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Tips for Flying Long Haul

Our trip to New York in April was the 3rd holiday abroad Indy’s been on, but the first long haul, as well as the first one where he’s properly mobile and into EVERYTHING, so I was a bit concerned about how the flights would go.

Our flight from Manchester was at 9am, so I was expecting him to be awake A LOT, whereas our flight home was a night flight, so I was a little bit more relaxed about this one as I presumed he would just sleep the majority of the way back (which he did thank God!), so most of these tips are for day time flights where there are a lot of hours to fill!  

Be organised!

As I had done all the packing for hand luggage, I knew where everything was and in what bag, so it made more sense for me to be in charge of getting things and my husband to hold Indy and have him on his lap.  We had one rucksack for his food, drinks, entertainment and any changes of clothes, and Indy’s small Mickey Mouse rucksack for nappies, wipes and medicines. I tried to have as few loose items as possible, so his food was in his Yumbox Bento Box, and all his medicines were in a small zip up washbag, so there was no danger of things going flying on the plane and getting lost.  As soon as there was a little grumble, my husband and I jumped into action, with him distracting Indy and me rushing to get the next thing to grab his attention.

Small changing bag / pouch to take into the small plane toilet

I used Indy’s small rucksack for this, so had it stocked with 6 nappies, a pack of wipes, nappy sacks, and his medicine bag.  It was so easy just to grab, and take into the small plane toilet to change him, as well as the airport toilets without having to unpack or rummage through any other bags.  

Tire them out in the airport for a nap early on

We checked our pram into the hold as usual, so Indy walked from check in to security, and then to the gate, so once we were on the plane he was exhausted! He had some breakfast with some milk for take off, and then slept for a solid 2 hours, so I managed to get through most of ‘A Star Is Born’ in one go! 😉

My Quiet Book

This is something I discovered from Instagram and bought from Amazon.  It’s basically a big cloth book, with a different activity or something to fiddle with on each page – such as a crocodile with a zip as its mouth to open and close, or a shoelace to tie and untie, or velcro animals to match up to shapes.  The whole book also closes with a zip fastening so no pieces are lost. I kept this hidden from Indy until we got on the plane, and this was the first thing he played with, and we even took it out to restaurants to keep him entertained so I’m really pleased with it.

Ipad / Headphones

Indy doesn’t have a tablet to use at home, but I remember seeing an instagram post from Tom Fletcher, saying his children still believe ipads only work on airplanes (!) so I thought we’d take ours as a potential last resort.  I loaded it with some films and some baby drawing games, and got it out mid-flight but it only kept his attention for about 10 minutes before he was onto the next thing. Our New York holiday was very full on and we were out all the time, but if we were having a more relaxed sun holiday, the ipad may have come in useful more for watching films, so I would still probably always take it.  

Wrapping up new toys – books / puzzles / colouring books

This was something i’d read about a lot – I bought some cheap colouring books and a pack of crayons, a puzzle and a couple of new books, and wrapped them up in wrapping paper so unwrapping them was an activity in itself!  We read the books a couple of times on the plane, and again, all things came out with us during the trip to keep him entertained when were out and about so were really useful.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks – Yumbox

I’ve written about my love for this Yumbox on our Instagram page already, but it was perfect for travelling.  I filled it with a variety of foods for the journey as it was to be his breakfast and lunch, as well as something to keep him occupied and keeping all snacks in one place!  I also took a banana and a couple of oranges which he ate first for breakfast, and had a stash of breadsticks, raisins and fruit bars in our suitcase as back up! You can literally not pack enough snacks, to accommodate for delays and even just to take out with you while you are away.  

Extra milk

Indy only has cows milk first thing in the morning and last thing at night, but I thought I would take and extra bottle for the journey and a couple of small bottles of instant Aptamil ‘just-in-case’.  He ended up having one bottle mid-flight, which was unusual but it gave him some comfort.

Looking out the window

So simple, and really effective!  This occupied a lot of time, especially towards the end of the flight as we were coming in to land – so always book a window seat!

Walking around the plane

I didn’t want to do this for hours, but 4 hours in we did a few laps to stretch his legs (and mine!) when he was getting a bit restless.  It did the job and gave him a change of scenery, and he went straight back to look out the window!

Most of these tips are probably pretty obvious, but they really worked for us and can be applied to most ages and any length flight.  If you have any other ones, comment below! xxx