Travelling long haul with children can be challenging and unpredictable. Sometimes we can prepare for every eventuality and still it feels as if everything goes wrong. Other times, you plan for weeks in advance of your trip, trying to anticipate everything and the little darlings totally surprise you.
We’ve had good and bad experiences with the children travelling over the years, but oddly, the long haul trips we’ve done have been way more successful than the shorter trips.
I always pack what I call a ‘busy bag’ for each of the children when travelling. I fill each bag with their favourite things, a couple of new things and a range of different snacks. Last time we flew long haul, the in-flight entertainment was used for hours by the children and it was a welcome change from their own devices.
We try to ‘explore’ as much as we can for a change of scenery, even if all that really means is going to the loo! We have also used Trunki’s in the past for riding around airports and resting in the queue for customs.
I’ve spoken recently to a few other people regarding their own top tips for travelling long haul with children, here’s what they had to say:
Sarah, from Digital Motherhood said “My tip for travelling long haul with kids would be entertainment! We flew 9 hours to Florida with a 5-year-old and took a Trunki packed with toys, books, games and snacks. There was, of course, the iPad full of videos and games but the colouring and sticker book was probably the most popular. Popcorn, raisins, cereal bars and biscuits also helped to keep the whining to a minimum. Oh and a travel pillow and blanket so that when they are eventually tired they are nice and comfy for a nap!”
Sarah, who has worked within the Childcare industry for over 15 years, as a Supernanny, Private Maternity Nurse, Sleep Trainer and Baby Concierge, travelling with babies and children all over the Globe, including the Middle East, USA and Caribbean, has lots of tips.
She now blogs about all things parenting, travel and lifestyle at Minime and Luxury, and her top tips include:
- Take enough supplies such as clothes/nappies for two days incase of delays
- Pack a spare pair of clothes for you, incase of sick/nappy explosions
- Pack a white noise toy such as Whisbear or Ewan the sheep
- Take your babies favourite blanket and toy
- Pack medical supplies such a a thermometer & calpol (if age appropriate)
- I recommend you pack a snoozeshade UVA cover for arrival
- You can usually take prepared milk but check with your airline
- Buy a buggy transporter bag if possible to protect your buggy
- I find a sling perfect for airports as it gives you your hands free
- Enjoy, try to relax and have a great time.
“Practice beforehand! Things like wearing headphones etc, especially when they’re younger children” says Rebecca from All About U. “Plenty of snacks and water. Colouring pads for little ones can be great and ipads and other game devices are handy but make sure they can use headphones so they don’t disturb other travellers” says Melanie from Melanie’s Fab Finds.
Katie from Mummy in a Tutu has a great tip to “create a lucky dip in their hand luggage. Doesn’t have to be expensive- visit Poundland etc and get sticker books, games etc. Wrap them up and bring one out regularly throughout the flight when they show signs of boredom”. I love this!
Segilola shares here tips and experience on her blog as well. “For our next long-haul flight (whenever that would be), I would make sure I had a travel pillow with me, so my little human had something to rest her head on. Whilst it was quite cute talking really slowly but with our mouths opened as widely as we could get them to open, I think I would look into getting something to help with the change in sensation in the ears due to the pressure” she told me.
Sam from Memories and Mayhem said “download their favourite films on a tablet so they can watch them on the plane. Give young children a sweet to chew during takeoff/landing to help stop their ears popping. Don’t overpack as it’s hard work getting kids and cases through airport. Also, when you arrive at your destination try and stay awake until it would be normal bedtime over there, it will help beat any jet lag.”
All great tips and food for thought when travelling long haul with children.
Do you have any of your own tips to share?