Top Tips for Long Haul Travel with Kids

How to arrive looking and feeling relaxed - top tips for long haul travel with kids

My top tips for long haul travel with kids.

I’ve done so much research about this after generally being the mum flying with 3 kids who looks bedraggled before we’ve even boarded the plane and spend the rest of the flight wondering how all these other women look so glamorous and neat and tidy and why I look like I’ve wrestled a tiger shortly before stepping on board. I used to blame having to get 3 children, 2 adults and an assortment of cases and backpacks through the airport in some sort of military style so I didn’t lose any of them, except they grew up, I could stop struggling and yet I still got off the plane looking like I’d ran behind rather than sat in it.

If you feel the same here’s my top guide to arriving looking and feeling relaxed, with or without kids.

Leave plenty of time

My ultimate tip for stress free travel leave plenty of time. Yes, google says it will only take an hour to the airport and yes check in doesn’t close until 90 minutes before – but really do you want to risk running through the airport dragging your kids behind you as your gate closing time fas approaches. 

Hardly a stress free start to the flight, not going to set you on the right path to feeling relaxed. So don’t do it! Leave plenty of time for your journey including any detours and plenty of time for getting through security and to the boarding gate without a panic.

Eat and Drink Healthily

I’ve been terrible for breaching this one in the past! I’ve dieted for months for a holiday so once I get to the airport all bets are off. 
I’ve been straight in with a Wetherspoons breakfast, topped off by sugary sweets and a cider or two. Add this to more salty and sugary snacks on the plane, there really was no wonder I got off looking and feeling terrible.

I’ve learnt that air travel is terrible for dehydration, so add in all the salt, sugar and alcohol no wonder my skin and eyes were very dry and I had the headache from hell.

I try more for moderation now and have a healthy breakfast, a mix of fats and protein and minimal carbs to help keep me fuller with maybe one gin and tonic and then have lots of water on the plane and keep snacks to a minimum. It helps me arrive feeling so much better and its much easier queuing for immigration without a stinking headache too.

Keep your kids entertained

This one I’ve always been a big advocate of as there is nothing worse for your relaxation than your children being bored. I would advise always bringing a tablet with movies and TV shows they like on it – this works for kids of every age and with the likes of Netflix offering downloads at the click of a button its so easy and takes minimal preparation.

For kids of all ages I would suggest a backpack of their own filled with snacks and toys and of course their tablet, they can go under the seat in front and this means you don’t have to get up and down every two minutes to the overhead lockers like you would with a small case. For older children this should also mean that they can sort themselves out whilst maybe you get to kick back and watch a film. 

Best tip I heard for younger children, which I wish I’d known when mine were younger, is to keep some surprises, a magazine or colouring book etc., aside so that when they inevitably get bored of everything they brought and all the shows they downloaded you can give them that and Voila it buys you an extra hour ( well probably 30 mins) of peace before they get bored again.

Wear something comfortable , yet stylish

I’ve been the woman who’s tried this both ways, I either end up looking like a transatlantic hobo in sweatpants and a jumper or spend the whole flight pulling down my dress, and feeling generally uncomfortable in too tight skinny jeans.

As with most things in life a compromise will get you a long way. I’ve finally got my flight outfits down to a fine art. I try and wear something thats comfortable and a little stylish. For example leggings with a nice dress or tunic over the top with a cosy cardigan for when it gets a little chilly or some fairly loose jeans and a cosy top. My basic tips are something not too tight, too short or too stiff and making sure you have layers so you have something warm to hand if it gets cold, but also you’re not struggling to your transport in a jumper in 30 degrees when you get to the other end.


Take some toiletries on the plane.

This has been the biggest one i’ve resisted throughout my travels, I’ve just seen it as one extra thing to worry about, having small toiletries to take through the security in a tiny little see through bag and then try and balance them in the tiny little cubicle toile, it’s all seemed far too much of a faff. 

But my last few flights I’ve sucked it up and gone with it and , you know what, it really does make a big difference to how I feel going through immigration.  Yes , ok it was a but of a faff finding some extra makeup to put in a bag and taking it out at security.  I took a face spray to make my skin all dewy, an eyeliner, some wet wipes and a tiny deodorant. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t come off the plane looking like a movie star but it really helped me feel a bit fresher and look a bit neater than it would have if I hadn’t taken them.

So there we have it my top tips for a long haul flight with Kids. Why not share yours?

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