Traveling with children can be stressful, especially when it comes to long haul flights.
It can feel like a daunting task between packing, entertaining, and keeping track of all the necessary documents and gear.
However, with a little planning and preparation, flying long haul with children can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for the whole family.
Before You Go
Before you even step foot on the plane, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Choosing the Right Flight and Seat
The first step in preparing for a long haul flight with children is choosing the right flight and seat.
When it comes to flight duration, it’s generally best to choose the shortest possible option. Non-stop flights will likely be the most convenient, as they’ll minimize the number of times your child will have to sit through take-off and landing, which can be uncomfortable for young children.
Packing for a long-haul flight with children can be overwhelming, but it’s important to pack smart to save space and avoid excess baggage fees.
Pack only the essentials and consider purchasing travel-sized toiletries to save room in your luggage. It’s also a good idea to bring a few extra changes of clothes and any necessary medications in case of any accidents or delays.
Prep Your Children
If your children are old enough, involve them in the packing process to give them a sense of responsibility and ownership over their trip. You can also show them pictures and videos of your destination to get them excited about the trip.
For younger children, it may be helpful to prepare them for the sights and sounds of the airport and plane. Reading books about flying or watching videos of planes taking off and landing can help to familiarize them with the experience.
Research Your Airline
Different airlines have different policies when it comes to traveling with children. Some may offer amenities like bassinets, special meals, and entertainment options specifically for kids.
Researching your airline’s policies ahead of time can help you plan and prepare for your flight.
On the Plane
Once you’re on the plane, there are a few things you can do to make the journey more comfortable for you and your children.
Choose Your Seats Carefully
If possible, try to book extra legroom or bulkhead seats, which often come with infant bassinets. These seats can give you and your children a little extra space to stretch out and move around.
If you’re traveling with an infant, consider booking a seat near the lavatories so you can easily change diapers.
Long-haul flights can be boring, especially for children. Pack a variety of entertainment options, such as coloring books, small toys, and electronic devices with downloaded movies and games.
Don’t forget to pack headphones and chargers as well.
If you’re traveling with small children, it’s important to take breaks and stretch your legs whenever possible.
Plan to get up and walk around the cabin during the flight to keep your energy up and prevent fatigue.
Staying hydrated is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for children. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks on the plane to keep your children hydrated and nourished.
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks as they can cause a sugar crash later on.
After You Land
After a long haul flight, it’s important to take care of yourself and your children to recover from jet lag and adjust to the new time zone.
Get Some Sleep
Try to get as much sleep as possible during the first few days after your arrival. This will help your body adjust to the new time zone and reduce the effects of jet lag.
To combat jet lag and help your body adjust to the new time zone, try to stay active by going for a walk or exploring your destination. Getting some fresh air and exercise will do wonders for your energy levels.