Travel Tips

Long haul flights with a toddler: Five things to keep in your hand luggage

If you’re about to take a long-haul flight with your toddler, you might understandably be feeling a little bit wary. We are fresh from having taken two long-haul flights with our little girl, now 20 months old, to Tokyo from London and back again, and so have a few tips that might just help you when it comes to preparing for the journey!

Here are five things to take on-board if you’re flying long-haul with a toddler.

1. Snacks

We armed ourselves with a bagful of snacks, ranging from quick-wins that we knew our little girl would love (bananas) to time-consuming snacks that take a while to get through, like raspberry flavour, low-sugar cookies from Little Dish. These particular cookies had the dual bonus of being a tasty snack but also fun for our little girl, who loves sorting at the moment, to transfer in and out of the bag!

2. Headphones

The headphones that you get on planes are no good for toddlers. Firstly, they don’t really fit very well, and secondly, there’s no easy way to control volume. We purchased some Kidz Gear volume limiting headphones and our little girl used them on the plane and on the train while we were in Japan. They fitted comfortably on her head, were soft for her little ears, and we found it easy to control the volume.

3. Apps

If you’re lucky, your flight will offer a decent entertainment system. On BA, we had Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig, and Tom and Jerry, all of which kept our little one fascinated for various chunks of time! However, it’s good to have a back-up, just in case the system is down or for other periods of travelling during your trip. We downloaded a free nursery rhymes app that was perfect for keeping our little girl occupied during the flight, on the train, and in the battle to keep her awake on the first day after landing to stave off jetlag!

4. New toys

We would recommend taking a mixture of favourite toys and new toys that your little one has never seen before. The favourite toys will be a comfort to your little one, and the new toys will be a novelty, and therefore likely to grab their attention. You can pick up little cheap toys from the likes of Ikea before you head off and simply hide them in your hand luggage.

5. Favourite bedtime toy

If you want to encourage sleep during your long-haul flight which, let’s face it, you will, then it helps to have a favourite bedtime cuddly toy at your disposal. Your little one will hopefully associate sleep with the toy once they have it in their arms, and it should help with the battle to get them to get some rest!

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