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Travelling with children can prove difficult at the best of times, never mind on a long-haul flight. We have had some challenging flights in the past including our flight from the Seychelles back to Abu Dhabi. It was one of the worst experiences we have ever had as Brody was kicking, screaming and throwing his toys in the aisle. How embarrassing!
The flight was 5 hours but seemed like an eternity and it was all down to a little treat of sweeties at the airport, made him extremely hyper. Looking back, I think one of the main reasons for the more difficult flights was that we were simply not prepared enough. We had no colouring books, the battery on the iPad was low and a whole host of other things.
Over the years and with lots of frequent flying we have put together some of our best tips on how to entertain toddlers on a plane based on our own experiences.
This includes some great products too, you may not be surprised that you will find an iPad and other tech gadgets on the list. We don’t like our son to use electronic gadgets too much at home, they are for treats now and again but this rule goes out the window when you are on a flight! Gadgets are your new best friend!
Now that we are more prepared and organised, flying has been great. Yes, there are times during the flight he wants to climb about or winged, but we are prepared and can deal with it better by distracting.
Top tips for how to entertain toddlers on a plane
So, if your planning on takings your kids on a flight don’t panic, do it! Here are our tried and tested tips and recommended products to help ensure a stress-free flight to keep your children entertained during a flight or long journey:
1. Fully charge all your gadgets
Make sure all your gadgets are fully charged, there is nothing worse than forgetting this and the battery running out early in the flight. We always make sure we take our iPhones, Kids Amazon Fire and Nintendo Switch, these are guaranteed to keep toddlers entertained a plane or any other form of transport for that matter!
3. Pack lots of colouring, sticker and reading books
We bought Brody a wide variety of books ranging from stories, colouring in books, sticker books and reading books. We again tried to relate the books to his favourite shows. We bought most of ours from Amazon as they have a wide range of books for kids. However you can also get these at the airport.
5. Get snacks for the flight
6. Pack their favourite small toys and teddy
Bringing their favourite toy on holiday can be risky as something always gets lost. However we have found that it helps comfort them on the long flight, especially a teddy or doll they can cuddle into. On our last trip he brought ‘Doris’ which was a doll everywhere with him and it made him so happy.
7. Bottle on take off and landing help with pressure
Depending on the age of your child, we used to give them a bottle of milk just before take off and on landing to help with the pressure. We found this worked really well and he didn’t complain about his ears at all. You can check out the best baby bottles here.
8. Take them for a walk around the plane
It’s always good to take them on a little walk around the plane to aid circulation and health reasons, but also for a change of scenery. Toddlers can become bored very quickly. Be sure to wear something comfortable on their feet such as slippers, you can find a large selection of kids slippers here. You can choose from your favourite disney character such as Minnie Mouse, Disney Cars and many more.
9. Download kids apps on your phone or tablet
11. Pick snacks that take forever to eat
Try giving your child healthy food that takes longer to eat, this will occupy them for longer. Such as rasins, grapes and strawberries are a great selection and are full of natural sugars. It can be tempting to offer sweets, however try to resist as they are high in sugar and containing a sugar fueled child on a plane could be tricky! You can order a wide range of healthy snacks such as these organic snack selections.
12. In-Flight entertainment
Make use of the in flight entertainment, a different variety and something new can often keep them entertained for longer periods as they are not bored. There is usually a wide selection of animation movies, games and tv shows on long haul flights. If your airline doesn’t have in flight entertainment I would highly recommend getting an Amazon Fire for kids, they are great value for money and are specifically for kids.
14. Have medicine on hand just in case
If in the unfortunate event your child is ill on the flight, it’s always a good idea to have Calpol and Ashtons teething sachets on hand. We purchased 3 packs of 15 sachets making sure we had more than enough for the flights but the holiday as well.
15. Keep them comfortable
16. Invest in a Trunki
A ride along case which your child can sit on, these are a life saver at times in the airport, you can literally let them sit on it and pull them along. Kids love them too as they come in all sorts of colours and characters. Check them out here!
17. Book a window seat
Flying is a spectacular thing for children, so embrace this with your child. Try to get a window seat and show them the clouds, sea and houses. As you get closer to landing try playing a game with the like i-spy.
18. Get a Power Bank Charger
These can be a life saver on holiday especially on long haul flights, as your battery can go dead. With the amazing piece of kit you can charge 3 devices at the same time so your gadgets always stay fully charged on the go. An essential travel accessory and highly recommended, check it out.
19. Pack spare clothes
Accidents can happen so always bring spare clothes in your baby bag or hand luggage. Pack some spare pajama’s for the flight as they are comfortable and snuggly for them. You can get some really cool patterns and designs of all sorts of character which they will love, check these out.
20. Consider a night flight if doing long haul
If we are travelling long haul, we try to do a night flight, as he is a good sleeper. It does help to make sure they are comfortable and snuggly, so we purcahsed the travel pillow and blanket set from Snoozihedz. He loved it, they do different characters and they are super soft and warm. When we went to Dubai, he literally went to sleep on take off and woke up when we landed.
If all else fails, just remember you are never going to see anyone on the flight again. So just do the best you can, everyone has been there and most people do understand.
So that was our tips on how to entertain toddlers on a plane, now its time for our best travel gadgets that will also help make flying with kids a breeze.
Best products to entertain toddlers on a plane
Here is our list of the best products to entertain toddlers on a plane. Click on the product to view more information and check the prices.
These products are sure to make your next flight a breeze, they have certainly helped us over the years. So know you know the best products and tips on how to entertain toddlers on a plane, sit back, relax and enjoy your next plane journey! 🙂
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