07 Apr

ABTA’s top tips for keeping little ones – and big kids – occupied on flights

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport introduced additional airline security measures on some routes travelling to the UK. Passengers on inbound flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, now have to check any phones, laptops and tablets larger than a standard smartphone (specifically: Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm) into checked baggage. Many airlines have also started to phase out inflight entertainment, so it is even more important to find alternative ways to entertain children.

Many of us rely on our devices to provide inflight entertainment for children – and ourselves! ABTA’s Lizzie Andrews casts her mind back to a time before screens and shares her top six ways to amuse ourselves on long journeys.

1.       Write your destination ‘things to do’ wish list

A fun way to get excited for a holiday is choosing fun activities to see and do in your destination guide book and then making a wish list. Get your children contribute to your holiday itinerary by asking them to collect ideas and share with the family. Travelling home? How many items on your list did you do – and what are you saving for next time!

2.       Check out the inflight entertainment

With many flights having phased out Inflight entertainment, it has come on a long way in recent years. Many airlines have will have activity packs for kids so ask a steward what they have available. You can also check out inflight entertainment options on your airline or travel company’s website before you travel and make plans for your journey.

3.       Colouring books

Colouring books are a great opportunity to distract from not having an electronic device and they’re not just for kids! Adult colouring books have been a hot trend in recent years and it’s not surprising when you look at the benefits. Colouring takes the mind into a ‘flow’ state and time can pass more quickly when this happens; therefore they are a great option to keep you or your children entertained on flights.

4.       Read a book

When else do you have time to get stuck into a good book? There are numerous recommendations for children’s book which can keep young children entertained on flights, the ABTA team’s favourites include: The Hungry Caterpillar, Winnie the Witch, Where the Wild Things Are, Green Eggs and Ham or The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

5.       Pack a pen… and some paper

There are a number of great pen and paper games to keep children big and small entertained. To name a few, the name game, battleships, hangman, consequences, chatterbox and noughts and crosses. So remember to pack some pen and paper in your cabin bag.

6.       Go for a walk

It’s a good idea to stretch your legs – especially on a longer flight. You’ll want to avoid walking around when food and drink is being served, and you’ll need to stay in your seat when the seatbelt sign is on but there are real health benefits to keeping moving during a long flight so take a circuit or two.

If you found this blog helpful, check our other blog: Top tips on travelling with kids which explains some of the essentials parents need throughout their holiday.