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Flying with children

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Being 37,000 feet locked inside a plane with bored children is surely everyone’s idea of hell? Long haul travelling with kids fills me with dread. It’s already been a long day with travelling to the airport, getting through to the departure lounge and then waiting for that flight. Even worse if there are delays. You hope so much that they will spend most of the flight asleep but in reality they’re too excited to sleep and every 5 minutes your asked if you’re nearly there.

This is where you must be armed with boredom busters. I always over pack hand luggage. Providing enough items to keep them occupied no matter the length of the flight. Snacks are just as important and are cheaper brought from home than bought at the airport. As long as liquids are less than 100 ml you are fine to take them through security. Just make sure once you reach your destination that your food items are either declared or binned before leaving the plane.

While in-flight entertainment is great we have had some past flights where the selection for children both young and old was shockingly bad.
If you or your child have a tablet it is best to preload it with movies and shows that your child will love. Some flights now have Wi-Fi on board which can give you an hour or two of quiet while they watch a movie or play games on a tablet.

But when the in-flight entertainment, preloaded tablet or Wi-Fi is no longer arousing interest it really is time to unpack the over packed hand luggage.

Here are 7 items I always have packed.


For me this is the best thing to ever be invented. My children have hours of fun with this and its great to see their creative masterpieces.
As it doesn’t create too much mess and is easy to clean away its the one thing I take on every flight. Pull down the tray table and let the kids play and create.

Crayola travel set

If like my children yours like to draw and colour then this is a really great item to take on board a flight. Filled with paper and so many different colour markers its compact and keeps everything tidy and in one place.


While I don’t allow the kids to just stick them in any old place and turn the inside of the plane in to a shiny stickered paradise I like to get them to use paper and create pictures and scenes. I usually stock up on stickers from the local pound shops or hobbycraft.

Character playing cards

These are great for any age. With my oldest we can play actual card games and get competitive. Winner gets something from the duty free trolley! While with my youngest we can play snap or the matching pairs games. Most of the time these card games come with instructions for other games to play and its great to just pull down the tray table and have a game or two.

Water Magic

Mess free and a lot of fun these little water magic books are easy to put into hand luggage and get out on board. We fill the water pen in the bathroom and the kids have lots of fun revealing the pictures with the pen. What I love most about these is that they are reusable so great to be used on the flight back too.

Orchard mini games

I think we own nearly every one of these mini games. Packed small and full of fun its easy to have them packed in your hand luggage. Not just for fun on the plane these can also be used at home or while on your holidays. Some of our favourites include little bug bingo, spiders and spouts and llamas in pyjamas. I always pack our favourites and buy new released ones for our next trip.

Hasbro travel games

From guess who to monopoly, Hasbro travel games have a range to suit everyone in the family. Hours of fun can be had with their mini sized games. We especially love their connect 4 and battleships but their travel sized hungry hippo’s have to been seen.

As well as packing the above I also like to make sure we have plenty of writing books, drawing paper, crayons and felt tips. Little figures, dolls and cars are also good to pack as they are small and allow the kids to be imaginative.

We can also make up our own fun with hangman, word searches, quizzes and if you are creative try out origami shapes and animals.
Eye spy is always a great game. If your travelling with toddlers try changing the letter to a colour.

As long as your prepared and armed with a selection of boredom busting products any flight no matter how long or short will be easy and enjoyable.

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