Travelling can be stressful at the best of times. Add to that the heightened security and health screening, the pressure of having children in tow and the mental weight of saying goodbye to the life you knew – it’s a recipe for a breakdown if ever there was one! The good news is that although moving your family abroad is likely to have a few shaky moments, your kids will be having a great time with these handy tips, suited to children of all ages.
Flying Long Haul? Break Up The Journey
As adults, it can be tempting to just “push through” and get to your destination as quickly as physically possible, but if you can stretch your budget to include a stopover I would highly recommend it.
Whether it’s a three-day break at a family-friendly holiday area, like Sentosa Island in Singapore, or simply a night at a transit hotel before your connecting flight, you won’t regret giving your kids a chance to burn off that excess energy and to all have a proper night’s sleep before the final leg of your journey.
Pack A Separate Activity Bag
With most airlines, children over two years old must have their own seat and thus, get their own luggage allowance. Make the most of it by dedicating a carry-on bag to their activities and snacks for the flight. This keeps everything in one handy location and makes it easy to access what they need during the flight. For toddlers and young children, a Trunki or similar hard-shelled case is perfect for this.
And yes, tablets preloaded with games and movies are a great inclusion in the activity bag, ideal for passing time when you wait on the runway or in transit. Hooray for technology!
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
As fantastic as modern airlines are for adults, the catering won’t always be acceptable to picky child-sized palates. Even when pre-ordering the “child meal”, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be appealing. So, if your kids have been known to turn their nose up at certain tastes or textures, it’s best to be prepared with a supply of healthy snacks to keep hungry tums at bay. Most airlines offer a steady stream of crisps and the like, but packing a few healthy options like nut bars can help to round out your options.
And of course, the best tip of all when travelling with a family is to leave yourself more than enough time for your flights. Killing time in duty-free beats the panic of running through a terminal with kids in tow, hands down.
Sarah Todhunter is a writer, mother-of-two and a dual citizen of New Zealand and the UK. As the sole proprietor of Fyxen Copywriters, she has navigated the ups and downs of moving a business and family across hemispheres, sharing the lessons she’s learned along the way. Find her on LinkedIn or anywhere good coffee is served.