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Tips On How To Handle Kids On Long-Haul Flights

Lunch on the beach

Traveling with kids can be difficult at best. Parents don’t always know what their children may do or how they’ll behave during long-haul flights. However, being prepared will keep your travels more enjoyable. If you follow these tips, you won’t arrive in Turks and Caicos totally stressed out and exhausted. Keep these in mind when you travel on long flights with kids.

Plan Ahead

You’ve booked the airline tickets, reserved the hotel room, and packed everyone’s clothes. Now plan ahead in other ways. Order airline meals in advance and get them chicken fingers, mac and cheese, hotdogs, etc. There’s nothing worse than a cranky, hungry kid who refuses to eat anything on a long-haul flight!

In your carry-on, be sure to pack hand sanitizer, wipes, lightweight clothes, pull-ups, snacks, and a few quiet toys like small puzzles and coloring books, stickers, a deck of cards, little cars, etc. Add other items to comfort your child like a favorite stuffed animal or fuzzy blanket. If your child takes prescription drugs, the meds should be in your carry-on, too! During takeoff, have your child(ren) drink out of a bottle or cup. Sucking and swallowing will prevent their ears from being plugged and painful.

Filling Snacks

Bring extra snacks along because some flights only offer crackers and peanuts. Plus, if you’re changing planes, you may not have time to eat between flights. When kids get hungry, they can have meltdowns. Avoid messy snacks like chocolate and pudding; a better choice is healthy, filling snacks like pretzels, cheese cubes, bread sticks, sliced fruit, and goldfish crackers. Avoid arriving in the middle of a sugar crash to your destination.

Don’t Rush

It seems like the minute you rush kids, they have a tantrum. Relax and factor in time for dawdling, bathroom breaks, and wandering. If you plan for a half hour, give yourself an hour!

Consider Flying at Night

Overnight flights will give everyone a chance to sleep, filling up some of the time on a long-haul flight. While some kids can sleep anywhere, others can’t. Know your child and decide if this is a good plan or a terrible one. An over-tired, cranky child can make your trip a nightmare.

Early Boarding

Boarding first means having even more time confined in close quarters with your kids, however, it also gives you a few minutes to get everyone settled. You’ll also be able to use the overhead compartment right above you, and the kids will get to choose their window seat. Your fellow passengers will thank you.


Along with “meltdown prevention” items you’ve packed, throw in a few Dollar Store surprises, too. Bring along fun toys as a treat for good behavior and award them throughout the flight. Stickers, puzzles, crayons, books, etc., will keep them occupied for a while.

Find child-friendly disposable cameras. Encourage them to look around and find something interesting to take pictures of. Taking photos of clouds and people will keep them occupied for a long time.

Once You Arrive

The extra set of clothes in your carry-on will come in handy now. Change out your kid’s shoes, socks, pants, and long-sleeved shirt for sandals and shorts. Your child will be much happier if he’s comfy.

Once you arrive, give everyone time to relax and rest. Long flights with children can be exhausting. For the rest of your vacation, there will be white sand beaches, blue water, shops, restaurants, and places to explore!

The Turks and Caicos Company

Planning a family vacation to Turks and Caicos? By contacting The Turks and Caicos Company, you can be sure that everything is perfect. Save time and energy – we can make your reservations, offer excursion suggestions, and more, so contact us today!

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