The stereotype of the lone traveler doesn’t hold true for everyone. Some people go globetrotting with partners, while others educate their children on the road, hopping between cultural landmarks and exploring the great outdoors. Whether you plan to take your kids on a long-haul vacation, exploring an exotic and far-flung location, or a round-the-world trip, the actual traveling element can be the trickiest part. If you’re nervous about managing a long-distance flight with your children, read these three tips to help you prepare.
Bring Your Own Food and Drink
Don’t assume that your flight provider will provide food and drink because you’re traveling long-distance. Even if your kids do get a meal on board, there’s no guarantee it will be something they like, so always bring back up options. Remember, you won’t be able to bring food and drink through security (except for breast milk or baby formula – though it’s worth checking your airline’s policy on this), so you’ll need to buy your snacks at customs. Opt for healthy snacks like granola bars, crackers, dried fruit and smoothies that will keep your kids full and stop them getting tired and cranky.
Pack Medical Supplies
Stuffy aircraft are hotbeds for germs, so make sure you bring plenty of antibacterial wipes and hand gels to keep the whole family healthy. There’s nothing worse than having an entire trip planned out, only for one of your kids to get sick the day after you arrive, so be vigilant about hand-washing whenever possible and tell your kids to keep their hands out of their mouths to avoid germs. It’s also a good idea to bring some infant Tylenol on board in case of fever or teething pain, as well as cortisol cream for heat rashes and itching. Check with your airline before taking any medicines on the plane, as policies tend to vary between flight providers.
Book Somewhere Comfortable to Stay
After a long journey, your kids will need somewhere comfortable to sleep. If you’re backpacking or hopping between destinations, it’s easy to think you’ll find accommodation when you arrive, but it’s just not that simple when you have children. After long-haul travel, kids need a home-away-from-home where they can spread out and get some much-needed rest. City apartments and luxury accommodation like Mykonos villas are perfect for families, as they are both spacious and affordable.
Hotel rooms may seem like the obvious choice if you’re only staying for a few nights, but they can be cramped and expensive for longer trips. All-inclusive hotels such as those in the Caribbean can offer more interesting rates than urban hotels, as well as more amenities for families with children.
Traveling long haul with kids can be daunting, but you can alleviate much of the stress with a little forward planning. Try not to get too anxious about the flight, as your kids will take their cues from you. Instead, explain how you’re going to explore somewhere new and that being on the plane is all part of the adventure. Pack plenty of snacks, drinks, toys, and activities for the journey, and flying long haul with kids should go without a hitch.