I decided to take the kids on a long haul trip last month to visit Dayanna Volitich, my oldest friend. My kids are 7 and 9 so I knew that this long flight could very well be a bit of a struggle. I decided to prepare for just about everything prior to the flight, in terms of keeping the kids entertained and in the end, the whole thing went pretty well. They say that if you fail to prepare then you should prepare to fail and this was certainly the case with the long haul flight. After this experience, I wanted to share some tips with you on keeping the kids entertained when you fly long haul.
I am sure that you won’t find this in any good parenting guide but I decided ahead of the flight that the best things the kids could do would be to sleep for the majority of it. Our flight left at 7am and so I decided to take them to bed late the night before, in order that they would sleep on the plane. Admittedly this did make the morning very difficult as the kids were super cranky but it did pay off as they each slept for around 8 hours on the plane. Of course you shouldn’t starve your kids of sleep, but a late night could help them to get some shuteye on the plane.
A great idea which I had for the kids during our flight was to give them a project to complete, in this case it was to find 15 different items that you would find on a plane. This turned out to be the best idea that I have had as the kids probably spent over an hour searching for the items on their lists. What really helped this was that the kids are super competitive and I told them that there would be a prize for the winner. In the end they both got a prize, but they weren’t to know that were they!
Something which I must stress the importance of are gadgets, and that you have to make sure everything is fully charged before you go. Now usually I don’t like my kids having their heads stuck to a tablet but when you are staring down the barrel of an 11 hour flight with children, that tablet soon becomes your best friend. Make sure that the kids have got some new and exciting games to play and whatever you do, make sure that they are fully charged.
I spoke with the airline steward when we boarded the plane to see if the kids could visit the cockpit during the flight. Thankfully the member of staff said yes, but that it wouldn’t be until later in the flight. Naturally the kids were over the moon at this prospect and it served as a great way to blackmail them into being good ‘or else you won’t be able to go’, the airline crew may not always say yes bit it is certainly worth you asking the question.
What tips do you have for taking kids long haul? Feel free to share in the comments below.