Friday Digest – Long Haul Flights

Currently we are planning our end of year trip home, so this week I’ll touch on tips for dealing with that long haul flight.

The Airport

My friend, who writes the blog Journeys of the Fabulist, has a good post about how to get through the airport with little ones. Our approach is to get there early and give the kids a good run around before they get on the flight. Last time was a little easier as the youngest was walking not crawling. I think the crawling stage is the hardest for general travel as you have to find some clean floor for them.

The Plane

Last time we had a evening flight and they both slept but as with all things kids just because it worked last time doesn’t mean it’s going to again. So many people swear by the iPad but we don’t have one so can’t recommend that. But definitely have some new small toys to get out every couple of hours and choose an airline that has a modern entertainment system. We are both so happy that we will be flying in Emirates planes for our Qantas flights this christmas as Qantas do have some old fit outs on their planes.

This page has 50 ideas on entertaining kids on a plane but I’m not sure playing gentle catch will work and it seems to boil down to lots of small ideas be it colouring or toys. Admission, I didn’t make it through the full 50 list.

I love this idea of a toy box in your hair, probably more an idea for the ladies though.

The other end

Take it slow there is no rush, again give the kids a runaround when you get off. In many places what ever you do, you are going to be in a queue for immigration anyway. If you are really lucky you’ll be travelling to a country where they see the kids, take pity on you and put you in the express lane.

Quite often one of the stressful parts is getting into a taxi, you seem to need 100 adults. Got to keep an eye on the kids so they don’t get run over, got to keep an eye on the bags so they are not stolen, got to put the car seats in the taxi, got to get the bags in the boot….there is just too much going on. My only hint is try to forget the queue and take as long as you like.

So what are you top tips for long haul flights and both ends????

11 thoughts on “Friday Digest – Long Haul Flights

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  1. We always like to cage the kids in the back seat of the taxi whilst sorting out luggage.

    I have played gentle catch with the kids on a plane but not on purpose and don’t recommend it.

    I never did work out how to entertain early toddlers on a plane as both mine temporarily lost interest in toys or all games which didn’t involve running around at that stage. Luckily they grew out of it… But if anyone has tips there that would help. Not me any more, but someone.

    We tried new toys every hour once and the result was every hour our fellow passengers had to duck as a new toy got hurled angrily across the cabin by a toddler who just wanted freedom.

    1. lol, from the man with no kids 🙂
      For the odd weekend away, yes definately but that once a year back to the grandparents………I know my folks would kill me if I went all the way home and didn’t take the kids 🙂

  2. I’ve listed a few here as well:

    Mostly I find that travelling with kids is ok, they get excited by all the new stuff and obviously you try to sneak in those “roam freely” moments too. And the most flying we’ve done in one go has been 27hrs with a couple of quick transfers…

    The worst part in my opinion is the combination of fatigue due to travel, severe sleep deprivation the following nights (is it just our kids that do just not sleep long nights in a new place?!) together with everyones jet lag (and kids never in sync).

  3. Oh, and maybe you should test the tin foil crafts on an airplane…? I think that would work well but haven’t had any trips to try it out since I though of it!

    1. I never got around to trying the tin foil crafts this time around (ended up leaving the alfoil on the kitchen bench). Darn! Could have let you know! I think it sounds like a good one, though.

        1. Ok, though I will do it a little differently next time. I brought heaps thinking they could double as small gifts but once I’d assigned them as toys I had a lot of trouble giving them away! Yet they only played with a few. So next time I will take fewer to play with and a separate stash for gifts.

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