Long haul flights are taxing for everyone and children in particular can struggle with being restricted whilst flying to a far away location.
Other than the standard in-flight films, colouring books and things to read there is very little for children to do. This is why it is always best to be prepared for the length of the flight and do everything you can to keep your children entertained.
Preparation Is Essential
You need to begin to prepare your children for what to they will experience on the flight a few weeks in advance. This way they will be aware of what will be happening, how they will feel, and what the outcome of the flight will be. It’s especially important to explain about seat belts and why everyone will be seated and buckled in for take off and landing.
Begin to collect small games and toys that will keep the children entertained whilst on the flight. Make sure you have any special items with you, such as your child’s favourite teddy bear, a special blanket or a dummy or bottle – anything they are accustomed to turning to in times of distress.
If you can, try to make sure your flight is as late in the day as possible. It isn’t guaranteed, but if children are flying through the night they are more likely to sleep for a majority of the journey.
Make sure you have lots of different bits and pieces for children to do. Being in a relatively confined space doesn’t mean that the children’s fun has to be restricted. You could do all kinds of things, such as:
- Drawing and colouring
- Travel size board games
- Computer games
- DVD’s (travel DVD player)
- In-flight entertainment
- Puzzles / puzzle books
- Children’s electronic books
- Build a fort covering your child’s seat to encourage sleep
- Begin a travel diary
- Holiday pictures starting with the journey to your destination
- Pack a surprise – a new toy etc that is gifted half way through the journey
- Map of the flight plan so you can tick off the points that you pass
Things to Remember
As hard as it may be, try not to let your children do anything that will annoy other passengers. You are all battling the boredom and tough nature of a long haul flight and the added annoyance of screaming or badly behaved children just adds to the tension.
Make sure you have something with you if your children fall ill or begin to get fussy.
Make sure your children are rewarded if they behave well. This will encourage them to keep up the good behaviour for the rest of the flight and the return journey
A full variety of different activities is the best way to keep children entertained. If they have different variations of the same activity they will bore of it very quickly and this is when they become restless.
Make sure children are aware about how they should behave whilst on a plane. Talk about the safety elements and even how a plane works. A good understanding will interest them and encourage them to want to behave and be focused whilst traveling. Long haul flights are particularly child-friendly but there are ways around it and methods that can be used to make sure your children are constantly entertained throughout.
About The Author: Amanda Walters is a journalist, blogger, poet and an artist. She has written for various websites including HuffingtonPost, DailyWaffle and had her concrete poetry work exhibited at university events in the UK. Amanda loves to network, attending events across the UK. Follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/Amanda_W84. Amanda recommends Club Med for planning stress free vacations with children.
Photo Credit: Flickr cc – Brad Holt