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The joys of flying long haul with kids

Well that title was really just to pull you in (I know, sneaky) as there are no joys of flying long haul with kids, well maybe only one that I’ll come to later. Mostly it’s a painful, torturous experience in which time doesn’t seem to move.


This is us all looking reasonably happy and relaxed (note this was at the beginning of the flight out).

Here’s a few of the highlights:

  • Expect to be looked at with undisguised disgust and contempt by fellow passengers who happily walk onto the plane and then realise they are seated within arms reach of … oh yes …the sheer horror of it… a family!
    Had I been naked, juggling and dancing to MJ I think they would have paid us less attention.
  • You will have to use about 4 overhead lockers to hoard the ginormous stash of stuff you won’t need but that you bought just in case. This makes you even more popular with fellow passengers by the way.
    Our hand luggage included:
    – 6 jars of food for Chester (6 jars!! For a 13 hour night flight? He had been fed prior to getting on the plane as well) and yes I had to take all 6 jars through security in little plastic bags AND I had separated them out into different hand luggage bags, you know, just in case!
    – 3 sachets of food, just in case there was a problem with the jars.
    – Approximately 20 nappies, 3 packets of baby wipes and 200 nappy bags (yes 200 of the damn things).
    – A change of clothes for us all, multiple for the kids, we all had shorts, flip flops and sunglasses to get changed into as soon as we landed in Bangkok. We of course had no time, rushing through the airport for our connecting flight and then landing in Phuket at nighttime #epicfail.
    – Enough snacks to feed a small army of children, no one needs that many blueberry flavour rice cakes.
  • Don’t wear clothes you like. They will quickly be covered in baby/child crap. I looked like I had worn a top I choose straight from the dirty laundry by the time we landed. An actual highlight was when Chester had a mouth full of some type of tuna roll and sneezed all over his daddy, face, top, everything was covered. Nearly peed myself laughing!
  • And those overhead lockers again expect to have to revisit them to get stuff out of your bags about 1,908,200 times during the flight, oh and this will drive your poor traveling companion mad as they bob up and down like a yo-yo trying to maintain calm while you’re barking crazed instructions about what you need.
  • Perfect a scarecrow like look before you get on the plane as then you won’t be disappointed by how you look after the flight. I scared myself when I got a gander of the results of 13 hours with Chester pulling my hair out.
  • Don’t be embarrassed when your eldest child forgets he has headphones on and starts to excitedly tell (SHOUT) you about the film he is watching whilst everyone in close proximity to you is was asleep.
  • Get dodgy looks from cabin crew when you are ordering wine. Yes I have kids and that is precisely the reason why I need alcohol right now. P.S. And i’m on my hols so do one!
  • Don’t expect plane food to be eaten. In fact quiet refusal of plane food would be a bonus. James loudly protested about the smell and taste of almost every meal.
  • Give in to the technology. Forget that 10 minute timer on the iPad. 10 hours later James was still playing Temple Run in between his film fest of 3 movies.
  • Don’t fall asleep as at that exact moment, the sleeping baby you have so preciously strapped in and made so comfortable on the two seats the air hostess was lovely enough to give him, makes a break for it and rolls towards the floor.
  • You know plane seats aren’t the comfiest but after 13 hours with an under 2 on your knee, you will be lucky to feel your arse ever again.
  • Just don’t look at the time or watch the little plane on the screen as it just makes you realise how slowly time is moving and honestly I thought planes were a fast mode of transport! I actually counted down every hour on the way home and we almost high fived when we had only two hours left. Not a recommended approach.

So there are my highlights. Was it worth it? Absolutely, even traveling for 20+ hours with my two crazies wouldn’t have made me miss my friends wedding. Just be prepared for some hilarity on the way!!

Oh and the one highlight? When everyone told us how good the boys had been on the plane. Personally I think they had consumed too much wine and were relieved to get off but it was still good to hear!


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