Our family of four booked our very first family vacation to Bali and Perth for 3 weeks in August. It was our first real trip since the kids were born, which also means our first time on an airplane. it’s the longest flight that we have ever taken. I did get nervous thinking about our long journey, but hey, I can think of a lot of things more challenging than traveling on a long flight with 2 toddlers. They are 3 and 20 months by the way. Our total flight time to Bali was 25 hours and flying back from Perth, Australia to NY was 30 hours, which includes a 5 hour layover.
Just arrived at the airport for takeoff, it was 11pm at night.
Naturally, while traveling with vegetarian kids, my biggest concern was food. I wanted our kids to eat at least one healthy meal a day so we opted for accommodations equipped with a kitchen. I also wanted to make sure we had enough food for the kids to eat during the flight in case they weren’t use to airplane food. didn’t want to eat the airplane food. Some of the food on the airplane turned out quite tasty. During snack time, they had a vegan ramen (probably not very healthy) but it tasted heavenly on the plane.
Veggie Stew with fruits for Breakfast
Masala Chickpea with Roti
Best Vegan Ramen Ever!
We brought fruits, nuts, seeds and bread onto the plane. It worked out quite well as my kids ate it happily. They ended up eating only a few bites of the airplane food, so I am glad that I packed lots of healthy food options for them to eat.
We packed lots of fruits and nuts (I know…way too much plastic!)
We also made sure that we had a good amount of toys for the boys to play with. A few books, toy cars and trains. This kept them nicely entertained. My older son spent a lot of time watching cartoons on the plane. I have one rule when flying which is there are no rules. Kids can watch as much tv as they liked, hey, whatever it takes to keep them from crying. We also downloaded some cartoons onto our iPad for the boys to watch as well. My younger son couldn’t watch the cartoons too long though, so we had to keep him entertain with the toys we packed.
I also highly recommend bringing a stroller to the airport. This was really helpful because it helped contain our child in one area so they are not running all over the place. Strollers are also nice because you can hang your diaper bag on it as well. You don’t even need to check your stroller in. An agent will pick it up from you right when you board the plane and return it to you once you get off the plane. This was very nice and convenient. You can bring any kind of stroller that you want to the airport. If you for some unknown reason want to bring it onto the plane then it needs to be fully collapsible. If you have 2 small children, 1 stroller is enough, the other child can just be in a carrier or sit in the airport carts. Some airports even provide strollers that you can borrow for free. We decided to bring 2 strollers to the airport, this turned out to be totally unnecessary, as we did not end up using the second stroller.
Hong Kong Airport(layover)
We try to squeeze in a green juice whenever we can.
When having a long flight, it is helpful to stick in a long layover, minimally 2 days. That way the children can explore a new place and rest up before heading back on the plane again. I would also book the night flight if possible, so that the toddlers can be mostly asleep on the plane. It’s always nice when they are asleep even if not on the plane. We didn’t get a chance to have a long layover, but it sure would have been less chaotic for everyone.
Here is a list of what I packed onto the plane
Nuts and seeds
Lollipop (this is for my older son to suck on during takeoff and landing to reduce ear pressure). Didn’t really need this though. They were usually asleep during those times.
When we landed in Bali, it was absolutely paradise. I was glad that we had packed some quinoa, lentils, spices, coconut oil spray, small knife and cutting board. You definitely want to bring your own knife and cutting board. I wasn’t sure how clean the knife and the cutting board were at the accommodations. I was worried about cross-contamination with any meats that might have been used on. The coconut oil spray was super convenient, didn’t need to worry about it leaking out in the luggage. We brought enough quinoa and lentils to last us a few days in case we didn’t go food shopping right away. When we did go shopping at the markets, we bought an abundance of fruits. Kids loved it. They also ate a lot of bread with nut butters. These are really good healthy convenience food. We also brought food containers which we used to store the ingredients during travel and for leftovers when we cooked. Those came in really handy. Overall, traveling on a long flight with 2 toddlers turned out surprisingly well, albeit with a few tantrums here and there.
Walkway to the villa. We stayed at Eden residence at the sea in Bali.
Heading out for a morning stroll along the beach.