How To Keep Your Children Happy In-Flight

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Flying may become a daunting task for parents out there especially with younger children. There are many ways to keep them content and unsurprisingly, one of the easiest ways to do this while flying is to keep them entertained. A bored child can become a restless child, which can result in a lot of disruption and even tears, which can not only disrupt your flight, but also the passengers around you. While many passengers are likely to be understanding, especially if they have children themselves, there are some passengers that may not take too kindly to a crying and screaming child close by – especially on a long-haul flight. Here, we’ve put together a list of tactics and ideas to help you battle through your flight.

Split The Flight Into Sections

Children are known for their short attention spans and can get bored of playing or watching things quickly. The best way to tackle this challenge is by splitting your flight up into sections. Usually 15 minutes is an adequate amount of time for each stage, depending on how long the flight is. Once you’ve packed your clothes, an EHIC for each family member if you’re travelling to Europe, and the essentials, make sure to also pack some entertainment for your child!

Make sure to keep a close eye on how your child is interacting with toys and games they have on board the flight, in order to determine the best time to switch their attention span to something else. You don’t want to trigger a tantrum by taking away what they’re most interested in. A benefit to planning your trip like this is in the likely event they fall asleep you will still have tons of things for your child to enjoy when they wake from their nap.

Watch A Film

On long-haul flights you should benefit from an in-built TV in the back of an airplane seat, but on short haul flights, for example across Europe, you should make sure to pack a portable DVD player or an electronic device such as a tablet. There is no better idea then filling up your device with a mix of cartoons and films. Netflix also offer a downloadable feature, so you can enjoy all of the best films and shows your kids love, without even being connected to the internet!


Playing games is also a great way to keep them happy while wasting a bit of time. Playing games such as eye spy is great because you don’t need to pack anything extra. However, things such as playing cards are also a great idea as they can be easily packed and there are hundreds of games you can play. You may also be able to purchase miniature board games, such as Snakes & Ladders, Tac Toe and Ludo, which can provide you with hours of endless fun for you and your child – because who doesn’t like winning, right?

Mobile Games

Every adult is likely to have a smartphone with them for the trip, and in some cases, you may even have a laptop or a tablet with you too. Make sure to download some fun and exiting games for your child to enjoy should they become board of the first two options. However, be sure that you do not need to access the internet to progress past a certain level, or to even play the game in the first place, in order to avoid all chances of a full-blown meltdown.


Make sure that you don’t forget to pick up a few snacks at the airport if you want to save a few pennies or allow your child to pick from the menu on-board the flight. This sense of responsibility could help your child to behave and eat their meal properly. However, try to avoid too many sweets as a hyper child isn’t always the most promising for other passengers on the plane.

Keeping your child content doesn’t have to be a difficult task on an aeroplane. Ensure that you are fully engaging your child in all of their favourite things to do and keeping them entertained, and you’ll find that the flight will whizz by.