We started traveling abroad when my oldest had just turned one and since then, both of my boys have had the opportunity to travel on numerous long-haul flights. Here are a few tips for long-haul flights with younger children.
Tip 1: Small “Presents”
I typically collect small trinkets through the year and keep them for times like this. If I am feeling fancy, I will wrap them in leftover wrapping paper and pull them out as needed. Wrapped items from the Dollar Tree, seem very special this way and are always a big hit.
Tip 2: iPad or similar device
Pre-load a device with movies/shows/games they have been hoping to watch. It helps if you have limited iPad access prior to the trip, so getting it now is even more exciting! Don’t forget comfy headphones!
Tip 3: Snacks!
I cannot stress the importance of snacks enough. Especially fun snacks! Bring different, fun items along with some staples. You never know when you will be stuck on the tarmac or in a long line. Snacks make everything better! Don’t forget gum for takeoff and landing.
Tip 4: Extra clothes
When my boys were little, I always packed an extra change of clothes just in case (this came in handy when our luggage was lost in Paris!)
Tip 5: Blanket
I pack light, I allow each of my boys to bring a soft, travel blanket. This helps with naps on the flight and gives them a cozy feeling. These travel blankets only come out for trips, so they feel special when they get to use them. These are our travel blankets.
Tip 6: Extra Essentials
Make sure you have extra diapers, wipes and any necessary medications with you. I have learned to travel with children’s ibuprofen. A small medical kit is your friend – mine has Band-Aids, Aquaphor, Neosporin and children’s ibuprofen.
Tip 7: Pack Patience
Remember – be patient and flexible! This is the biggest tip of all. If you are stressed your child will be stressed.
If this is your first time taking your child on a long flight, there will be a learning curve for both of you. Take JOY from the little things and deep breaths for the challenging things. I hope these tips for flights with children give you the confidence boost you need to make that reservation. You’ve got this!