If you are thinking of buying a holiday home abroad but are worried about the long journeys, don’t be. Keeping your children happy on a long distance flight to Orlando, Tenerife, Dubai or Sydney has never been easier.
Travelling with kids doesn’t need to be difficult. Here at Property Guides we help hundreds of families move abroad each year and have heard countless stories of what works well and what doesn’t. It was the United Nation’s Children’s Day on Monday so to mark it we asked our Resource Team (020 7898 0549) their seven top tips for a stress-free trip to DisneyWorld and other long-haul destinations.
There is nothing worse than frantically flying through an airport racing from check-in, through security and to the departure gate.
Just as babies always seem to enjoy the box it came in more than the present, you can bet that the thing they’ll remember most from the holiday is the journey. So try to enjoy it with them. Slow down, take a breath, look out the window and enjoy the experience. Your inner calm will be magically transferred to your kids (hopefully!).
Expect the unexpected
Having a smooth journey from start to finish is highly unlikely on your international voyage with the family. There will be meltdowns, bathroom crises, long queues and boring waits. Expecting these interruptions and approaching them philosophically is essential for peace of mind. If the entire journey plays out without any setbacks, be thankful, it’s unlikely you will get so lucky next time.
The last thing you want is a hungry child at 35,000 feet and not a packet of Wotsits in sight
Snacks, snacks, snacks
A tray of airline food can be fun for a child, opening all those little packages, especially if they like what is inside. But the last thing you want is a hungry child at 35,000 feet and not a packet of Wotsits in sight. Packing a few favourite snacks will ensure that kids with picky taste buds are kept satisfied. Packing small snacks and spreading them out during your flight will keep kids busy. Make sure to check your airline’s regulations with regards to food that can come on-board. Generally airlines are quite accommodating with baby formula and snacks, but snacks for older children may or may not be permitted.
If you’re travelling on a long-haul flight, it’s usually best to book a direct red-eye flight instead of flying all day or breaking the flight with a layover. Your child’s natural circadian rhythms will assist in helping them sleep overnight and the likelihood of avoiding jet lag and arriving at your destination ready for the day increases if at least a few hours of sleep are had during an overnight flight.
Follow your normal routine
Just because you are travelling, doesn’t mean household routines need to be broken. Maintaining regular routines like reading a book before bed or brushing teeth after breakfast will help your children stay on track after you arrive at your destination. These pre-programmed routines will also help remind your kids of the next event to follow.
Pack a surprise goodie bag
Packing a special bag for each child is highly exciting for them and a great way to kill time while travelling. Fill the bag with small surprises: rolled up magazines, colour by numbers, a small toy or puzzle depending on the age. To make the plane bag even more exciting wrap up each individual item. Not only will the items in the bag provide a much-needed distraction the wrapped mini-gifts will give your kids something to get excited about once they are no longer excited about the plane ride itself.
Leave yourself time
Rushing from check-in, through security and to the gate will generate stress for all. Make sure to check-in early for your flight. If the airline suggests being there two hours early give it two and a half. There is nothing worse than frantically flying through an airport racing from check-in, through security and to the departure gate. Checking in early will ensure you have time for a bathroom stop, quick meal and attend to any last minute surprises that could pop up along the way.
Flying internationally with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare, we can’t guarantee smooth sailing but we can promise if you follow these tips your journey abroad will be much more enjoyable for all.