The fear of flying with their children is possibly the biggest reason parents choose not to travel. It can be daunting. But it’s also entirely manageable.
Here are our top tips for flying long-haul with children.
- If your kids are young enough, book a bassinet seat (behind the bulkhead). If not, aisle seats are much better than window seats, you’ll be moving round a lot.
- It seems obvious, but take your kids to the toilet just before you board. You can be sitting on the tarmac or taxiing for some time.
- Give your kids a drink or a lollipop to suck on when taking off and landing, it’ll help them equalize their ears.
- Always take spare clothes for you and your children in carry on, you never know what will happen in flight.
- Let them be movie zombies. Even if you’re really strict with screen time, in flight it’s easier just to let them watch.
- Pack some healthy snacks that you know they’ll enjoy. There’s no guarantee they’ll like what’s served on board.
- Keep everyone hydrated. The air conditioning tends to dry you out.
- The aircraft headphones are basically useless, take proper over-ear headphones for the kids. Noise-cancelling is a huge bonus too.
- Have something new you can surprise them with on board, such as a toy or book. Something that’ll absorb them for a while.
Prepare well enough, and long-haul flights can be something the kids look forward to, not dread.
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I wrote a book on how to travel with kids: https://bit.ly/twkbook