Traveling long haul as a family is not quite the easiest thing that I have ever done, especially when the kids were toddlers. I have learned quite a bit from traveling with my kids, usually as the result of mistakes that I have made but hey, nobody teaches you how to be the best parent in the World right?
With this in mind I wanted to share with you some tips on how best to keep the kids entertained when traveling long haul. I know many parents who won’t travel long haul with their kids because they are worried that it will be too tough. Let me tell you something, it doesn’t have to be tough, as long as you’re planned and here is how to do it.
Before we get to how best to help distract your kids from the fact that they are on a 15 hour overnight flight, first I want to talk about involving and engaging them. Have a chat with the kids before you go, show them on a map or a globe what they will be doing, what countries and seas they will travel over and how many miles they will be traveling. During the flight you can remind them of the chat and you’ll find that the kids love to track the movements of the flight.
Tablets and phones can be a god send when the kids need something to take their minds away from what they are actually doing. Make sure that you download plenty of films, games and music for the kids, it is important that you give them plenty of choice before you go. If you are anything like me then you will probably limit how much TV or how many hours your kids play game for and they will love the chance to wile away more hours than usual playing with their technology.
One thing that you cannot forget are the chargers, the last thing you need is a dead tablet when the kids are getting cranky.
Buy Them A Camera
One of the smartest moves I ever made was buying a couple of disposable cameras for the kids when we went away. The intention was that they happily snapped photos of the holiday but in fact they had just as much fun taking shots of the airport and the plane, not to mention the classic ‘out of the plane window’ shots.
Break it Down Into Time Slots
The best tip that I can give you is to break the journey down into 45 minute time slots when it comes to planning entertainment for your kids. My three tend to have just enough attention for 45 minutes before they get bored and want to do something different. If you have a 10 hour flight coming up then you should be planning between 12-15 different things to keep your kids entertained. I cannot stress to you how important it will be to plan this all beforehand because when you are tired at 30,000ft you will be thanking your lucky stars that you put the work in back at home.