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 also flew solo with them already.)

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, don’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. ?


Proper Livin

Life As Mum

Mummy Wishes

The Pramshed



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Lexie August 4, 2017 - 6:45 pm

I think number 3 is pretty much the number one tip to being a parent in general – help is always good! haha.
You have some great pointers here. Thanks for sharing!

Su {Ethan & Evelyn} August 5, 2017 - 12:45 pm

I love these tips. We always fly at night whenever we go back to Thailand. I think the hardest for us was coping with the heat. Have fun in California! Thank you for sharing on #FabFridayPost xx

Agness of eTramping August 5, 2017 - 4:27 pm

These tips are truly amazing and practical, Eva! What kind of snacks would you suggest taking on a flight?

eva.katona@yahoo.com August 6, 2017 - 6:12 am

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.

Laura Dove August 5, 2017 - 5:43 pm

Booking an over night flight is a great tip! I haven’t heard of that tip before but it totally makes sense! We haven’t attempted our 4 on a plane yet but maybe next year!

Emma August 5, 2017 - 7:57 pm

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

Helen August 6, 2017 - 9:38 am

Brilliant tips – in February we went on our first family holiday abroad and in-flight entertainment was key. The tablet got a lot of use 🙂

Sonia August 7, 2017 - 9:54 am

My kids never sleep on flights so overnight flights are always a massive disaster for us! Thankfully they will sit glued to the in flight entertainment though so they are never a problem on flights x

Clare August 7, 2017 - 6:54 pm

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 🙂

Ky August 7, 2017 - 9:23 pm

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.

eva.katona@yahoo.com August 10, 2017 - 7:29 pm

That’s definitely very helpful on a flight when they sleep. X

The Pramshed August 8, 2017 - 5:33 am

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

eva.katona@yahoo.com August 10, 2017 - 7:29 pm

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

Dash | Mode Lily August 8, 2017 - 6:50 am

Such a good post and so many great tips. It’s so hard to travel with children so will share wil my sister in law.

Tanita August 8, 2017 - 9:56 am

What fab tips. It is always nice to have some help in getting the children ready for going away on long trips. xx

fashionandstylepolice August 8, 2017 - 11:44 am

We have done a lot of travelling in the past few months, with our toddlers and I agree with all the tips here. Overnight flight does help massively.

Little B & Me August 8, 2017 - 3:20 pm

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!

Kelly Peters August 8, 2017 - 5:09 pm

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!

The Mum Project August 10, 2017 - 6:55 am

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!

mummyhereandthere August 10, 2017 - 7:09 pm

Fab tips – never been abroad with little uns the prospect scares me haha X #HUMPDAYLINKY

Rach August 13, 2017 - 6:37 am

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

One Messy Mama August 14, 2017 - 6:18 pm

Booking an overnight is an absolute must!!! Saved me from many hours of tears! Great ideas here!!! #globalblogging

eva.katona@yahoo.com August 15, 2017 - 7:05 pm

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

Sarah August 16, 2017 - 3:22 pm

Great tips here – I totally agree with accepting help we’ve not been away in a long time but were amazed how helpful people were in Paris when we took our then one year old. Sarah #ExplorerKids

Jonny (daisythebus) August 16, 2017 - 8:06 pm

What great advice! We have never flown with kids (Mrs Daisy the bus has a fear of flying), but many of these tips are valid for long car or boat journeys too. #9 is entirely dependent upon the personality of the child: our eldest goes slightly crazy if there is abrupt change to routine whereas the other three can just go with the flow. Genuinely useful – thanks! #ExplorerKids

Becky | The Family Beehive August 16, 2017 - 8:43 pm

Some great tips here! As parents we just want the flight to be over so we can start the holiday, so anything that makes it just that bit easier is most welcome! 🙂

Stephanie ReadsWell August 21, 2017 - 4:53 pm

I can feel how hard it is to travel with toddlers. All these tips are useful and manageable. We need to take extra care while traveling to some other country whose climate is not the same as ours.

Sus // roughmeasures.com August 22, 2017 - 7:53 am

Some lovely tips! I imagine travelling with kids is quite the operation!

Sonia September 2, 2017 - 11:36 am

We have had overnight flights in the past and the kids would not sleep because they were just so excited and there was too much going on, we would much rather fly in the day now to avoid loss of a nights sleep. Mine are older though so hopefully yours will sleep. Some great tips here. Thanks for adding to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky x

Sarah | Digital Motherhood September 4, 2017 - 8:04 pm

Definitely agree with inflight entertainment, as much to keep them quiet as possible!

Plutonium Sox September 14, 2017 - 10:12 am

Brilliant tips, especially about remembering it’s their holiday too. I am probably guilty of trying too hard to be a good parent by not letting them have too many treats, and you’re right it shouldn’t apply on holiday. Thanks for linking up to #familytraveltips

eva.katona@yahoo.com September 16, 2017 - 7:54 pm

We travelled a lot when it was just my eldest, and we have learned our lessons. If you want to relax, you need relaxed children! ?

Helena September 21, 2017 - 4:19 pm

We’ve yet to do plane travel but this looks like a great post full of tips to keep in mind if and when we do fly somewhere. #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

Ariana October 6, 2017 - 9:46 am

Great post full of useful tips. Fantastic photos, do you take them yourself?
coming from #familytraveltips

Laura Breslin October 29, 2017 - 3:38 pm

Great tips especially the over night flight one. We do that where possible even though mine are a little older. #thlistlinky

Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness October 30, 2017 - 11:26 am

Lots of good tips here. I agree we should always accept help whenever it’s offered and also let them be on holiday. I have to say we do generally slip out of routine a little and I quite enjoy that but only now the kids are getting a little older! #thesatsesh xx

fridgesays November 2, 2017 - 6:00 am

#thesatsesh I love these tips, we took a 3yo to Barbados from LGW and he was fabulous! I would recommend having their own earphones for the TV’s that are provided, so thats its more familiar and also in Gatwick that have a soft play so I LITERALLY made him run circuits before we boarded. I think long flights are easier and you can settle them and you’re right, cabin staff are super helpful.

eva.katona@yahoo.com November 11, 2017 - 9:37 pm

Yes! Good point. We did the same, as he was used to his own ones.

Sumra November 3, 2017 - 3:03 am

Very, very useful list. I have travelled with one and two babies several times, and overseas also which means long flights, and I have learned to utilize a list very similar to this whenever I travel. Absolutely right about carrying as little as possible- especially in hand. I take whatever I need on the flight only. As long as I can purchase things there (like diapers/formula) then I don’t need to be carrying a week’s worth with me. Excellent list, thanks for posting. #thelistlinky

eva.katona@yahoo.com November 11, 2017 - 9:34 pm

Thank u for your lovely comment x

Our Travel Plans For 2018 | Captain Bobcat December 20, 2017 - 4:10 pm

[…] Traveling with children always requires a bit of planning, I wrote a post about it just before we had an overseas summer holiday this August: 10 Top Tips For Overseas Holidays With Small Children […]


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