Short haul and long haul flights with kids especially if it’s your first journey as a family or the first time you are taking a long haul trip can be filled with questions. I’ve flown hundreds of times and yet going to Greece for our first family vacation with a 14-month-old J and pregnant with T was like nothing I have ever prepared for flying before and that includes jetting off across to the other side of the world for 6 months with everything that I would need to live in the Jungle. One of the biggest things is what to wear for us and for the kids.
Flying with Kids – all about kids
Anyone whose spent any time on a flight knows that the air-con can be cold, the seats aren’t the most comfortable and unfortunately you do spend most of the time sitting down so it’s really important that they are comfortable and warm. But where you are going to also has a big influence on what they and you wear. I’ve gone from mid-winter in the UK to countries on the equator where, as soon as they open the door the heat hits you. With older children, you don’t get as much freedom to choose what they wear as you do with younger kids, but you can help them make sensible choices.
- Layers – a t-shirt, long or short sleeved depending on your final destination, sweater and if needed a coat to put in the overhead bins
- Comfortable trousers – jogging bottoms, leggings, soft trousers with an elasticated waist. Sitting for an hour in jeans isn’t too bad but 8 hours plus in them can be uncomfortable.
- In their carry-on pack a light weight blanket. Yes, planes do provide blankets sometimes, but they can be scratchy and aren’t that warm. I usually put in one of the blankets that the kids had in their cots into their bag they are fairly light weight but incredibly warm and fold up fairly small.
- Put clothes needed for the climate in your carry-on or theirs – this year I will be putting in shorts for us all to change into before we land as we will be flying to Florida.
- If it’s a night flight and your kids are young enough pack their PJ’s you can change them into them and they will be comfortable to sleep in.
- Put in a pair of warm socks – when you are on the plane get them to take off their shoes and put them under the seat in front, then put a pair of warm socks on their feet will stay toasty and warm especially as the air-con tends to be worse down by your feet.
Flying with Kids – for you
Whether you’ve flown loads or this will be your first flight, flying with kids is something new, you know they need to be comfortable well you even more so. I have spent our last few family flights playing what appears to be musical chairs and never taken so many journeys to the restroom before in my life. It’s all a novelty, especially when traveling with the younger kids. Here’s what I do and has worked
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- Layer, I find airports and airplanes cold and we try to get early morning flights whenever we can so I go to the airport layered up and then adjust as I go.
- Comfortable bottoms, I normally wear leggings or linen trousers although with kids leggings are better as unlike linen as they do look creased at the other end of the flight
- Slip on and off shoes – many times when I was younger I would wear my heaviest shoes for the flight – walking boots, they would take an age to take off and put back on again not a problem when I’m on my own, but with kids when they need to go to use the bathroom there could be very little time frame involved
- A scarf, sarong or shawl that’s big enough to double as an extra blanket. Yes it may seem a little outlandish to carry one of these in my carryon but although I pack the kids a blanket they sometimes need an extra and you have it as an accessory in your bag
- Clothes for your climate – this year shorts will be in my bag to change into when I change the kids as we will arrive at around 3pm Florida time and it will be hot especially compared to the UK.