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Long flight ahead? How to keep the family entertained…

Despite being excited by the thought of a lovely break overseas, are you slightly filled with dread at the prospect of entertaining your children on a long flight? Here are some ideas from MOLLY MAID, the housecleaning experts, to keep them happy on a long flight to avoid boredom and all that follows… the key as with most things is about the preparation!

  • Night-time flights

When it comes to booking flights, night flights are by far the most popular when flying with children. The children will have been up all day and will be ready for their sleep – enabling you also to get some shut-eye.

  • One bag fits all

If you’re travelling with a baby on board, then your changing bag will probably constitute your hand luggage. You will need all the unusual items as well as one extra set of clothes in case of spillages or illness – this applies to all children up to teenage years too. It’s no fun sitting in sticky apple juice. It’s also important to pack extra layers for the flight too as the plane can sometimes be a chilly place. Do take extra socks to wear instead of shoes and make sure your children pack their comforting teddies too!

  • Snack happy

It’s never sensible to rely on airline food – if you can order a ‘child’s meal’ prior to flying, then you stand some chance of something appealing to your children. However, take a supply of snacks with you ranging from healthy to not-so-healthy snacks that can be rationed along the way, or to be used as bribery if absolutely necessary.

  • Soft drinks

It is really important to keep your little ones hydrated as this will prevent headaches, dry skin and keep them much ‘happier’ overall. Remember the rules on liquids at the airport still apply – no container more than 100ml in a resealable plastic bag. So, buy plenty of water (not sugary drinks) before boarding the flight after security to have to hand during the flight.

  • Delay the boredom

There is only one way to combat boredom and that is by surprising them with toys and games that you have secretly snuck into your bag. Better still, wrap them in wrapping paper to increase the excitement. Why not stock up in your local pound shop with small games likes noughts and crosses or eye spy and so on.

  • I-pad/ tablet

Before you leave on your trip, it is always a good idea to charge up your i-pad and download a few of your children’s favourite films and games to watch during the flight, but don’t forget the headphones! Why not download some educational/ fun info on your holiday destination?

  • Colouring-in books/ pens/ diaries

Why not entice your children from toddler stage to become young explorers and set them the challenge of starting a diary whilst on the plane? Ask them to write about their airport experience, the plane, the food, draw a map of where they are flying to.

  • Avoiding earache

Air travel can be particularly uncomfortable when flying with children who can’t express the pain themselves so, it is important to pack a couple of teething rings to soothe them (or let them suck on a finger, bottle or sippy cup) and give them lots of cuddles while they get used to the sensation of flying – they need particular attention during take-off and landing. The older they are, the more you can coax them into chewing on a sweetie or eating a healthy bar during take-off and landing.

Good luck and happy flying.