Kid on the Airplane.

07 Aug Top tips for travelling on long haul flights with your brood

In our recent Travel Insurance poll, 55% of respondents admitted that had never taken an infant on a long haul flight. If you are one of these and are now considering taking the plunge and braving such a task this summer, we have compiled our top tips on keeping kids amused on long haul flights.

  1. Do not board your flight early. If you have your seat booked there is no need to board early, your sanity will thank you for it. There is no point in having your children in an enclosed space of a plane for longer than they need to be.
  2. It may be worth considering booking a flight with multiple connections rather than one long haul flight. It gives kids the chance to stretch the legs and release them from the confined plane. Though it may be best to avoid this if your little one is fearful of take-offs and landings.
  3. Bring an emergency stash of snacks. Particularly for toddlers this will be your answer for Zen for at least 15 minutes. A lot of kids enjoy raisins; this is a perfect example of a snack that they love and will take forever to eat.
  4. Have a tablet at the ready with loads of cartoons downloaded. 30% of our respondents said this helped make their journey easier.
  5. Bring new toys for the kiddies to play with. This was a popular choice among our participants where some 54% revealed that this worked a treat. In theory, if you give a child a new toy (one you know they will like) they are in awe and are sure to keep them amused if only least a short while.
  6. Play a good old-fashioned game of I-Spy. You can include the SkyMall Magazine in this game and it would be good to ask your tots to make a wishlist of the items they would like to buy.
  7. Pack interactive books (not short ones), colouring books and pencils, may sound like a natural remedy but it is not to be undermined.
  8. Prior to booking, try and choose a flight that is in sync with your child’s routine. This works for 17% of our surveyed participants. However, it is worth noting that this could backfire as they could be all hyped up and not being able to sleep.
  9. For young pitter-patter feet, flying can sometimes be an overwhelming experience. You want to reduce your risk as much as possible and keep their sense of familiarity. Try and stick to their bedtime routine of dressing them in their pyjamas, wash their teeth and read them a bed time story. This may be your saviour from sour looks from your on-looking fellow passengers when your precious screams the plane down.
  10. If your little treasure is feeling poorly, pack some ear drops which are good for easing the effects of altitude and Calpol, though we would advise consulting your doctor beforehand.

At the end of the day, kids are kids and despite your best efforts it can prove to be a difficult task in keeping them restrained in-transit.

Linda Pototzki
Linda.Pototzki@TheAA.ie