Travelling on a long haul flight with a toddler

Having recently returned from a family holiday to Cuba which involved hours careful planning and extensive research into travelling with a 22 month we wanted to share our tips and share our flight experience!!

We were faced with a ten hour flight with Sydney and we couldn’t comprehend how we were going to get through it as he never sits still. From the moment he wakes up, like most toddlers he is busy! Always finding new things to do, discovering new places to climb, new things to break and new places on the wall to draw! Ten hours on a flight with a toddler seemed like an impossible task!

Our first step was to buy a Trunki, although he was a little young for the recommended age,we let him play with it in the weeks leading up to the flight and he loved it, pulling,pushing and sitting on it so we new it would be a hit at the airport!

Our main concern however, was keeping him entertained on the flight in a confined space, we had recently purchased an Ipad and we had heard so many reports from friends saying great they were in keeping their little ones occupied. We downloaded Sydney’s favourite films ( Megamind Despicable me & Alvin and the chipmunks) We also downloaded lots of toddler apps such as Thomas and friends, magic fingers app, kids doodle etc. As well as the apps and films, we turned into train spotters as Sydney has a love of trains, we videoed them at stations so he had his own personal collection to watch!!

In our research we came across a great invention called a Buckle Toy it was a simple bear with three different types of buckles around its tummy for toddlers to clip together. We managed to track them down on Amazon ,we kept this as a surprise for the flight.

Other items that we packed in his Trunki were;

Stickle bricks, Sticker books, new books to read, cars, favoutite bears ( which doubled up at cushions) Stacking cups, little cars and figures, lots of snacks!
We went to Boots the chemist and bought Marmite rice cakes, Heinz biscottis, Organix carrot stix, tomato corn snacks and little bags of fruit snacks. Most importantly of all Mr Doggy (Sydney’s best friend)

In our bag we packed lots of nappies, wipes and two changes of comfy clothes, including a jumper (incase it got cold with the air con on the plane).

Fully prepared with bags packed to the brim we got to the airport to find that we had a six hour delay!!!! Noooooo we thought, we didn’t account for delays on top of the already long flight!! We had a total of 11 hours at the airport as we were very early for check in, but surprisingly time passed and Sydney was such a good boy! Luckily in terminal one in Manchester airport there was a soft play area, plenty of shops and eating places. We spent our hours walking around the shops and playing in the soft play and along with a two hour nap and lunch ,Sydney got through it.

As the flight was so delayed it sort of worked in our favour in that it became a night flight. We decided to buy Sydney a Trunki blanket whilst we were at the airport for extra comfort on the plane in the hope that he would sleep. It was lovely as it was fleecy and the handy pocket was great for keeping Sydney’s pride and joy Mr Doggy safe!

All went well on the flight Sydney loved the aeroplane an he loved people watching. It was a little uncomfortable as he didn’t have his own seat but we managed. The ipad was amazing!! Sydney watched his films, played with the apps and watched his train videos. The snacks we packed were also a winner, he had a great time munching away on them. We did a little bit of walking up and down the plane but with all of the walking in the airport he managed to sleep for a few hours. He had a little cry as he was confused and tired but all in all he was great on the flight. We were very proud of him! It gave us confidence for the return flight as we knew what to expect.

Our advice would be lots of snacks and some sort of visual aid if possible. Toys were great also but they tended to get lost under the seat !

It is surprising how adaptable toddlers are to different situations so if you are going a way this summer, with a little preparation and a positive mental attitude you will get through it!!!! Travelling with a Toddler is possible!

We hope this helps…

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