About a month a go we took our two children who are almost four and nearly one to Cancun, Mexico.
We thought both their ages were a good time to travel long haul because the eldest was able to sit and watch films, play nicely with colouring books/ craft type activities and my youngest still sleeps quite a lot and didn’t want to get on the ground as wasn’t crawling then.
She just started this week …..
Before the flight I gave my eldest lots of warning we were going away and that the flight would be long but if she kept busy and slept it would go much quicker. We got a taxi to avoid too much lugging around of suitcases and the double pushchair. Once at the Airport we had breakfast then brought some magazines, sweets and small toys then played in the soft play. ( LGW )
About a week before we went away I went to the Pound Shop and spent about £10 on various activities/ toys such as colouring books the small travel type ones, small puzzles, stickers. and also some other bits to play with once at the hotel in the room. I wrapped all the presents and put them in my husbands ruck sack, we then staggered all the presents being opened as soon as she got a bit bored or used them as a bribe if her behaviour started to change ( not ideal in real life but on a packed plane a bribe was a godsend!)
Planning ahead really is key!
We also used the opportunity of saying there’s a meal/ snack / ice cream coming to encourage something to encourage her to think about the next thing on the agenda. We were lucky enough to be travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy on the way to Cancun which meant we had a little more space and I could hold both the children on me if necessary and the cabin was smaller so more of a calming effect on the children I think.
Another thing is to go on a walk of the plane ( I know more parents do this anyway!) which can use up quite a bit of time if you get talking to other passengers as it was a large double decker 747-400.
If travelling with an infant under one, request a sky cot it’s excellent as you can strap them in ( my baby slept the whole 9.5 hours straight of the flight home ) you then have your hands free to eat. The eldest ate her meal, watched one film ( The Good Dinosaur) and slept the rest of the flight as well, it really wasn’t as bad as some make out, although as much as I dislike night flights when travelling with children it really helped.
At the end of the return flight we had several compliments about how well behaved our children were (I could see their faces when we first say down near them thinking ‘oh no two children for the duration of the flight’).
Luckily for them all went smoothly! Thanks for reading!