Teen conservationist, Bindi Irwin, knows a bit about flying with kids long haul. Since infancy she has been jetsetting around the globe for media appearances and television shows with her mother, Terri, brother Robert (10) and her (now deceased) famous father, the crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. Now aged 15, Bindi says flying with kids only gets easier as they get older. She shares her tips for surviving long distance flights with kids, from a kids’ perspective.

This February saw us travelling to Oregon, USA for some time to visit Mum’s side of the family. It was brilliant to be travelling back to Mum’s hometown and have the opportunity to catch up with everyone.

Travelling across the globe is no easy feat, especially for our Mum with two kids, but to be quite honest, the flight from Australia to America is not that tricky. For us, over the years we got older and therefore it got easier with the passing of time for Mum to travel with us back and forth to the US. When we were younger she always travelled with a bag filled with snacks, clothes and games for us to play. However, these days we really look forward to the flight.

Some people think of the flight from Australia to America as an epic journey. Let me just tell you right now…that’s not true. As a family we love the plane flight. From Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles, America, the flight time is anywhere between 12 to 14 hours. And it’s great! We honestly have the best time because all you have to do is sit! You get to sleep and eat and watch movies. You see, we hardly ever go to the movie theatre because we are always so busy at Australia Zoo. Which means when we get into the plane we truly look forward to watching all the newest films that we never got a chance to see.

My only real suggestion when flying in America is to make sure you are prepared before you enter security in the airports. Often, you don’t have much time to get organised when you enter a security line because everyone is in a great rush. And there’s nothing worse than getting in the way of a hurried traveller, trust me!

So, a few things to remember: First of all, do yourself a favour and think ahead by placing all of the liquids you have with you in a Ziploc bag. They have Ziploc bags in the airport, but you don’t want to try and be finding all of your chapstick, hand cleaner and moisturiser while you’re in line. Not fun.

Also, wear a good pair of shoes that are easy to slip on and off. This is the one time in life where your combat boots with the millions of laces do not come in handy. On the positive side, if you’re travelling with your kids and they are under 12 years old like my brother, they don’t need to remove their shoes. That’s super handy for all the parents out there as it’s one less thing to think about.

Finally, keep in the back of your head that you will need to take your laptop computer out of your bag (if you have one). I’ve accidently left mine in before and it slightly irritates the security officers.

As a family we try to help each other out as much as possible with remembering everything because the rules in American airports are slightly different to Australian airports.

Oh! And when you’re travelling internationally please try hard not to forget your passport anywhere. That complicates things majorly. Trust me.

If you have to fill time between flights because of a long unexpected layover, don’t stress. There’s a surprising lot that you can do while waiting in the airport. Why not grab a snack or buy a book to pass the time? We also love finding a charging station, which they have in most airports, so your iPhone or your kid’s iPod is prepared for the next long flight. It may even be smart to see if the airport has free wifi to download a new game app to keep kids happy.

We actually think that airports can be fun, especially because we have spent so many hours in them. We have our favourite places to eat in certain airports around the world. It’s kinda funny but it works for us!

But seriously, you have nothing to worry about! You will have fun! Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.

For more tips on surviving flights with kids, see the suitcases&strollers essential list of travel tips for flying with kids here
or get some advice from suitcases&strollers founder, Aimee Chan, here

By Bindi Irwin; Images: Robert Irwin

Bindi Irwin is a regular contributor to suitcases&strollers. To read more of her thoughts on travel, type her name into the Search bar on the suitcases&strollers website.