Search icon

Travel + Fun

18th Oct 2019

Jetting off for midterm? 5 secrets for flying long-haul with babies and children

Trine Jensen-Burke

flying long-haul with babies and children

Spending midterm (or the Christmas holidays) somewhere far away from home?

Going on holidays with your family can be a lovely experience, although some parents find travelling long-haul with young children in tow a bit daunting. However, we always believe in calling in the experts for advice, and Nessa Hurley, from independent travel company Travel Counsellors Ireland, has a few top tips up her sleeve to help make travelling long-haul with young children that little bit easier.

Here are her five top tips for flying long-haul with babies and children:

Be prepared

Always be prepared for the unexpected whilst travelling – pack at least two changes of clothes, underwear or nappies in your carry on for the kids. Accidents seem to be more likely to happen when you are under pressure and the kids are out of their comfort zones.

When you arrive at your destination be prepared for all types of weather. I would recommend packing some warm clothes and a light rain-coat, especially in countries where shopping is not as accessible. I would also recommend packing some medicine and a small first aid kit as it may not always be easy to find a pharmacy when you have travelled long-haul.

As you are so far away from home, it is a good idea to pack some extra essentials which you and your child rely on as their home comforts – formula, milk bottle, soothers, favourite toy/comforter – at least if you lose something, you know you have extra supplies with you.

Book the right flight to suit your family

Don’t go for the cheapest flight if it involves a long stopover in an airport – it’s just not worth it. For a long-haul flight, at Travel Counsellors, we would recommend booking an overnight flight – this way your kids will have an easier time falling asleep.

It is important to keep your bedtime routine when in flight too – change them into their pyjamas, get them to brush their teeth and let them travel off to the land of nod.

Pull out the snacks

Sometimes food is the answer to everything, so pack a mix of savoury treats and healthy snacks for when you are travelling. Beware though to try and stick to savoury snacks – too much sugar can cause over-excitement, as most parents know, and this may not work if you want your child to sleep on the flight, so try to keep it balanced.

While on the topic of food, try to stick to a diet that your children are used to when travelling long-haul. Of course, it is good to encourage them to try new flavours and food, but be careful as a total change in diet could end up in sick tummies.


Long-haul trips have lots of inflight entertainment and new movies to keep kids entertained. If you have an iPad that your child likes to watch, make sure to download their favourite shows in advance of travelling so that they are ready to watch in the air.

Before you go, invest in a pair of earphones which cover your children’s ears. These are handy, especially for long-haul flights, not only for when your kids are watching their favourite movies but also to block out the noise of the plane which can be a distraction for younger kids.

Pro tip

I would highly recommend to always have a contact number for your travel agent on your phone. You may not always have access to Wi-Fi or your email and in the event of an emergency or if your plans change unexpectedly it would give you peace of mind to know they are only a phone call away.

If you and your family are interested in travelling long-haul this year, contact Travel Counsellors Ireland today to help you choose the perfect holiday to suit you.