Travelling with children
Polarn O. Pyret marketing director, Petra, describes her family's Christmas trip to Malaysian Borneo. She shares some tips and tricks on what to think about before, during and after a trip.
Our adventure is getting closer - we are going to go to Malaysian Borneo with all our family over Christmas and New Year. The children now feel old enough, 7 and 9, for such a long journey. We grown-ups are looking forward to lazy days on the beach and exciting excursions into the rain forest. The children are thinking about what will happen on Christmas Eve, will they get any presents, what kind of Christmas sweets will there be and how will Granny and Granddad fare back home? And who is going to look after Plutten (our hamster)?
Travelling with children is absolutely fantastic, you get to experience the world through their curiosity and joy. But it can also be a challenge, not least on long haul flights with young children.
It can be difficult for children to imagine the journey and they say that a big part of the pleasure of travelling is the expectations ahead of the trip. I therefore tried to involve the children as much as I possibly could before we left.
Advice ahead of a trip:
- Check out images of your travel destination (google images).
- Explain your travel plans for each day in detail.
- Investigate if there are any TV programmes, YouTube clips or similar you can watch together.
- Give your children a travel allowance in the local currency before the trip, foreign money is exciting.
- Involve your children in the packing, particularly hand baggage.
- Buying a new book or new game for the journey is a good idea.
Our flight took nearly 24 hours, including three stops. It went surprisingly well, although long haul flights with children are always hard work. They can easily get ants in their pants and want to run around or become overcome with tiredness.
Advice ahead of a flight:
- Let children decide on their own hand baggage.
- A backpack as hand baggage is the best choice as there can be long walks between transfers at airports. Make sure they don't pack too much, otherwise it might be too heavy for a small child to carry.
- Don't forget to pack their favourite cuddle toy and books, tablet, maybe a new comic, games and puzzles.
- Airline food is not always that good, so take some “emergency provisions”.
- It can be cold onboard the aircraft, not least when you are trying to sleep, we usually tale cosy long pants, tops with longsleeves and a hoodie. If you are travelling to a hot country, it can be a great idea to pack shorts and T-shirt to change into before landing, otherwise it can be a bit sweaty.
- Always pack a change of clothes – bags can go walkabout and other incidents can easily occur.
- Psst… don't forget to make sure you as a parent also get some sleep during the flight.