Travelling with children is an idea that gives every sane adult chills down their spine. It’s okay, we can be honest. And if it is a long flight – oh boy! So how do you keep young children occupied on a long flight? Well, fortunately for us, we’ve done this a time or two. Here are our recommendations.
Planning Your Flight
Sit near windows.
Trust us. Your kids will want to look out the window practically the whole flight, they will look away when snacks arrive or to ask you a billion questions. When you are planning your air-travel make sure you have at least one window seat.
Sit in the front row.
You can’t sit in an exit row with children, but you can sit in the front row. This gives you a little more leg room, as well as no grumpy people in front of you. The worst scenario is when the people in front of you want to lay back, and your children decide to practice their soccer kicks.
Board the plane last & walk around.
They always announce for children to board first. It makes sense, parents usually have a ton of luggage and “extra” needs for their little ones. However, if you have assigned seats, do yourself a favor and board last. The longer you can give your children to walk and move around, the easier it will be once you board and have to remain seated.
Stall once on board before you open your pack.
Parents are pros at stalling. When you board the plane, stall as long as possible before opening your pack of goodies, games, and snacks. If you have a long flight, you will want to let each activity take up as much time as possible.
What to Pack In Your Carry-On (Backpack)
Every kid has their go-to snacks, and the flight attendant will never have them. So pack not just one, but two packs of snacks for the plane. Keep one a secret and as a backup plan when all else has been eaten.
Why sensory activities? Planes are boring and kids love to move, see, smell, touch, etc. everything they come in contact with. By taking sensory activities on the plane, you will help keep them occupied longer before they feel stifled. Check out this affordable assortment pack of sensory toys (affiliate link).
Most flights have headphones you can use or buy, but in our experience, the children hate how they feel in their ears. Pack your own set for your little ones just to be prepared. We love this pair of headphones because they are flexible, and soft on their heads. Perfect if you plan on wearing them for a long period of time. (affiliate link)
You may think that your kids don’t need this, but you won’t regret it. Kids get too cold, too hot, accidentally spill something (those plane trays cannot be trusted with children), or they just get clammy. It’s really smart to pack an extra set of clothes and a sweater or jacket.
Kids love tech. Make sure your tablet, kindle, phone… whatever it is fully charged and has apps downloaded that won’t require wifi. If you aren’t sure, double check, because you won’t want to get on the flight and find out they require wifi. If you are interested in kid-friendly tablets – check out kindle fire options. Don’t forget your chargers either!
Some children get headaches on their first flight. The air pressure, loud sounds, air quality – let’s be honest, you will want to take some for you as well. We suggest making sure your kids are very hydrated before flying and during the flight to help avoid it. But if you need to, make sure you have some children’s medication to help if they get a headache or get motion sickness on the flight.
If you plan on flying with an infant, good luck friend, but there are some great resources from BarefootBlonde.com on traveling with an infant.