June 27, 2017

7 Secrets to Surviving a Long-Haul Flight with Kids

Adobe Spark (26)Are you planning a long flight with your child? If so, you may be nervous about the possible outcomes. Don’t fret! There are a number of things you can do to ensure your trip goes more smoothly. Here are seven secrets to surviving a long-haul flight with kids:

1. Bring an activity bag. Your child is less likely to grow bored or get cranky during your flight if you have plenty of things for them to do while you’re on the plane. Pack some of their favorite small toys, a coloring book and crayons, a notepad and pencils, and books for them to read. 

If you want to make the activity bag even more fun for your child, consider choosing a theme. If your child loves ladybugs, for example, you may want to opt for a ladybug themed activity bag. You could also plan the theme based on your trip. If you’re going to Walt Disney World, for example, consider packing a Mickey Mouse themed activity bag. The surprise will be fun for your child, which may make them focus less on the flight. 

2. Pack snacks for your child. Your child could grow hungry at any time, and it’s hard to say if the food that’s served on the plane is anything they will enjoy. Bringing some of their favorite snacks can help satisfy their hunger. Trail mix, energy bars, dried fruit, crackers, and fruit snacks can all be great options. 

3. Encourage your child to play games. Games can help keep children occupied, making them less likely to grow bored or cranky. Have them play I-Spy with things they see on the plane or on the ground below. 

4. Pack a comfort toy. If your child has apprehensions about flying, especially if it’s for the first time, it may be ideal to allow them to bring a comfort toy or blanket onto the plane. This may help ease some of their fears. 

5. Don’t plan anything for the next day. Your child is likely to experience jetlag after a long-haul flight. If your vacation allows, consider making the day after you arrive at your destination low-key. Consider just hanging out at the hotel pool or planning a trip to a museum rather than hitting the beach or amusement park, for example. Your child will enjoy the break, and it will help you avoid any temper tantrums or moods he or she may experience as a result of jet lag. 

6. Try to arrange a nighttime flight. Your child will be more likely to sleep through some of the flight if you plan it at his or her usual bedtime. By the time they wake up, you may have already arrived at your destination. 

7. Consider a stopover. If your flight is longer than 12 hours, arrange a stopover for at least one night. If you have the time, you could also stay for a few days and enjoy a second mini vacation while you’re at it. The stopover will help break the trip up and make it seem more bearable to your child. 

Traveling with children doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. By following a few of these travel secrets, you may find that your flight goes smoother than you expected.

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