Surviving a Long Haul Flight With Kids
If you’re thinking about a family holiday in the Maldives but are worried about flying long haul with kids, our tips will make the journey not just bearable but enjoyable too!
Be realistic – kids are unlikely to sleep in the first few hours, if at all, and who can blame them, being on a plane is way too exciting! Once you’ve accepted this you can start planning the ‘in-flight entertainment package’ to include: snacks, activities and treats, not forgetting a generous dose of bribery (it’s absolutely worth it!).
Start talking about the flight in the weeks leading up to your departure, look at an atlas together and talk about the countries you will be flying over. Make a route plan with countries to check off as they pass them – the in-flight map is great for older kids to use alongside this activity. Toddlers will love to role play being on the plane – car seats on the floor work really well for this as they can use their seatbelts too! Book them their own seat if you can – having an almost-two-year-old on your lap for the entire flight is no fun for you or them!
Let them help with packing their own small bag for the plane but don’t take too much. Spare clothes are a must along with a sarong that can be used as a lighweight blanket to snuggle up in. Take plenty of snacks including things like sandwiches and rice cakes – they will satisfy the constant hunger without a huge sugar hit, avoid chocolate and other messy items. Pack colouring and sticker books as well as their favourite story book. Card games and plain paper for a game of ‘guess what I’m drawing’ will work well with all ages.
A guidebook for the Maldives will have lots of information and maybe even a few words of Dhivehi, the local language, that you can learn together. Invest in a fish slate for the Indian Ocean, they will love learning the names of the fish and it doubles up as a game – cover one up and get them to guess which one is missing, they will be fully prepared for spotting all the amazing creatures in the water during your trip. If the older kids are interested in scuba diving, you could take a PADI book for the course they may do and they can complete the reading during the flight.
Avoid getting activities out too soon – the excitement of watching what’s going on around them will be enough to start with. Make use of the in-flight entertainment and let them watch as much as they like – make it exciting, take popcorn, snuggle under the sarong and bill it as a ‘movie night in the sky’!
Happy travels, and remember, our Kids Club can take care of the little ones once you get here, they can even babysit in the evenings – the journey will be worth it!