Flying with children

I have flown to many places around the world on both long haul and short haul flights and although I can’t say that I particularly enjoy flying I have been fairly lucky and never had too bad a flight.

The worst bit for me (aside from take off and landing) is the waiting around at the airport. To pass the time I like to people watch. There are certain types of travellers I spot and they have specific characteristics.

First time holiday maker – they arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before they need to only to find that duty free isn’t as exciting as they always thought it would be. After paying double the usual price for a Burger King they impatiently wait for their gate to be announced. On arrival at the gate there is no sitting down – oh no they need to queue! They need to be the first on the plane! It’s so exciting!

Frequent Flyer – these people breeze through the terminal at the last minute (they have perfected the art of packing everything into a carry on case) knowing exactly how long it will take them to get from security to their gate. Once there they don’t bother joining the long queue already forming, secretly laughing at those in it- they have the frequent flyer priority pass! When called to board they don’t rush, knowing full well they can skip the queue in the fast lane. They are cool, calm and collected.

Families – they have only been at the airport for half an hour and already they look harassed and in desperate need of the holiday they are about to embark upon. The children love this new playground and can’t understand why their parents want them to sit down. Running around is much more fun! “If you don’t sit down we are not going on holiday” becomes the airport slogan!

Now be honest, if you have travelled without children and you see a family with children at the airport you hope that they are not on your flight, don’t you? You give the parents a look of pity before heading to the bar. You smile indulgently when the children race around your seat pretenting to be an aeroplane. You smile sweetly at the infant asleep in its mother’s arms. But deep down you really hope that they are not on your flight.

I did! However, in just over a week I am going to be a family flyer! So I am sorry for giving looks of pity and hoping that the family of 6 behind me in the security line would be heading in the opposite direction. I really am sorry.

I am also sorry in advance for the chaos that my toddler will no doubt cause on the 4 hour flight to Turkey! I’m sure I’m about to get some payback!

image credit –

5 thoughts on “Flying with children

  1. For me, I’ve never particularly liked flying with kids – it’s rough. Especially small ones that you can’t reason with (i.e. sub-2-year-olds). They don’t understand why they can’t get up, they don’t understand why for the 5th hour in a row they’re still in a seat, and they’ve got a ton of bizarre feelings around flying that are tough to understand.

    We only fly where completely necessary. Otherwise, we go for taking the train – as it’s been magic for the kids, and so much easier on the parents:


  2. You will be fine, we’ve flown several times with our little girl & I just think planning is key- I.e. Packing lots of distractions!! Have a fab time xx


  3. Glad to hear the trip went well!

    Knowing the personality of our child and planning for a trip with him/her in mind can make a plane ride much more enjoyable. If we (the parents) are feeling stressed out our kids pick up on that energy and so no matter what we do, they will not be at their best. On the other hand, when we have the mindset that we are calm, prepared, and ready to have fun it makes a huge difference.

    Traveling with children can be exhilarating and education for all involved–but different children (and parents) do better with different types of trips. I suggest listening to your Internal Guidance System to help you know when, where, and what types of travel will work for your family.


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