After a hectic year at work for mum and dad and a jam packed year at school for the kids, we can all agree that there’s nothing better than getting away in the summer holidays, and taking a great vacation. If you’ve got your eye on a particular location but aren’t too sure whether to go for it or not because it involves a long flight, you won’t be alone.
Embarking on a 6 hour + flight with kids doesn’t exactly scream ‘straightforward’, ‘relaxing’ or ‘fun’, but we’ve rounded up some tips to hopefully take some of the stresses away, so you can look forward to your getaway without dreading the flight.
Keep them updated about your progress
It might sound like a strange tip, but if your little ones are old enough to understand, explaining to them how far you’ve been and how long is left can be a good way of distracting them and showing them they’ll be able to get off soon.
Provide them with something to do at different stages of the flight
When you’ve booked your long haul flights online and know exactly how long the flight is, you can start to plan a few activities to keep them occupied, and you can pack accordingly. Being prepared with things like games, electronic devices, books, magazines etc ahead of time will make the whole process a lot less stressful.
Encourage them to burn their energy before boarding
Running around the airport isn’t the best idea, but if you can find a fairly quiet spot with a bit of space, don’t be afraid to let your kids burn off a bit of their energy before the flight. Things like simple relay races or even just taking long walks around the terminals can be a great way of making them tired.
Take lots of snacks with you
Meals aren’t always great on flights, and there’s a chance you’ll have to wait a bit for them too, so it’s a great idea to pack some snacks to take with you to hand out to your troop. This will not only keep them fed and hydrated, but it serves as a great distraction to boredom, too. There’s a great article here regarding travel snacks for kids which is well worth a read.
Take a night flight where possible
In an ideal world, your little ones will sleep the whole way through the plane, though this is of course not always reality. However, you will increase your chances of this happening if you schedule your flight at night around their bed time, as they’ll naturally be more tired.
Take extra milk with you
The ideal tip if you’re travelling with babies or small toddlers is to take extra milk with you on your long haul flight. It’s the best way to soothe very teeny ones, who are most likely to be effected in terms of ear ache etc, and it’s a good way to help them sleep more, too.