Traveling with children on a international flight can be VERY stressful. When my son was 6 months old and my daughter was 2, my family and I traveled to India (keep in mind, it was a 22 hour flight with a lay over, I’m sure there are longer flights that people do though – you can check out the longest flight in the World here). AHHHHHH!!! The whole time we were prepping for the trip all these things were running through my head, “How are my children and I going to survive this trip!?!” “Will they sleep on the plane?” “What should I take on the plane to occupy them for 22 hours?” “Is there a bassinet on the plane?” “Will there be kid friendly food on the plane?” I planned about a month in advance so I could thoroughly prepare and make sure I had everything I needed for a 22 hour flight. I was very nervous!!! Hopefully this post will give you some helpful tips on how to prepare yourself for a successful trip!!
1. What bag is right?
I searched the Internet quite a bit to see what bags would work best. On my internet travels, I read that having the best vpn in canada is smart while traveling especially if you plan on keeping the kids occupied with some of their favorite shows. When internationally traveling because some content is region blocked it can be hard to have their shows at hand without a VPN. Having that VPN also allowed me to find better prices so I could get more of what I wanted out of a bag for my budget. I wanted something that was durable, big enough to fit everything, yet still compact. After a lot of research, I was able to find a backpack from a company named Baby Sherpa (check out this post I did on it.) It was the best investment ever! It carried everything for both of my kids, including their blankets, cups, bottles and baby food, plus it had a mini cooler! My advice is to look for a bag that is able to carry all of your necessities, but is still compact enough to carry on, so everything is easily accessible throughout the flight.
2. What are some things to take to keep my kids busy on the flight?
For our trip we planned in detail, all the way down to the time of our flights. We purposely chose to take flights during times we knew our children would sleep. I recommend late night flights or real early morning flights. We took an early morning flight, so my kids would sleep through majority of the flight.
Usually all international flights have their own little TV’s with kid friendly channels and movies. They also have video games and educational games for them. I had my older daughter pack her own backpack with things she felt she wanted to take along for the long flight. I also, packed crayons, coloring books, card games, toy figuring, and a plain paper notebook for her to doodle on. We also brought a blanket, water bottle (w/o water because of security), and books to read.
3. What type of food should I pack for the kids?
The meals on the plane are ok; make sure to specify “kid meal” prior to booking. I also recommend bringing back ups. I packed a lunch bag with an ice pack and made pbj and some fruit and veggies. You can also, pack ready-made mac and cheese and spaghetti. I know it is not the healthiest but it’s great back up food to have. You can give it to your stewardess and they can heat it up for you.
I also packed back up snacks as well. Anything that is non-perishable such as granola bars, raisins, trail mix, cookies, chips. pop corn, granola, fruit snacks, and crackers.
4. Where will my child sleep?
When booking, make sure to request a basinet for you baby. They only have about 4-6 on the plane and they go pretty fast, so make sure you book in advance. The basinet comes out from the wall so you will have seats in the front row (they are great seats because you also get a lot of leg room). They have blankets and pillows for you, as well. I bought my own because my son had his special comfort blanket that he slept with, but it’s all up to you. One important tip for your flight: when taking off and landing make sure to have a pacifier or bottle handy for your little, or be prepared to nurse so the pressure does not bother their ears. For your older child you can have them eat a snack, so they are constantly chewing to help with the pressure.
5. What type of stroller do I take for my trip?
So I know it gets confusing with the massive amounts of strollers to choose from, but I recommend something lite, easy to stow and carry, and durable. You want something that you can fold up easy and give at the gate. I suggest investing a little more, so you know you can use it throughout your trip. You do not want something that is going to fall apart because it will make your life a lot more difficult. Any durable umbrella stroller works. So be sure to check out guides for the best travel stroller 2019! I took the Combi Cosmo DX Lightweight Stroller, Graphite Scribble and loved it because it was so easy to fold up and use. It was also comfortable for my son to sit in. If you are looking for a double stroller then I suggest Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller, Elixer or the Combi Cabria DX Lightweight Stroller, Flat Iron or the Chicco Liteway Plus Stroller, Radius stroller since they are very easy to use.
My family and I have traveled frequently internationally and now feel like with 3 kids we have it pretty much down! As long as you are prepared and have enough back up of things you are good to go! It’s sometimes better to overpack then under-pack, especially for an international trip because not everywhere there is a close by target or drug store to pick up things!