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Blog>Family Travel Hacks: Tips for Travelling Long Haul with Kids
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Family Travel Hacks: Tips for Travelling Long Haul with Kids

Are you looking for tips for flying long-haul with kids? Travelling with your little ones can be both exciting and daunting! Whether you're planning a super-duper family vacation or visiting your loved ones, flying with kids can open up new experiences.

But stress no more! We've put together a guide that will transform your family air travel from potential chaos into a smooth and joyful journey. We've got all the tips and tricks you need to make those long-haul flights with kids feel like a breeze. From getting ready before the flight to having fun during the journey, you'll find all the secrets right here.

1) Prepare your child for the big day ahead!

One of the keys to a successful journey starts even before you reach the airport – it's all about preparing your child for the exciting day ahead. Involve them in the process by letting them pack their favourite toys or activities for the trip. Ask them to choose a special book or a beloved stuffed animal to accompany them on this adventure. This not only gives them a sense of responsibility but also creates a sense of familiarity and comfort during the flight.

As the departure day approaches, consider creating a simple countdown calendar. Let them mark off the days and get excited about the journey. You could even have a small travel-themed surprise waiting for them on the morning of the flight, like a mini travel journal or a fun aeroplane-themed accessory.

By preparing your child for the big day with enthusiasm and positivity, you're setting the stage for a memorable and stress-free experience. The journey becomes a part of the adventure, and the excitement of flying becomes a cherished memory for them to look back on.

2) Bring plenty of delicious snacks!

When you’re flying with kids, one of the top tips is to pack lots of delicious snacks. It’s likely that your child isn’t used to the airline food and the flavour might not align with their taste preferences. That's where having a stash of your child's favourite snacks becomes a game-changer. Ensuring you have a supply of treats they love can make all the difference in keeping their hunger and mood at bay during the journey.

And here's a nifty travel tip: consider including some hard candy in your snack assortment, perhaps a lollipop. This sweet treat isn't just a delightful indulgence; it also serves as a clever way to gently keep their ear tubes open, minimising any discomfort during takeoff and landing. So, remember to pack those snacks with care – not only for their tummies but for smooth skies all around!

3) Download your child's favourite shows

Another tip for flying long-haul with kids is to download your child's favourite shows before you embark on your journey. Imagine the excitement that lights up their faces when they see their beloved characters come to life, above the clouds. It's like carrying a piece of home and comfort with you as you travel.

And here's a bonus tip: don't forget to bring noise-cancelling headphones. This way, your child can immerse themselves in their shows without disturbing fellow travellers.

Father, mother and child looking at an easyJet aircraft

4) Pre-book your seats

When it comes to flying with kids, one of the smartest moves you can make is to pre-book your seats in advance. Imagine the peace of mind knowing that you'll be sitting together as a family, with all the comfort. Pick the seats that cater to your family's needs. If you have a little one, an aisle seat might be ideal for quick bathroom breaks. Opt for a window view, or how about a seat with extra legroom? It's like a little upgrade for the journey, making room for relaxation and stretching out.

If you wish to pre-book your seats now, head to the top of the page, click on the ‘Manage Booking’ button and enter your booking reference number and your email address. Then you’ll easily be able to pre-select your seats.

5) Don’t be afraid to make friends with other parents

Don't be shy to reach out and make friends with fellow parents (you’re all on the ‘same boat’ or quite literally plane). When you're waiting at the gate, strike up a friendly chat with another parent who's on a similar adventure with their little one.

Ask simple questions like, "How's your little traveller doing?" This quick chat can turn into a warm exchange of stories, advice, and even a few laughs. By making connections, you're building a mini-support system right there at the airport, giving yourself that extra boost of confidence.

Child playing at a soft play before a long haul flight

6) Use the airport's soft play

Before you take on your long-haul flight with kids, let your little ones burn off some energy in the airport soft play zone. Imagine their laughter and excitement as they explore this fun-filled area, letting their imagination run wild. It's like a mini adventure before the big adventure!

If you're planning on napping with your child during the flight, the soft play area becomes a secret weapon. All that playtime can help them tire out, making it easier for them to fall asleep once you're on board. It's like a preflight sleep strategy that sets the stage for a restful journey, ensuring a smoother long-haul travel experience for your family.

7) Request a Bassinet for Your Child to Sleep

When travelling with a little one, especially on long-haul flights, securing a bassinet can be a game-changer. These baby beds attach to the aircraft's bulkhead and provide a comfortable and safe spot for your child to nap or sleep during the flight. To ensure you get one, it's a good idea to request it in advance during your booking or as soon as you board the plane. Cabin crew are usually happy to assist, but availability may be limited, so it's a tip worth considering for a more comfortable journey with your child.

8) Bring extra clothing!

Picture this: You’re soaring through the skies with your little ones, ready to enjoy a nice and relaxing holiday at a sandy beach. But wait… what’s that smell? Kids are known for their knack to surprise us at the most unexpected times!

Those super cool outfits you packed? Double them up, because you're about to become the hero of messes and mysterious odours. However big or small the mess is, you’ll be prepared! Just imagine the relief of reaching into your backpack or carry-on and pulling out a fresh outfit during a long-haul flight!

Father and son using a digital telescope

9) Bring activities

Bringing along a bunch of exciting activities can make your long-haul trip with kids a lot smoother. Pack a mix of stuff your kid loves. Think colouring books and crayons for some colourful creativity, brain-teasing puzzles to keep those gears turning, and cool interactive games on a tablet for hours of entertainment. Oh, and don't forget their favourite storybook for a cosy reading escape in the sky.

10) Toilet breaks!

Whether your child is in diapers or already potty-trained, having a dry nappy or making a pit stop before boarding is a smart move. No one wants the classic "I need the toilet" announcement just as the seatbelt sign lights up!

By taking this simple step, you're setting the tone for a smoother flight. It's much more convenient to be certain that your young explorer is ready for the trip, and you won't have to navigate the narrow aeroplane aisles mid-flight. So, before boarding the plane for a long-haul flight ahead, make sure your child's bathroom needs are taken care of.

11) Board early

Most airlines offer families and children the chance to board the aircraft before the crowd, and this is your golden ticket to a smoother journey! Sure, the idea of boarding last might seem tempting when travelling long-haul with children, but there's magic in being among the first to set foot on the plane. Think of it as your VIP pass to a stress-free start. By getting onboard early, you not only snag precious overhead bin space for your belongings, but you also give yourself a head start to settle in.

Father and daughter looking out the aircraft window on a long-haul flight

12) Bring medication

Bringing the necessary medications onboard is an essential aspect of travel preparation, particularly when travelling with kids. Prioritise your child's well-being by ensuring you have an adequate supply of their required medications easily accessible in your carry-on bag. Please ensure that you keep a copy of the prescription and a doctor's note explaining the medical necessity of the medications. This will ensure that you have a quick and easy security process. To find out more about travelling with medication check out our flying with medication page.

13) Stay hydrated

Aeroplane cabins can often be dry, and dehydration can worsen jet lag and discomfort. Ensure your child drinks enough water during the flight. When you fly long-haul with kids, bring a reusable water bottle and ask the flight attendants to refill it as needed. Avoid excessive sugary drinks, as they can lead to energy spikes and crashes.

14) Child friendly airlines

When it comes to flying with kids, choosing the right airline can make a world of difference. Look for child-friendly airlines that go the extra mile to cater to families. These airlines often provide amenities like kid-friendly meals, activity kits, and even dedicated family zones on the plane. Some airlines also offer priority boarding for families with young children, making the boarding process smoother. Check if the airline has in-flight entertainment systems with a variety of child-appropriate movies and TV shows. Additionally, consider airlines that have spacious seating arrangements, making it more comfortable for you and your little ones during the flight.

15) Create a comfort area

"Creating a Comfort Corner" is the perfect way to make sure your child feels secure and relaxed during a long-haul flight. All you need to do is set up a comfy spot with their favourite blanket, a snuggly pillow, or their favourite soft toy right in their seat. This easy but practical idea will keep your child happy during the journey. It turns the airplane seat into a cosy spot they can really enjoy.

Most importantly… Relax & Enjoy the flight

In all the planning and preparation, don't forget the most important ingredient of all – relaxation! Take a deep breath, knowing that you've got this. Flying with kids is an adventure of its own, filled with memorable moments and bonding opportunities. Embrace the journey, enjoy the little surprises along the way, and take pride in the fantastic parent you are.

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