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How to survive a long haul flight with kids

If you are fortunate enough to be planning a trip abroad, you may be wondering how you are going to keep your kids entertained on the flight. Find out what our group top tips were right here.


A common theme from parents who HAVE survived a long-haul flight with their kids is to prepare a bits and bobs bag for each child in advance and popping it into your hand luggage. Popular ideas for inclusion were a sticker book, a set of stamps, small packs of lego, some brand new playdough, and a writing tablet.

Here's our list of things that can go into a busy bag:

  • Sticker books

  • Stamps, ink and paper

  • Small packs of lego

  • Playdoh, roller and figurines

  • Washi tape

  • Fun colourful plasters (or the type with characters on!)

  • Macaroni pasta jewellery

  • Poppit and fidget toys

  • Crayons and post it notes

  • Tangle toys

  • Aqua mat (drawing may with a water filled pen = no mess!)


Games ideas for kids on plane journeys

So playing card games can be perfect for bringing different ages together, here are a few ideas - but there are so many more!

  • Uno

  • Kids against Maturity

  • Guess Who

  • Dobble,

  • Cluedo Card Game

  • Snap

Games you can play with a traditional deck of cards:

  • Go Fish

  • Higher/Lower

  • Chase the Ace

  • Donkey


So. Many. Snacks. More than you think you need. Multiplied by 2. As much as we love reusable packaging, dealing with this on a flight could be one step too far for stressed parents. Many parents prefer individually wrapped items where the packaging can be thrown away during the flight itself (I always pack an empty plastic bag to be used for rubbish).

Plastic bento boxes are always a good option too. You can find these along with some other bits and bobs on our Amazon 'Flights with kids' ideas list:

Why not try out a brilliant idea shared by one Family Lowdown member who suggested…members also had some clever ideas to make even more of snacks - wrapping them up in newspaper / scrap paper so there is an element of surprise and a way to keep little fingers busy.

In fact, wrapping things up applies to all sorts of things: little presents like small colouring books or water magic books like this:

Depending on the age of your kids, you could number the snacks and gifts, or time stamp them, and challenge them to find the right one.

Snacks can double up as an activity too: try using a strand of dried spaghetti, placed into a blob of blue tac or playdough, to thread Cheerios on to. When the cheerio tower is complete, they can be eaten. And repeat!

Keeping kids hydrated on flights is so important and if your child doesn’t fancy water, try these squash sticks:

Try to pack a few empty water bottles that you can fill up once you are through security. These collapsible ones are great space savers:


taking flights with children

Being prepared for every eventuality isn’t always possible but if you don’t have the basic things to keep kids feeling well, even playing the simplest of games can be impossible. Having a ‘wellbeing bag’ packed in your hand luggage could just save the day!

Many of our members have shared their experience with liquid allowances and suggested packing a few Calpol sachets to get around this. Similarly, they’ve reminded other parents to take a few essentials like plasters, wet wipes, some balm / cream for dry lips and skin and a change of clothes.

In the unfortunate event of turbulence or if passengers are told to remain in their seats, you may want to consider packing a few large pull up nappy-pants that can be used if there is an urgent need for the toilet at just the wrong time!

Take off and landing can be tough on little ears, so we recommend packing something for kids to suck on to help ease the pressure.

Taking young children on a plane can seem like a mammoth task but preparation is key - bringing the right supplies, along with a huge dose of patience, will hopefully make it that bit easier for everyone. Good luck and think of that holiday on the other side.

To take a look at our 'Flights with kids' ideas list, click the button below:


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