Long haul flights with kids

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Heading overseas with your child for the first time? Prepare for the flight with these five easy steps.

– Practice patience: Explain that they will need to be patient. That although the holiday will be fun, getting there will take some time. ? Is it a nine-hour flight? If your child is old enough to understand the concept of time then one morning explain that you have just boarded the plane, then nine hours later mention that you just landed. If you really want your child to understand the concept of a nine-hour flight, belt them into the car for nine-hours with nothing but a book and their DS. Go and have some you-time while they’re there. (I’m kidding of course!)

– Fearless flying: Discuss any fears they might have and help alleviate them. Explain the actual process of flying long haul: from when you arrive at the airport to when you exit at the other end. Look at the airline website and check out the planes. Some children will express a fear of being in a plane crash. Explain that there is more chance, statistically, of being kicked in the head by a donkey.

– Plane packing: Even young kids can be responsible for their own in-flight entertainment. Ask them to place the things they’d like to take with them on the bed. Then, together, go through what is portable, what they really need to take, what they should leave behind (like the family cat and their saxophone). Train them to travel light.

– Time adjustments: Stick to regular routines, let the kids sleep when they’re tired, and then deal with jetlag etc once you’re at the destination. Kids adjust quickly anyway.

– Relax… no really: Be excited and relaxed about the trip. Children take their cues from their parents.