Start of menu
Search United Kingdom website
Close Menu
  • Share

Being blessed with beautiful children does not mean your holidays are limited to your country – or even your continent. Armed with top tips from well-travelled parents, Claire Spreadbury reveals how to go long haul with little people

Every parent needs a good holiday from time to time, but in a bid to avoid the pain of a long, stressful flight, many of us choose to stay closer to home – limiting our enjoyment and our children’s experiences. But anyone who’s loaded the whole family and their luggage into the car of late will tell you that driving to the seaside can be just as stressful as flying to Barbados, if not more. All it takes is a bit of preparation, and you’ll be good to go.

Sitting comfortably? My personal top tip is, in fact, taking the car seat on the plane with you. This may sound strange, but my little ones always sleep well in the car, so it makes sense they’ll do the same on the flight if they’re in the same seat. Just be sure to check the airline’s website for specifications so you can see if your seat’s the right size for the plane.

Baby-proofing “If you’re thinking of moving on from breastfeeding to bottles, time this for after your trip,” says mum-of-two Emily Shelley. “I wish I had. Instead, I started bottle-feeding about three weeks before flying from London to Canada with a nine-month-old, and spent the whole flight attempting to make up formula. Take a change of top for yourself in your hand luggage, too, and double the amount of baby wipes and snacks you think you’ll need!”

In the bag “Colouring and puzzle books, e-readers and magazines are all essential items for the flight. Invest in a good kids’ rucksack with pockets for crayons and snacks,” says regular flyer Hannah Stephenson, mum to Grace and William. “Before you leave, make new playlists for iPods and iPads, and download games that two can play on one tablet.”

Creature comforts “As a mother who has travelled to Australia and New Zealand several times, usually on my own with two pre-schoolers, I would advise booking the first leg of a journey overnight,” says Josie Clarke. “Try and check in first too, then you can request the bulkhead seat, which has a bassinet where baby can sleep and extra leg room for your bag. For food, take one decent-sized carry-on bag filled entirely with things that your children actually like to eat, then be sure to pre-book the children’s meal option.”

Present perfect “I found it really handy to buy some surprise toys, which you can bring out during the flight to keep them entertained,” says mum to one-year-old Ollie, Kate Whiting. “Nothing too noisy, obviously. Books are great for all ages or, for little ones, try a new glove puppet or an activity block.”

Stop worrying “Don’t overthink it!” urges blogger Corrina Stone, who has five children. “If you do, it will overwhelm you, and you won’t bother going anywhere.”

Convinced? Make that great escape with fantastic deals on long-haul flights now

  • Share

Hotel Offers

Worldwide deals and discounts for American Express Cardmembers

ABTA Member
American Express Europe LLC (AEELLC) trading as American Express Travel, Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom is a member of ABTA (ABTA number C4330) and ATOL (ATOL number 0151). Being a member of ABTA (ABTA number C4330) means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct and this allows you to book with confidence. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier goes out of business or is no longer able to provide the intended holiday. Other services such as hotels or flights on their own may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available. American Express’s ABTA membership does not cover cruise bookings and should therefore not be relied upon when booking cruises or cruise packages. These bookings are covered by our third-party provider, ICE Cruise’s ABTA membership (ABTA number L6366). Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are also protected by the ATOL scheme, this ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: Please contact us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.
Your secure session will be closed due to inactivity. Would you like to extend your session?
Your login has expired. Would you like to re-login?
Your American Express login has expired and you must login again to continue.