Wednesday 12 April 2017

The Unconventional Guide to Flying Long Haul with Young Kids

We love travelling with our children. The fact that we have 2 children under the age of 5 has never stopped us flying anywhere. We have made quite a few long haul flights with them so far including going as far as Australia. Flying is fun and it shouldn't have to be stressful. During those flight's I have learnt some invaluable lessons. Here i'm going to share with you my unconventional (but all very true) guide to travelling with young kids:

1) Do not wear white
Do not wear white. I repeat do not ever get on that plane in white clothes. I know white epitomises summer and brightens things up but unless you want to get off the plane looking like someone from a Persil advert with every single stain known to mankind on you, then wear dark clothing.

2) Calpol is your best friend
You've probably heard people telling you this already but Calpol really is your best friend. Don't ever board the plane without it.

3) You will get a dead leg
If you haven't got a child sat on you, jumping on you, poking you then you will have one sleeping on you. It's fairly safe to say at some point during that flight you will get a dead leg or a dead arm. Don't even try and move whilst your child is sleeping. Just suck it up and cry to yourself in pain.

4) Do not take a book
Don't even kid yourself that you will have time to enjoy getting lost in that book you've been meaning to read for months. Most of your time will be spent focusing on the kids so don't even entertain carrying that book in hand luggage.

5) Be prepared to share your seat
Whether your child has a seat of their own or not, your seat will suddenly become the most desirable seat on the entire plane. It will be total hot property. Be prepared to share.

6) Sleeping is for losers
Even if your child is asleep and has been asleep for hours, you will never be able to switch off. I usually spend most of the time opening my eyes and checking the kids are ok. This will go on for about an hour by which point I then give up and attempt to watch a movie. A parents work is never done so get into your head that sleeping is for losers. 

7) Food glorious food
The excitement on their faces when their tray of food arrives can quickly turn into dislike and a tantrum if they don't like anything on it. Make sure you take snacks with you so at least you have things your child likes. Plus, eating a snack takes up about another 10 minutes of entertainment on your long haul flight.

8) Make sure you're fit
By the time you get off the plane you will feel like you've walked a marathon. You will walk around that plane more times than you will ever think is possible. You will get to know all the passengers intimately to the point where you would be able to pick them out of a line out whilst blindfolded. 

9) Changing nappies becomes a military mission
If you've never changed a nappy onboard an aircraft then you are in for a real treat! Sense the sarcasm here. You will get stressed, you may even start sweating a little and you will definitely bash your arm or head on something. This is something you need to practice before you get on board. If you have any very small, confined spaces at home then give it a go. You need to be able to complete this task with the finesse of a royal marine on a stealth mission. 

10) Drink the wine
I don't think I need to say much more on this. Just drink the wine that's on offer.

11) I don't need the toilet is a secret child code which means I do actually need the toilet
Whoop there's no queue for the toilet, you ask your child if they'd like to go and of course you are met with a no. 5 minutes later when the entire plane is queuing up, guess what, your child needs a wee and they can't hold it in.
Always take them for regular toilet trips whether they need to go or not.

12) An iPad and headphones are a gift sent from the gods
Even if you like to limit screen time usually, I can assure you, an iPad and headphones is a gift sent from up above. As a passenger there is nothing worse than having to listen to the Peppa Pig theme tune 567,999 times. 
The novelty of your child having their own screen attached to the seat infront of them will quickly where off and you will be left reaching for that iPad.

13) You can never have too many clothes
However many spare outfits you think is enough, always pack one more. If it's not food or a drink spilt all over the clothes, then it's a nappy accident (yes poonami's are epic when your 20,000 feet in the air and imagine trying to deal with that in those toilets (see point number 9 again).

14) Don't feel guilty
Whatever rules you normally follow on the ground can all be forgotten in the air. Give them whatever food they want to eat, whatever they want to drink and let them play with that iPad for 10 hours on the trot. Whatever keeps them happy will keep you and everyone else happy. Don't ever feel guilty when you have to parent differently. You are in a confined space with no exit after all.

15) Last but not least don't give a f**k what anyone else on the plane thinks
Get it in your head that it's inevitable that some sour faced sucker will be pulling faces and muttering at thought of you being on that plane with your children. How very dare you!! I can assure you i've had this every time we fly but you know what? The best attitude to take is the I don't give a flying f**k what you think attitude. Aslong as you entertain your kiddies and be seen to be doing the best you can if they kick off, then no-one can have anything to moan about. Every time we've flown the majority of passengers are lovely. They will talk to your children, talk to you and entertain them too but there will always be 1 or 2 that will have something to moan about.

That's it from me. Enjoy your travels and happy flying :)



  1. Very funny and soooo true :) Doesn't just apply to flights...

  2. Great tips we went on a 6 hour flight last year and I packed a book in my hand luggage there really was no point I didn't get to read it. As well as a dead arm expect to have a sleeping child on you and you desperately needing the loo.

  3. This is true, I always worry about what others think when I am travelling with my little two but I really shouldn't x

  4. Ah yes - great advice and all very true!

  5. As part of an international family, little man has been flying since he was 2 months old, including several long haul flights over 12h to Brazil and America. I would definitely say to take several changes of clothes, plenty of baby wipes and snacks! :)

  6. So true! Dead arm all the way home from Florida with a 5 year old, and white clothes! Nooooo

  7. Travelling with young kids is so hard. You never have time for the movies or a book.

  8. Love this! Think you are so brave to take your kids on long haul flights -the longest I ever managed was a two hour flight with only one of my kids. The last one is spot on - and although there will be the inevitable miserable bugger on board, most people are parents and will have nothing but empathy for you!

  9. hahah these are actually really good tips! just googled what Calpol and now I understand... hahaha I haven't got kids yet :) x

  10. lol tell the truth hun :) I agree. Ipads are sent from heaven. I never got a chance for wine :( Yup they always need the loo when they say they don't and white is never a good look no matter where you are with kids. Love this.

  11. This is really handy! I'm going on holiday with my daughter towards the end of the year & needed to read this post. Makes me feel much better prepared!

  12. OMG, yes to the dead leg and a dead arm. Great tips although I tend to buy supermarkets own medicine as calpol is so full of additives

  13. Haha this is so truthful!! It's better to be prepared.

  14. Very wise words. Especially the iPad, headphones and teetotal rules!

  15. Great tips!! I've never braved a long haul with kids!!

  16. Completely agree, flying with kids is a completely different ball game all normal rules out the window! Hope you're having a fab time!

  17. this is brilliant and completely agree - especially about the changing nappies part. So hard in those tiny cubicles and small changing boards haha x

  18. Ha ha ha - 14 and 15 are the big ones here for me!

    I love this ;-)

  19. Some great tips! I recently flew with my 2 year old. I took the iPad and all the treats xxx

  20. I blood love this, 'Drink the wine' sing it sister, you are preaching to the choir, it is certainly needed,

  21. This mad me laugh! There is ALWAYS a judgemental person on a plan that thinks children should never leave their home country until age 18!!

  22. I absolutely love this Kerry!! We don't let our eldest go on the iPad very much but he has unlimited time on flights - you have to do what you have to do and like you said - DRINK THE WINE!!!

    Laura x

  23. Fab post! We haven't flown with Sophie yet but I'll be sure to re-read this post when we do to prepare myself haha x

  24. Changing a app on a flight is literal hell... peeing in those toilets as an adult is hell let alone bringing a baby in with you!

  25. Oh the food saga! We had that going to New York but thankfully I was loaded with snacks. Now that BattleKid is 3 he's content to watch his tablet for ages (the only time he ever gets it is on a plane) so I have actually started getting to read my kindle. But before turning 3 I had no chance!

  26. So funny and so true! Love it! I'm with you, I would never brave a plane without the iPad and yes, definitely to the wine!


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