10 Top Tips For Overseas Holidays And Flight With Small Children

This summer we’re going on an overseas holiday, to California. Visiting friends, attending a wedding, driving a bit around. I know you probably think we’re surely crazy doing this with a 3 year old and a 14 months old. Well, we have some experience already: we did the same trip when my boy was 15 months old only, 2 years ago. He coped very well back then, but he was the easiest baby and small toddler to handle. (Now a little monster threenager.) However, my daughter is different in almost every ways. So it looks like, that we can’t rely on that “we’ve done this before.” Also, two children is almost always more challenging to handle than just one.

I am very excited but also a tiny little bit concerned how will we cope with the long flight, the heat, the car journeys and just being in a different place in general.

So I also asked my fellow mummy bloggers, if they have any good tips how to manage with small children on an overseas holiday and cope with the long flight.

10 Top Tips For Overseas Holidays With Small Children

1. Packing

Let’s just start with packing because we parents tend to overpack, aren’t we? Trying to be prepared for everything and beyond, we could literally pack up the whole house. Don’t. You won’t need as much as you think you do! And anything you forget you can buy out there. Take as little as you can. It’s hard to carry things through the airport/on the plane and chase after a toddler.

2. Book an overnight flight

If you can. It will mean that the children will be asleep for some stretchy hours so you can get some rest too. Check it with your airline, most of them supply carry cot for infants and small babies, but they need to be booked ahead. Call the customer service to make sure you’ll get one if you need one. We also found that booking premium economy seats are more expensive but they give you more space and the seat are more comfortable.

3. Accept help whenever it’s offered

Long flights are tough but flight attendants are usually happy to help. Let them carry your bag if you’re holding the baby, give you extra snacks, etc. Use the family friendly services whenever they are available: lots of airports has some playing area for example – we found them great for tiring them out before the flight. Ask them if you can take the buggy to the gate. Some airports even have strollers available after landing, which you can use until you get yours back.

4. Inflight entertainment

Load up favourite tv shows and games to the tablet and don’t be afraid to use them. Colouring, sticker and story books, aqua draw mats can also kill some time. Let them walk around a little bit, trips to the loo are always fascinating for them. Long haul flights have great selection of children movies available too.

5. Don’t care (too much) about what the other passengers are thinking.

You’re doing your best to keep them quiet, if they have a meltdown or tantrum and they are noisy and they cry – again, you do what you can but sometimes nothing works. Thinking about how others are judging you will just make the situation worse and stressful. Crying helps to clear their ears and get rid of the pain caused by the pressure. There’s little you can do about it.

6. Food on the flight

Pack some of their favourite snacks and drinks, but they normally never eat as much as you take. In fact, try not to over feed them. It happened to my son a few times, that because of the pressure and turbulence (and also at landing) he was sick. If their tummy is too full, the chances are better for this to happen. With babies a strategic breast or bottle feed always calm the nerves.

7. Coping with jet leg

Get them outdoors in the sunshine during the day as much as possible, if they wake up too early don’t force them back to bed, just keep it dark and quiet play and try to keep their nap times towards the middle of the day.

8. Coping with the hot weather

Don’t worry about keeping them naked or just with a t-shirt on, nobody cares and sometimes it’s better to have no clothes on! When out and about in the hot weather, use sun cream and thin layer long sleeves, so there’s no chance getting burnt. The fans which mist water are great too. Lots of water, stay indoors during the hottest times of the day (11am to 3pm). Sun hats, lightweight clothing if any. Find things to do indoors or swimming pools nearby. Frozen hot water bottles in their bed sometimes helps them cool down. Cold food usually goes down better than cooked when it’s hot.

9. Sticking to the routine

As much as it’s tempting to get out and enjoy the weather and location, some parents find it extremely important to stick to the usual nap/feeding schedule with under twos. This depends on your children, but if they’re normally don’t take well when their routine is being changed (lot of small kids don’t) then try to stick to their usual meal times and bed time routine.

10. Let them be on holiday

It’s their holiday too, so let them eat pizzas, ice lollies, drink juice, go to bed later some nights, skip a meal if they’re too excited to eat. You don’t need to buy every single toy or souvenir, but some treats. Don’t get too stressed over small things like one night they fell asleep without brushing their teeth. It’s your holiday too. 😉

Contributors:

Becci from Proper Livin

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Beth from Life As Mum

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Nita from Mummy Wishes

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Victoria from Mummy Times Two

The Pramshed


ethannevelyn.com


One Messy Mama
ethannevelyn.com

23 Comments

    • I normally take their favourites (a long haul flight is not the place to try new things, is it 😉) organix oaty bars, fruit bars, biscuits.

  1. Love this! I wrote something similar after our trip to Spain in may. We fly out for our wedding at the end of this month as well so I’ll try and take your tip of packing light on board at least for the kids as I’m so bad at overpacking! x

  2. We found sticking Fred in front of the inflight entertainment when we went to USA helped last year, in fact he absolutely loved it and told all his friends how he had watched 3 films and played games on the flight (I think it was one of his highlights!). But he is a little older than your 2, hmmmm drink gin and pass them to their dad!! haha!!!!! You will have such a lovely time I am very jealous 🙂

  3. These are all great tips. We’ve only flown short – haul (2.5 hrs max) so it’s always been easy for us. But if we ever go long haul I will definitely remember these. My little girl tends to fall asleep every time we’ve flown so that’s also helped.

  4. There are some brilliant tips here, and I agree with you on not worrying about anyone else on the plane. They just have to deal with it, the journey and the crying will eventually end. I like your comment on it’s their holiday too, so let them eat pizza. I had never really thought of it in that way, and you’re right. If we do it, why shouldn’t they. Obviously in moderation. Have a great trip and thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
    The Pramshed recently posted…20 signs that show you are a bloggerMy Profile

    • Yes, obviously in moderation, but they deserve to feel that these are special days. Thank you x

  5. We don’t travel so this isn’t something I’ve yet had to worry about.
    I love seeing posts like this though to give me handy tips for if we ever do head away while he’s still quite young.

    Great handy post!
    Little B & Me recently posted…Work with me |My Profile

  6. Fab post and very good for me I’m about to jet off with my 2 year old and 3 month old – will definitely refer back to this!

  7. Very helpful tips! The overnight journey is key, we have taken one during the day and it did not go well. I also think playing in the dark rather than forcing them to bed is a much nicer way to handle jet lag 😁 thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!
    The Mum Project recently posted…#StayClassyMama Link Party No. 66My Profile

  8. I’m yet to take my little one abroad, I keep putting it off but I know we need to do it as we’re desperate for a proper holiday and I had some of my best times abroad growing up. Great post with some helpful tips here.
    Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging
    Rach recently posted…10 Qualities I Admire in a PersonMy Profile

    • Yes, absolutely. I don’t know how would I cope with them being awake on a 11 hours flight!

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