Sunday, April 28, 2013

How to survive long-distance flights with children?

Spending long hours in the secluded space of an aircraft with young children can become a real nightmare. Not only for you but also for other travelers.
Strangely enough, babies in the first months of their life can be quite easy-going. Of the 8 hours of a trip back from Quebec, my little one slept almost 7. I had asked to swap seats with another traveler in order to be placed in the front row and let her sleep in a basinet. While the flight attendants were helping out fixing the basinet, I could feel the angry look of the businessman in the nearby seat.
Be honest, if you happen to be traveling on your own, for business or leisure, you’re not exactly looking forward to the neighboring presence of children in the aircraft. And if you’re a parent traveling with your children, you certainly felt more than once the hostile looks of other passengers when boarding a plane.
There is no magic trick to keep children quiet and happy during a long-distance flight. If they are old enough, they might understand that they need to keep calm, read books and watch television. If they get bored or tired, the journey can become a difficult one.
We have been asked many times how we are surviving long-distance flights with our children. Our kids are fairly laid-back, trips are usually relatively relaxed. But even if they’re not, we always remember that the 8-hour flight is only a small portion of an exciting voyage.