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Kids & Pets

People worry about very young kids on planes but the simplest advice is just don’t. Everyone pays for their seat, right? Including you and your kid. Here’s a few tips and tricks to make the trip better for everyone.

  1. Talk it up, so the kids look forward to it. It’s not everyday we get on a plane. It’s exciting! Get them looking at pictures of planes and airports, inside and out, so they feel a bit like experts, before they even reach the airport.
  2. Talk it down, so they’re prepared. Most flights to New Zealand consist of at least two legs of at least 12 hours. Get them thinking about stuff they might do with – like – all the time in the world.
  3. Sort out their hand luggage. The young traveller will probably feel good if they’ve got their favourite little back pack, full of stuff just for them.
  4. Let them choose some of their stuff, so they feel in control. Pick out a big collection of things (more than you can take) that would all be tolerable for them to take on a plane. Then let the junior flyer pick out the things they like best that fit in their bag.
  5. Pack extra stuff in your own bag without telling them. Then, seven hours into a 12 hour flight: surprise! Rubik’s cube!
  6. Take your (kid’s) own snack food. Whatever grub the airline can or can’t do, there’s no substitute for the stuff you and your kid already know they like. A lunchbox full of their favourite snacks – administered carefully to make it last – can be a god-send.
  7. Pencils and paper are a must. Drawing, writing, making books. Origami! One rule: no darts or other missiles.
  8. Travel scrabble, and the like.
  9. A cheap digital or disposable camera and the mission to make a photo essay called “Journey to New Zealand.”
  10. 20 questions, and its variants: Talk to the animals (guess my animal); What’s my line? (guess my job).
  11. True or false? You’re allowed to say two things: one true and one false. Guess which is which?
  12. I spy. Especially good for protracted landing routines. Obvious limitations at 30 thousand feet, but there’s always room for creativity. You’d be amazed at the number of English words for “cloud”.
  13. Binoculars. The person who doesn’t like them hasn’t been born yet. First one to see New Zealand gets a pineapple lump. Or just spy on the guy on the other side of the plane. LINK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_Lumps
  14. Electronics. If your beloved young one has access to a phone or tablet, then a 24 hour flight is the perfect opportunity to cure – or cultivate – a lifelong addiction. We recommend 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
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