Our eldest child has flown a lot in his four years of life and we flew our first long-haul flight to see family in the States when he was four months old. He's always been a great traveller and we have certainly been thankful of the fact! There was just one trip where we had a very difficult time with him. It was another flight to the States and he was around the age of one. There was very loud crying, we were those people and it was not fun for my husband and I!
With our daughter, we didn't fly out to the States until the end of last year when she had recently turned one. Remembering our one bad experience with our generally happy travelling son, we dreaded the journey with our daughter at the same age and rightly so. Normally when you expect the worst, it can only be better. Not so in this case! She is quite different in personality to our son and there was nothing at all that would keep her happy during the ten hour flight and of course she refused to nap.
Having those experiences behind us, I can conclude that the most difficult age to travel with, is around the age of one. It is probably from around ten months to the age of two. At this stage, these are children on the move in one way or another, they don't like sitting still. They are too old to simply eat and sleep. They are too young to really do anything or be engaged in much of an activity for very long. They want action, not naps. They want to explore and not be constrained in an infant seatbelt.
After the long-haul flight with the two children, we've flown one other time, earlier this year. Thankfully it was just a two-hour flight and we managed to keep our one-year old mostly happy with dragging out lunch on the plane and doing some walks up and down the aisles.
Next week we will take a three hour flight and the time of it means our daughter will likely miss out on her usual post-lunchtime nap. It could be a long three hour flight but we will have grandparents with us too so hopefully the extra pairs of hands will make it easier. Even so, wish me luck! I am going to read over a couple of my old travel related posts: 10 toddler entertainment ideas for long journeys and Toddler travel tips.
Do you agree that around the age of one is the most difficult age for journeys, based on your own travel experiences with your children? Maybe it's more about aeroplane journeys specifically because they are more likely to fall asleep in a moving car? What do you think?