How to Survive a Flight with a Preschooler – Part 2

How to Survive a Flight with a Preschooler

Here comes Part 2!!! For anyone who missed Part 1, this post was inspired by my fruitless search for tips on taking preschoolers on long haul flights. Advice specifically for preschoolers was difficult to come by so I decided to bring everything I discovered and put it in one place. Here you go …


Things To Do

You’ll know best what’ll entertain your pre-schooler but here’s what we took – endless sticker books, pipecleaners, mini pack of lego, story books, little Disney figurines, crayons and paper, water pens, character magazines and the odd small, plastic party bag toy like a spinning top.


Little Gifts

I used tissue paper to wrap most of the little trinkets we took so that any time Wonderboy looked a little restless he was allowed to choose a surprise. Remember to pack enough for the way home as well!



This was a lifesaver. Any morals you have about screen time will go right out the window when faced with the prospect of a toddler meltdown at 30,000ft. Load it up in advance with their favourite TV shows, DVDs and games.


Toddler Earphones

While children’s earphone were provided on our flight, they were awful so I was glad we had our own. The novelty of wearing them provided some distraction and we got a good 20mins out of decorating them with stickers. Happy days!


Familiar Things

We took Wonderboy’s teddy, his own blanket and his own juice cup. It was nice to have some familiar things when everything else was so new.



Yes, they’re bulky and the way they open up is a bit awkward when you’re squashed in an aeroplane seat but we were still glad we’d invested in one. Wonderboy loved it and it provided some much needed entertainment when we were delayed 3.5hrs (see next tip below!). Also, while we took our buggy to the gate, we didn’t get it back until luggage collection after immigration. The trunki meant my wee tired boy had something to sit on while queueing and since we’d been on the go for over 16hrs by that point, we were hugely thankful for it.


Be Prepared for a Delay

You arrive at the airport 2hrs before your flight only to be told it’s delayed 3.5hrs – it’s enough to strike fear into the heart of any parent with little ones. All I could think of was – I do not have enough stickers for this! Anyway, lesson learnt – always have extra snacks and entertainment on hand. You might want to pop into a restaurant to burn some time and get some ‘real’ food but remember to keep receipts in case you can claim the cost back. (Also, if you’re delayed more than 3hrs look into claiming compensation from the airline. Martin Lewis at Money Saving Expert has great advice here).
And that’s it – I’m all out of ideas. What do you do to survive flights or long journeys with your little ones? Pop your suggestions in the comments below. We stressed out at the thought but it was totally fine. Wonderboy thoroughly enjoyed it – from having his own seat and getting a picnic dinner, to seeing clouds through the window and having his own TV, it was all just another adventure. So, sit back, relax and enjoy your flight!

Have a wonderful holiday x



  1. 1


    Oh thanks so much for this post- I really enjoyed reading this as we are off on a long haul flight in January. The most before this one we have done is 4 hours so I really need these tips- we are really quite nervous!

    • 2

      Lorna says

      Hope you’re off somewhere exciting?!

      We were super nervous too but it was much, much better than we thought. By the time you take off, maybe play with something, then they bring drinks round which Wonderboy thought was like having a picnic, some tv then before you know it they’re bringing the main meal and you’re half way!

      Happy holidays x

  2. 3


    I remember taking Agent M from Glasgow to London when he was 2 and i decided NEVER AGAIN! I was going through a really bad time with PND and the whole time was miserable. Maybe if i wasn’t solo it would have been easier to handle but after that i couldn’t bare to fly anywhere with him. When he was 5 we took the train down (my mum lives in England) and i actually found that alot less stressful (even though it went from an hour flight to a 6 hour train ride).

    Wish i had some of this advice back then. There are some amazing ideas in here

    • 4

      Lorna says

      Thanks so much for your kind comments Sarah-Jane. I agree it must be easier when there’s two adults to one child – then you can tag team them! We haven’t tried Wonderboy on a train yet but when you factor in not having to go through security with no liquids etc then it does sound appealing. I hope your first flying experience hasn’t put you off too much x


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