Family holidays can be incredibly memorable once you get past the initial challenge of long haul international flights. Keeping the anxiety levels down in preparation for a long flight can be a challenge for most parents. Follow these tips to prevent serious airport meltdown syndrome!
Prepare in Advance
Planning ahead will ensure you and your family don’t get caught by surprise at the airport or in the air. When you book your flights you will have several options that you shouldn’t ignore. You should get a choice of seats – so try to pick strategically. If you have a baby demand that you are given a bassinette for the little one to sleep in– there are only a certain number to go around so kicking up a fuss should help you be one of the lucky few.
Although most children will turn their noses up at airline meals (although the quality has improved considerably in recent years), requesting special kids meals on your flight should at least help in your quest to get them fed. Whether they eat their meal or not, chances are they will be demanding nibbles throughout the flight – so come prepared with your own food; avoid foods that are high in sugar or you’ll never get any rest.
Keep the Kids Entertained
Bored children and international flights are a disastrous mix, but keeping them entertained can be a lot easier than you think. Almost all long haul flights offer in-flight entertainment, so before you leave have a look on the airlines website or contact them to find out what entertainment there is for children. Some of the more luxurious airlines will have enough television shows, movies and games to keep them entertained for days – but others will be much more limited. Either way, always bring extra toys, activities and games as backup. A pack of cards, colouring books and magazines are easy boredom fixes.
For younger children you should pack a few of their favourite toys – not only to keep them entertained but to make them feel safer and more relaxed if they are nervous about the flight. Bring a few surprise items for the kids too – travel board games are a good thing to bring out when everyone has gotten a little fed up.
Pack for Every Possibility
Make sure you pack for every possibility and never assume your airline will be able to provide you with the essentials such as baby wipes, extra nappies, pain killers etc. These might seem like small things but they can make a huge difference on international flights.
What you and your children wear can also be the difference between a comfortable or difficult flight. It’s hard to gauge what the temperature will be on the flight – as the air conditioning can be quite unpredictable. The best way to deal with this is to wear clothing in layers so that they can easily cool down or warm up if necessary. You should also pack a few extra clothing items in case of spillages on the flight.