Having spent the good part of 15years or more at 40,000ft working as an international flight attendant and now travelling with children of my own, I would like to share some of my tips on how best to prepare for a long haul flight with the family.


If you are anyone like me I love lists. Create a check list of what you need to bring prior to your day of departure.  our check list may include travel documents, valid passports, visas, travel insurance, itinerary. Ensure to arrange transport to the airport allowing extra time just in case of traffic to ensure an on time check in.


Bring patience and a little zen. I am sure many of you are well versed when it comes to travelling and have come to realise when travelling, there is a lot of waiting and lining up from the first point of check in, customs, security, boarding, disembarkation and baggage collection. This can certainly test children’s patience, so try to be as prepared and organised as best you can.

Happy family with children at the airport. Parents and their children look out the window at the plane.
Photo Cred choreograph


One of the most important things on your list!! Allow your children to be involved in choosing what activities they would like to bring. Colouring in/activity books, tablets, small hand held game devices (ensure all devices are fully charged). Another great tip…download your children’s favourite games and movies onto the tablet devices. I highly recommend doing this just in case there are any issues with the on board in-flight entertainment system.


Our family all travel with a back pack on long haul flights. We find this is the most practical and comfortable way to travel especially if we accumulate additional luggage during our travels. Allow your children to help pack their bag so they feel part of the excitement of the journey beginning.

Items you may wish include:

Child friendly headsets, neck pillow, small blanket, disposable socks, change of clothes. Snacks I pack a lunch box full of goodies from fruit, vegetable sticks, crackers, sandwiches, biscuits, cereal.


Children’s Panadol (liquid or tablets), Band Aids, Zirtec, Epipen, lollies to help equalize little ears during descent.

Make sure everyone remains well hydrated throughout the flight.

Finally, try to book a flight that leaves late afternoon/evening to assist children going to sleep and if possible pre-select your seats. Most importantly sit back relax and enjoy the journey.