How to Travel with Kids on a Long Flight

How do you travel with kids on a long flight?

Travelling by flight is nerve-wrecking for anyone, especially those travelling with small kids and babies. If you are travelling with kids on a long flight, then you would need to prepare physically and mentally for this. It’s definitely exciting and nervous at the same time so as a parent, we should try our best to prepare when we travel with our children by air.

Several years ago, my family and I took a trip to Bosnia and Turkey. Many people asked us how we managed to travel to Turkey and Bosnia with three kids. Well, to be completely honest, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I was quite overwhelmed when we finally arrived in Istanbul.

I think many parents who often travel with their kids will experience this. Read this blog post to find out how we did it!

#1 If it’s a long flight – take the night flight

Most babies will sleep by take off, so if you’re planning on going on a long flight, this might be a good idea.

It wasn’t perfect for us though, our daughter wasn’t feeling well so I had to carry her in my arms almost the whole time even though we did manage to book seats in the first row with the baby crib.

But unfortunately, she only slept there for a few hours, not the entire flight.

Regardless of that, I still considered that the flight was okay because the kids were manageable through out the flight.

#2 Get some rest before the long flight

how to travel with kids on a long flight
Photo by Alex Green on

I know this is easier said than done but it’s really important for you to get some rest and minimise stress before you travel with kids on a long flight.

How do you get some rest before a long flight?

  • Pack ahead of time
  • Organize what you want to pack for yourself, your kids in the suit case
  • Determine what you want to pack on your carry on
  • Make a rough daily schedule of what you intend to do at your destination: If you’re just going to the beach just to chill, you would not need to plan much. However, if you are travelling to an exotic place where you will be sight-seeing, I recommend you research and plan the places you want to go so you don’t get overwhelmed when you arrive.

#3 Avoid bringing your kids for a swim weeks before the flight

A few weeks before your trip, try not to bring your kids to places where they can get infected. This includes swimming pools and hiking, especially if your kids are small. They can get sick easily.

Apart from swimming, you might also want your kids to ensure they are well rested that week.

If you are travelling to places that might have a different weather, you could ask your paediatrician if a flu shot would be necessary.

#4 TRAVELLING WITH KIDS ON A LONG FLIGHT: Arrive at the airport 4 hours earlier

With extra bags, strollers etc. you will need extra time to ensure all of these go through. Also, you might need to negotiate with the person ni charge so that you can get a bassinet.

#5 Change your baby’s diaper before boarding

how to travel with kids on a long flight
Photo by Keira Burton on

The reason why you should change your baby’s diaper right before boarding, especially when you travel with kids on a long flight, is to prevent having to change them too frequently in the plane.

You want to make sure they are in a good mood once you’re on the plane and if they are tired, they can fall asleep easily.

#6 Strategically pack your carry on

Another tip to how you to travel with kids on a long flight is by determining what you want to pack in your cary on.

Make sure you have all the necessities– at least 10 diapers, nappy cream, extra clothes for you and the baby in case of any emergency.

Personally, I would also recommend a good diaper bag that has many compartments and is lightweight so you don’t feel too tired carrying your carry on.

#7 Extra diapers and baby clothes

When you travel with kids on a long flight, it’s always good to be careful and pack extra diapers and baby clothes. You wouldn’t want to make the same mistake I did. You can read more about the mistakes I made when I travelled with my kids here.

Because we made that mistake and this shows how really important it is to get everything ready.

For a more detailed explanation, don’t forget to watch our video.

Below are more posts on travelling with kids:

Want to know what items to pack when you travel?

Read this blogpost: 9 Essential Items to Pack When Travelling with Kids 

Going back to your hometown and nervous thinking about how your baby will manage in a car seat?

We got you covered: How to Keep Your Baby Happy in A Car Seat

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About Me

Sofiya Wan Mohd Nor

A full time mom, a freelance proofreader and a PhD student specializing in Educational Psychology.

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