Recently, my husband and I took our two boys, 5 and 3, to Japan.
Our boys are no strangers to plane travel, having been interstate and overseas multiple times since they were only a couple of months old. Each flight we take, we streamline the process.
The flight between Brisbane and Tokyo is around 9 hours, but with travel time to and from the airport, waiting to board and take off, there were about 15 hours of transit time.
But these things are also important on short flights. Here are my top tips for plane travel with kids.
1. Select your seats before you travel.
You don’t want to be too close to the toilet (but not too far – toddlers are not known for their ability to hold on when toilet training) nor do you want to be seated in the very last row where the flight attendants will be chatting and rattling trolleys around.
2. If you have an infant, try to book the bassinet for long-haul flights for everyone’s comfort.
If you are travelling solo with a child, you can always ask at check-in if the flight is relatively empty and they can often block out the seat next to you.
3. Keep in mind they will board families first, but disembark from the front and rear.
You don’t want to be stuck right in the middle of the plane with a screaming baby!
4. Pre-order your meals if possible.
This means you will be served first and will get the meal of your choice and not be stuck with the cold chicken salad that nobody wants.
5. Pack lots of snacks and drinks.
You can take anything onto interstate flights. There are a few more restrictions on international flights. However, if you do have a child under 2 (and this can stretch to 3 or 4 depending on how sweetly your child smiles), they will let you take milk, juice and water on board.