Ten tips for surviving a long airplane flight with kids

Our kid is now 2 and a half and he has been flying since he was a baby . He has been in 20 flights until now, mostly in Europe and Australia. He doesn´t have any fear of flying but still manages to make every flight challenging for us. His longest flight until now took 14 hours (from Doha to Sydney) and it was not as hard as we expected it to be. For us the secrets for an easy flight with kids lie in good planning and packing . For all of you traveling soon, here are some tips from our own experience meant to help you survive a flight with small children:

1. Make a list with the things needed for the checked and carry-on baggage. I usually start making this list a few weeks before the actual flight and packing becomes a lot easier. But before that, read the restrictions on hand luggage and be prepared to throw away things in case the airport personal asks you.
2. Find a travel destination where you can buy all the things you need for a child, it would be great if you have a large supermarket and a pharmacy near the hotel .This way you will not feel the need to pack your whole house in those bags.
3.Pick a flight during the kid’s night sleep or afternoon nap. We always look for flights that respect our child’s sleeping hours, because drugging him to sleep is not an option we consider.
4.Prepare a calming set for the toddler, something that can keep him occupied on the plane. We always have: a few books, some coloring stuff , play dough, balloons, a new LEGO Duplo set of toys and for emergency a few apps installed on the phone. All of the toys will be thrown away or fall on the floor of the plane, so choose middle size toys .

Travel with kids

5. Have some extra clothes for the kids and for you . At the beginning of our longest flight so far, my kid spilled a glass of water on my clothes , on his clothes and on my seat. Luckily for him we had the extra clothes necessary for him , i wrapped the seat with an extra blanket, but i had to survive the flight in my wet clothes. Also pack a hat or a hoody to protect the child head from cold during a flight and some soft shoes like this for walking around the plane.

6.Pack some food and drinks for the kid -if you have a picky eater like we do or if you somehow do not plan on buying or serving food from the airplane . Before that read the restrictions for hand luggage and be prepared to throw away things in case the personal asks you. Every destination comes with new rules about the food you are allowed to enter with. For example before entering Australia and New Zealand you must declare and show for inspection all food you have with you or face penalties. So if you do decide to take food in your checked baggage , it would be wiser to have everything packed in just one suitcase.

Food for airplane

7.Have an emergency medicine set on the plane with things you might be needing. We usually have a nose spray, ear thermometer , alcohol wipes, bandages and something for: fever, cough and diarrhea. We make sure to disinfect our seats and wash our kid’s hands as often as we can. We also have with us his vaccine situation and we make sure that our child’s immunization schedule is up to date and appropriate for the place we are visiting.
8.To make going to the bathroom easy for the kids buy a travel potty . You can find a similar one on Amazon.
9.Don’t avoid other families with children on the plane and consider yourself lucky if you find another family around , because that means your kid will have fun . Children are always curious about other children and find ways to play with each other even if they do not speak the same language.
10. If you want your kid to sleep just give him some space and help him get comfortable. Very oft the kids are tired but cannot fall sleep , because there is so much going on around them. So in order to help them – offer them their favorite blanket , turn their faces and bodies towards the window We always have the favorite blanket and bottle, because without these two, sleeping is an impossible mission. We try not to speak for a while and the kid magically falls asleep.

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