Travelling With Tots : The Insider's Guide

Saturday 16 February 2019


Love travelling with toddlers? Relish a long-haul flight with small people? Unlikely! If you haven’t set foot on a plane since those school trips to Russia, then you should know that things have changed, a lot.

While it still isn’t the easiest thing travelling with small children it doesn’t have to be as traumatic as you might think.

We bring you the insider’s guide to air travel with tots, how to cope and what to expect.

Lower the bar

The first thing you’re going to need to do is lower that bar right down. Everything that happens on that plane, stays on that plane.

If you never thought you’d allow three solid hours of iPad time or feed your child jelly sweets non stop, think again. Food, sleep, hygiene none of it matters when you’re in the air, just get through it.

Saying that, there is no harm at all in being organised. Dedicate one bag solely for the express purpose of cleaning, entertaining and feeding your child. Try and keep things compartmentalised so you’re not throwing nappies all over the place trying to find that toy they’re starting to grizzle for.

When you think about what to feed your child, think little and often. Plane food may or not go down well. If they’re weaning then lots of suckable, chewable snacks especially their favourites. Routines tend to go out of the window so be prepared to offer food at fairly random times throughout the flight.

If you’re using a bottle and need milk warmed up, be prepared to ask for hot water a little ahead of your schedule as it will likely come back to you hotter than you would otherwise use. Try and keep it out of view from your hungry baby.


With very young children producing a new toy, particularly something they can unwrap, every twenty minutes or so will keep them entertained.

For babies, you’ll likely spend a lot of time at the front or back of the cabin rocking and cajoling to sleep. The cabin crew are quite used to this and understand. If you can book your seats in advance, you’ll be able to book a front seat with a crib attached to the cabin wall.

For older children, be prepared to allow way more screen time than you would otherwise. It’s going to be ok. Make sure they have their own headphones with noise level restrictors and have a selection of their favourite cartoons and games downloaded on iPad or laptop.

Be prepared for lots of loudness as they forget they’re wearing headphones and end up shouting to you above Peppa Pig.

No one said travelling with little ones was going to be fun but with a little preparation, a sense of humour and unlimited patience you will get through it.

Make sure everyone’s travelling in their most comfortable clothes, kick their shoes off after take off and take it one minute at a time.

It’s not easy but when you get there, it will be all worth it. Just don’t think about the return flight.

1 comment

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