On our recent overseas trip we took 8 flights including two that lasted for 13+ hours and we stayed in 5 different locations. Lulu has been travelling since she was small but she had never been on a long haul flight before. You never know how the kids are going to react to being stuck on a plane for 13 hours, but there are a number of things that you can do to help make the flight and a hotel stay a little easier. Here are my tips for travelling with kids.
We were super lucky in that the long haul flight to LAX left Sydney at 6:30pm. Lulu had a bit of a play on the plane, then dinner. Post dinner she watched a cartoon or two then we changed her into her pjs, cleaned her teeth, read a story and then she went to sleep. We kept her bedtime routine the same as if she was at home (though she doesn't normally watch TV after dinner, but there has to be some on the plane treats, right?!).
Keep the bedtime routine as much the same as your at home bedtime routine. This goes the same for where ever you are during your trip.
PLANE CARRY ON
1. Spare Clothes
Whether or not your child suffers from travel sickness, at some point they are going to spill something on themselves. A spare pair of clothes is a must.
Lego is great for creative play and fairly easy to keep contained within a small space. We didn't end up using it on the plane but it was great for play at the hotel.
Stories for keeping bedtime routines the same. Also handy for when the airline doesn't let you use headphones on take off and landing (am looking at you Air Canada!).
4. Colouring in book and crayons or mess free texts.
1. Stay at a hotel with a restaurant
By the time you are up and dressed everyone is far too hungry and cranky to then be on a search for breakfast.
2. Make sure your hotel room has a seperate space for your child to sleep and if possible a balcony space your you to hang out while your child is falling asleep.
Our hotel near Disneyland had a seperate room for Lulu, which was fabulous. The hotel in Palm Springs had a space with curtains you could pull across to give the child some privacy for sleeping. This hotel also had balconies but we didn't end up using them because I was far too tired to stay up very long after Lulu had gone to bed. Nick ventured to the hotel bar some of the nights while us gals slept early. So I guess the other tip would be to stay at a hotel with a bar!
3. Hotel Pool
Make sure your hotel has a pool that can be used all year round. This will give you a great, 'free' activity to do on any quite days you may have. Again you won't need to travel far to get there either.
Have you travelled with your kids? What are your hot tips?
Nick's mum overheard a mum saying that she often does the LAX-SYD flight and that they just have it down now - then she saw the mum and her two kids in business class! So that's one other way to make travelling with kids a little easier!