For more people, flying with kids is a necessary evil for a family vacation. It can be intimidating, and often make some families rethink going on vacation. If you are flying with kids, you may find that a night flight works best for your family. But flying at night, when you are relying on the fact that your children will sleep can be either a nightmare or a breeze. We recently flew cross-country at night, and weren’t going to land at our destination until 10pm local time (1am our time). It was essential that our little ones sleep, and with a little bit of preparation up front, they actually did! Remember that despite your best planning, things don’t always go as planned. So be mentally prepared for the fact that they may not sleep and that you’ll be dealing with a tired kid for your first day. Here are some tips for flying with kids at night.
Flying with Kids at Night
Bring Along The Right Items
I packed a small backpack for each child with the following:
- A set of cheap headphones for iPads and on-board televisions
- A kids’ fleece blanket with eye mask (purchased in the travel section of Target)
- A kids’ neck pillow
- An iPad
Even if it’s warm out, planes can be cold, so having a blanket is essential. I also had them wear comfortable clothes that could double as pajamas. That way, they were completely comfortable and were more likely to sleep.
Tire Them Out
If you can get your kids’ energy out before flying, it can definitely make them more sleepy for the flight. Take them to a playground, or do some other sort of physical activity so they are nice and tired.
After snacks and drinks were served on the plane, I told my children that it was bedtime. We shut the window shade, and turned the televisions off. I set them each up with their blanket and pillow, and guess what? Within 15 minutes they were fast asleep, and didn’t wake up until it was time to land. Kids seem to be able to sleep anywhere, and they are able to get comfortable much easier than adults. I also wanted to sleep on this flight, but couldn’t get myself comfortable enough to sleep for any extended period of time.
I think preparing them in advance, as well as supplying them with everything they needed to be comfortable, was the key to making sure they slept.
What tips do you have to making flying with kids at night easier?