Sometimes, people go on long haul flights to have a holiday and sometimes they have to take them because of family or work commitments. A flight from London to Singapore, for example, can last almost 14-and-a-half hours. Obviously, round the world flights can be tiring, stressful and boring, especially for children. There are a number of steps that you can take to make the journey easier.
All major airlines offer in-flight entertainment, including a selection of films, music or audio books. On some flights you can listen to the airline’s radio broadcasts or challenge fellow passengers to a variety of games, such as Battleship or Poker or, if you prefer to play alone, you can play Solitaire or do a trivia quiz, for example.
Keeping the children happy
Toddlers are usually the most difficult to amuse as they have shorter attention spans, but a range of diversions ready to swap around will help. If they are used to having a special teddy or favourite books then bring them along; a selection of familiar stories can be useful, even though you will probably be expected to read them aloud, but they can also look at the pictures. Drawing and writing materials can keep a child of any age amused for a long time and, if they’re old enough, puzzle books such as word searches or crosswords can be great, too.
Travel games, like magnetic Ludo, or a pack of cards are a great way to keep older children entertained and for all ages, a collection of small toys to play with on the tray is ideal; books or rolls of stickers can be brought for when they are tired of other things. These days, electronic toys, such as handheld games consoles are available and, if your child has a favourite film or TV show, a portable DVD player will enable you to play that instead of the in-flight selection. If all else fails, a game of I-Spy or Noughts and Crosses might work.
Adults get bored too
If you are travelling without children, or are still awake and bored once they have fallen asleep, there are a number of options open to you beyond the in-flight entertainment. Many people bring a ‘holiday book’, a brand new book bought for the occasion; one written by a favourite author would minimize the risk of disappointment, but don’t dismiss the thought of taking an old book you already know you love. An alternative is to load up an e-reader with stories old and new. Newspapers and magazines are a useful resource as, once you’ve finished the articles, there are often puzzles you can do.
Always bring a pen, pencil and paper, because you never know when you might start writing that novel, your memoirs or even a diary to help you write your travel blog when you get home. Don’t forget that cards and travel games are not just for children; indeed, there are many games for handheld consoles or smart phones that will keep you amused for hours. Just make sure you download plenty of apps before you go. And of course, you can always chat with your fellow travellers!
The last thing you need when you’re travelling is extra stress to go with the panic of remembering how to ask for directions in Swahili or worrying about whether you've packed a travel iron, but if you keep the children entertained, then a potentially large problem has been diverted. Whatever you decide to bring, just remember to pack it for the long haul flight home too! Ashton David is a freelance writer and travel expert.
In For the Long Haul: Top Tips for Getting Through Long Distance Flights Reviewed by The Backpack Man on 8:50:00 PM Rating: