As regular readers will know, later this year we’re going to be making the move from the UK to Australia. This means long haul travel with twins who will be four and a baby just coming up to two. I’m pretty terrified, mostly because my boys can be terrors when they want to be. When they decide to act up, trying to control them is so tricky (did you read about our trip to the dentists last year?)
My main concern is how to keep the kids entertained for such a long period of time as there are only so many movies they’ll want to watch. Once they escape their seats and start to walk around, things are going to get complicated as there are three of them to watch and only two of us!
I wondered whether I could pick the brains of my readers. What are your top travel tips with kids? Are there any must-have items I should buy? Are there any particular travel related items you’d like to see reviewed on here as I’m willing to buy anything and everything I can to keep them entertained?!
We took the boys on a short flight to Menorca just before they turned two (you can read how we survived that here) and it was actually really easy. This time round, it’s going to be harder as there are more children and it’s a much longer journey. Add to it the unknown of moving to a new country and I think Husband and I are going to be terrified.
Please, please help and share your tips and links to articles you’ve read on the subject. Once we’ve done the journey, I’ll be sure to post a full survival guide for travelling long haul with pre-schoolers (assuming we do survive that is!)
I only have one so… Little different. But we have taken 11 plane trips together from age 10mos to 4 yrs so here goes.
For the 2 yr old, I can’t recommend the Ergo carrier enough for transport in the airports. It’s a God send. Do you need to carry car seats or boosters? The traveling toddler strap and the car seat backpacks are both great for that. If checking those things, pad them well. Airlines often break them.
There is also a new harness that straps children into an airplane seat more effectively since the belts do diddly for kids. Haven’t tried it, but it might help w craziness. With mine, we buy a bunch of small surprises (cheap things) and have one for each take off & landing and for about every 2-3 hrs of flight as reward if needed for listening well. I never tell him they’re coming. They just appear when he’s good, and it makes plane travel a little more palatable. If we can, we get up just to walk the aisle about every hr or so and look out the windows. In our must pack lists are: 1. Activity book w crayons. 2. Security toy 3. An iPad type device for games (we use an old Kindle Fire) 4. A favorite book 5. Snacks (snack time is a good time waster) 6. A drink (beware that Sippy cups pressurize & can shoot stuff out. Don’t fill it the whole way and loosen the lid) here in the US they are more lenient on liquid restrictions for little ones as well. Good luck!
Thanks so much Barb – you’ve given me some fantastic tips there! I’ll certainly look into the Ergo carrier and all of the other bits you mentioned. And that’s a great tip about the sippy cups that I’d never thought of! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. xx
Very welcome! I read that top 10 post from Twitter too & agree wholeheartedly.. Other than the fact that people have mostly been wonderful to us… Except at BWI. Miserable airport.
Ps. I’ve travelled alone w him a lot of that time too. And strangers and pilots are often incredibly helpful.
I’ve flown long haul lots of times with twins – don’t worry, you will survive! The worst part is actually the airport – the flight itself is usually quite simple. I put my top 10 Tips on my blog if it helps: http://bit.ly/1mw0cCL
Having recently flown long haul with 6 month old twins I appreciate your apprehension! We found it quite exhausting so I hate to think what it will be like when they’re older and want to run around. Having said that, I recently saw this on Pinterest and pinned itfor reference, I hope it’s useful for you: http://therulesofmotherhood.com/2013/12/16/16-ideas-keeping-small-children-busy-airplane/
Brilliant – thanks so much for sharing! I need to start using Pinterest more as I bet there are lots of great ideas on there. xx
I’ve traveled a couple of times between NZ and Europe alone with my twins. I love those Trunki suitcases for long waits in airports. I can also recommend packing a bag within a bag for the carry on. Put the toys, books, wipes etc that you need to have on hand in a cotton drawstring bag that you can tuck under the seat and leave the spare clothes etc in the bigger bag to stow in the locker. That way you’re not constantly having to get up and down and search through the overhead locker (which is good when the seatbelt sign is on for hours!). I take the kids to the back of the plane for 10-15 minute exercise breaks, when possible. We do heads, shoulders, knees and toes and other action songs for a bit. I may look like an idiot, but it keeps the kids’ energy focused.
Balancing meals on the tiny trays is a precarious business for littlies, so if you can, whip some things off the tray as soon as they arrive.
Sorry, you asked for tips and you got an essay!
That’s good, because I’ve just almost bankrupted us by buying three Trunki suitcases! I’ve heard good and bad so I’m interested in trying them out for myself. Loving the tip about using a drawstring bag inside though. I’m dreading the mealtimes, especially as we aren’t sure yet whether to pay for a seat for E or let her sit on our laps (she tuns two around the time we expect to be flying so depending on the house sale, the decision might get take out of our hands). Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. xx