In Mamamia’s Parenting Hacks series, real women share their tips and tricks on everything from meal prep to organisation to nailing the morning routine.
This week, Mamamia’s Family Writer Laura Jackel shares her hacks for travelling long-haul with kids.
I have just returned from a trip to see my family in the UK and while this is not the first time I have flown long haul with my kids; it has been five years between journeys.
The outgoing flight to London with a quick layover in Singapore was challenging, but the excitement and novelty factor of our imminent adventure made up for it.
We all managed some sleep on the plane and the tearful greetings and tight hugs on arrival were wonderful. I loved making up for lost time and seeing my kids reconnect with their British family in the sunshine.
Watch: The horoscopes at the airport. Post continues below.
But after a joyful and hectic three weeks, we returned home at 1am on Sunday morning after 32 hours of exhausting travel. We had snacks, showers and then collapsed into bed. The long journey back home again was less adventurous and more arduous. We think the cat was happy to see us.
I last experienced the epic journey to London with a nine-month-old baby and an eight-year-old, and I can say without a doubt that long haul travel with a five-year-old and an 11-year-old is MUCH easier.
There were still a few tears of frustration at being squashed, overtired and bored, but the kids handled it all pretty well and I didn’t experience the constant crushing anxiety about my baby waking up and screaming for hours.
Overall, our trip was a success, but every time I travel I learn something new.
If you’re planning an overseas trip with your kids soon, here are seven of my most recent learnings on the whole long haul travel experience in 2022.