Have you ever second-guessed yourself when booking long-haul flights for you and your whole family… kids included? Travelling with toddlers and young kids isn’t easy, at least not the “getting there” part and for many parents it can be a nightmare if their child is the screaming one. Here are 10 tips for travelling long-haul with tots in tow.
Travelling is really inspiring for kids and it’s really admirable if parents decide to travel to far off destinations with the whole family. The rewards of travelling young may not be so visible during the actual trip, but afterwards they’re, to be cliché, priceless.
- When you search for flights, book overnight flights. Hopefully your kids will be tired out from the day and sleep like the little angels that they are. Make it easier by planning an active day for them beforehand.
- As for choosing seats, if your children tend to be fidgety, choose the bulkhead where they’ll have more room to move around. Being at the back also has its advantages though since its close to the bathroom.
- Buy a new toy or book especially for the trip. Your kids will not get tired of it so easily if its new, keeping them quiet and occupied for longer. Pack something quiet so as not to disturb the other passengers: colouring books, Etch-a-sketch, activity books, plush toys…
- If you’re travelling with toddlers and infants, pack more diapers, wipes, food, etc. than you think you’ll need. Delays and cancellations are not as uncommon as you think and you want to be prepared to the absolute worst.
- Get to the airport early so that they can move around a bit before getting on the flight. After a long car ride and standing in line to check-in, the kids should have a chance to run around and burn their energy. Ask at an info point if the airport has a designated play area for kids.
- Once on the plane, let your child take the window seat. For first time flyers, they’ll likely be easily distracted with what’s going on outside with the ground crew and during take off. Wait a while before bringing out the toys, letting your child adjust to the new and exciting surroundings.
- If your child is prone to motion sickness in the car, they’ll likely also experience it in the plane. Pack some ginger candies or cookies, fruits and muesli bars which tend to calm the stomach and sit well. Hard candies and lollipops also help for ear pressure during take off and landing.
- Keep a constant eye on your children throughout the flight. As tempting as it may be to lose yourself in an in-flight film or a magazine, it’s much better to wait until they’re asleep to do these things. At any moment the could get upset and start to get fussy.
- Once you land, wait until all the other passengers are off the plane before you go. Make sure nothing has fallen under the seats around you before you go.
- Plan ahead and do your research so that everything goes smoothly once at your arrival airport. Know how you plan to get from the airport to your hotel before getting off the plane so that you don’t have to wait in line at the information desk with tired tots hanging on you. Print off the train/bus schedules, hotel bookings or car reservations so that they’re easily accessible.
Have you travelled with your kids before, how was the experience? What advice would you give other parents planning to travel with their children?
Parents also need to be comfortable during the flight, here are a few tips on how to get comfy in Economy during your next long-haul flight.
Img: wwworks / flickr cc