Surviving Long Flights with Kids: Tips and Tricks

By Anu Kapur, Publisher, Lower Manhattan Macaroni KID & Upper West Side Macaroni KID November 26, 2023

    Traveling with kids can be challenging, especially on long flights. However, with the right strategies and mindset, it can be a manageable and even enjoyable experience. Here are some tips and tricks to help you survive long flights with kids.

Preparing for the Flight

Before the flight, involve your kids in the excitement of the trip. Explain what to expect during the flight and involve them in packing their carry-on bags with their favorite toys, books, and snacks. Consider bringing a surprise toy or activity to unveil during the flight to keep them engaged.

Choosing the Right Seats

When booking your seats, consider the proximity to the restroom and the availability of bassinets for infants. Additionally, select seats that offer extra legroom or space for your kids to move around.

Entertainment and Distractions

Pack a variety of entertainment options such as coloring books, tablets with pre-downloaded movies or games, and headphones. Interactive games and activities can keep them engaged and occupied during the flight. 

Snack and Meal Planning

Bring a variety of snacks and meals to keep hunger at bay. Pack healthy options and avoid sugary treats to prevent energy spikes and crashes. Additionally, remember to stay hydrated by encouraging your kids to drink water regularly.

Dealing with Sleep

Encourage your kid to rest by packing their favorite blanket and pillow for comfort. Consider adjusting their sleep schedule a few days before the flight to align with the new time zone, helping to reduce jet lag.

Remaining Calm and Patient

Long flights can be exhausting, but maintaining a calm and patient demeanor can positively impact your kids' experience. Stay organized, remain flexible, and be prepared to handle unexpected situations with grace.

    Surviving long flights with kids requires thorough preparation, patience, and a positive attitude. By involving your kids in the planning process and equipping yourself with various entertainment and snack options, you can make the journey an enjoyable part of your travel experience. Remember to remain flexible and adaptable, and most importantly, cherish the moments spent with your kids during the adventure.