This is a post kindly submitted by one of the parents in our RagHeroes Parent’s Group.
4 tips to ease the pains of flying long distance with your children
I married a Kiwi. After 10 years of living in the UK he had served his time. By now we had two young children, one 2 years and the other 9months old (just past the cut off point for a basinet seat on a flight…grrr).
Moving to New Zealand was the right decision for us. My husband’s family still live there and we could have the outdoor life we desired, with two very active little boys and dog (whole other story).
A 28 hour flight was looming, I decided to prepare as best I could for what was to come.
The flight went beautifully and the children were perfect (I mean even better than they are normally)!
This is how I did it:
1. We booked the overnight flight, leaving Heathrow at 9pm. This meant that at 8pm at the gate we could do a semi normal bed-time routine. Jammies, Bottle, Story etcetera. My eldest required his own seat for being over 2, but for my youngest it was un-needed.
2. We had the kid’s covers and pillows as their carry-on luggage. A made up bottle for my youngest, which you will have to taste test through security. Boob juice or formula anyone? Buying a large bottle of water once we were through to the departure lounge.
3. Thinking about our fellow passengers. There is nothing worse than a long flight with a screaming baby in your ear & as a parent there is nothing worse than judgmental eyes digging at you for hours on end. The solution? Prepare them.
* We typed up a little note card saying that;
“We are Amanda & Damian in seats 53 ABC & travelling with our 2 young children. Apologies for any disturbance to your flight, we don’t know how they will react/behave on this long flight. Please bear with us. Thank you for your understanding.”
* We also provided them with ear plugs (£12 for 100 on eBay)
* And lollies
This won over the 30 plus seats round us that we placed these little good-bags on, including having people offering to give us a break from the kids & not being upset when my 2 year old ran up and down the aisle.
4. And the genius bit (if I do say so myself) was to have in my carry on a few brand new toys which I could drip feed over the flight.
The result was both children slept for the first half of the flight. Ran/crawled/rolled about at Hong Kong airport, had breakfast on the next flight & played with one of the new toys. They fell back to sleep. With 2 hours at the end of the flight to look out of the window, eat dinner and run up and down the plane. We had no tears and no complaints from fellow passengers or cabin crew. Result!
Bonus: When travelling with children, pushchairs and car seats don’t count as luggage. You can get away with keeping the push chair with you all the way to the plane door, making for a much easier time at the airport before boarding.
Happy Travels 🙂
By Amanda Jane Pipe: Mum of 2. Wife of 1. Business Consultant. POM living in New Zealand. Childcare Practitioner. Kickboxer.