Long Haul Flight with Children

Preparing to fly long haul with a 1 year old

On Thursday we are jetting off to the Caribbean for 9 days in the sunshine, and taking our daughter on her first long haul flight. I’m so excited about the holiday, and having some time in the sunshine which feels really odd when it is so cold and dark here. However the bit that I am concerned about is the flight. So far we’ve only ever had one short haul flight to Spain in the Summer which went ok. I know that it will be fine, but I’m sure that I’ll be reaching for a Strawberry Daquiri once we arrive at the hotel and thinking “phew” I’m glad that’s over.

I believe that the trick is all in the planning, and being prepared. So this is how I’m preparing us for our upcoming flight:

  • Taking plenty of Ella’s Kitchen pouches. At the moment this is all our daughter seems to be eating, and I will be taking enough food on the plane to keep her tummy full.
  • Loading up our iPad and being prepared to watch back to back In The Night Garden for 9-hours. She will definitely have to sleep on the flight, and I’m hoping that I will get a chance to watch my own film. I’ll also be figuring out how to lock our iPad, if I can, to stop the screen turning off from swiping with stray hands.
  • Taking Calpol. If our daughter starts playing up, I could convince myself it’s teething and give her a dose of Calpol.
  • Taking a spare change of clothes for her, for my husband and for myself. Recently during every car journey our daughter has been sick. I’m hoping the same doesn’t apply to air travel, but you never know. We’ll also be taking a spare change of clothes in case we get covered in dribble and food.
  • Packing enough water and milk. When you travel with a baby you are entitled to take liquid through security. So I’ll be taking enough to last the journey. I know how dehydrated you can become on planes, and I wouldn’t want her to feel the same.
  • Taking new toys and books, just to keep her entertained that little bit longer than she would be when playing with an existing toy.
  • Keeping our fingers crossed that she is walking in the next 3 days. This may make it easier to walk her up and down the aisles during the flight. She’s been pretty frustrated over the last couple of days which I think is either down to being too nervous to walk or teething. Probably teething.

I’m telling myself it will be fine. It will be all be OK. Wine will be consumed and we’ll all be happy.

Have you taken your children on long haul flights? What’s your secret to keeping your children happy?

Claire x

Header image is courtesy of Sugar Beach, St Lucia.

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