s sleep-time. Treat them to a new pair to make it special – you can find some great value girls' and boys' pyjamas from George that they will love.
Organise a stopoverMany package holidays to long haul destinations offer a stopover as part of the package, and when you’re travelling with kids, it can be a godsend. Stop for at least a day or two at the refuelling stop (such as Singapore, on the way to Australia), so that you can adjust to the time zones, ease the jet lag and have some time to relax before the second leg of the journey.
Take your pram to the aircraftYou may be tempted to check it in early and rely on a sling, but there’s nothing better than having the pram there until you board – this way, if you’re faced with delays or a restless, sleepy baby, you will have your pram to help you.
Ask for bulkhead seatsIf you’re travelling with a baby, remember that they won’t have their own seat. Ask about bulkhead seats when booking your flights, because many of them, such as those provided by Emirates, offer bassinet seats which are perfect for those of you travelling with a baby.
Pack plenty of snacks and milkAirline food isn’t that bad but you can’t rely on it when it comes to feeding youngsters, especially picky ones. Pack plenty of healthy snacks, such as raisins, to distract them if they’re on their way to a tantrum, and pack some ‘naughty’ treats as well, because they will always go down well! Make sure that you also have plenty of milk packed for your baby or toddler, too. If all else fails, milk can settle them into slumber better than most things.
Download kid-friendly appsIf you have an iPad or tablet, load it up with child-friendly apps, TV shows and films so that they can stay entertained when they are awake and battling boredom. BBC iPlayer allows you to download episodes onto your tablet to keep for a week, so make sure you stop by CBeebies before you fly.
As long as you prepare yourself, mentally, before the trip, there’s no reason why you can’t come out the other side smiling. It needn’t be as stressful as you may first expect! Now get booking!