Preparing for a flight with young children

If the thought of a long haul flight with three children fills you with dread, welcome to my world! On our recent flight to America I was so stressed about how to keep the boys entertained that I couldn’t really see past the flight and get excited about the holiday. As it turned out, these are the things that saved my sanity…


At nine months old there really wasn’t much I could do in preparation for Squidge’s first flight, so I packed plenty of snacks, his favourite teddy, some small, quiet toys and the usual changing bag essentials.

The staff were great on board and I was able to get hot water from them to make up Squidge’s bottles, which eliminated the whole ‘taking liquids through customs’ issue.

One thing I did buy which turned out to be really useful was a changing bag which opened out into a very basic crib. It was about £50 so not cheap, but it really did help. What I was annoyed to discover though was that it was not waterproof and the inside was just cardboard. It was cheaply made and I was disappointed that once it got wet it was useless.

Younger Children

Our six year old is always on the go and I was more worried about keeping him entertained than the other two. This was also his first flight and he was really apprehensive. In preparation, and to make the run up to our holiday a little bit more exciting for him, we gave him a personalised passport cover to go on his brand new passport! He was pretty pleased with it and it prompted him to ask ‘how many sleeps until holiday’ more times than I care to remember!

For the actual journey, Robot had paper, Little Brian paint sticks, and an Aquadoodle Travel Bag. The paint pens were brilliant – such vibrant colours and they dry almost instantly. They’ve been used so much since we got them. So between those and the on-board entertainment he was kept busy for the duration of the flight. We flew for just over eight hours so I was pretty proud of him!

Older Children

Badger was fairly easy to please. He loves watching films and managed to squeeze two into the flight on the way to America. In addition, I printed out some fun activities from Twinkl and bought him a wordsearch book. He took a book to read, too, but didn’t even get around to opening it.

What do you pack when flying with children?

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