If you're taking your kids to Europe, you'll quickly learn that long-haul travel with kids is the reverse Mile High Club: rather than expel your progeny into the world, you wish to remove them or at least store them temporarily elsewhere. Preferably in a box labelled "this way up" and in the luggage hold. This has yet to catch on with the major airlines so, instead, Sam Aldred offers some tips forahappy journey.

1 Just go. People put off travel for years because they might feel tired and stressed. You will feel tired and stressed and then you'll get somewhere you want to be and forget all about it.

2 Divide and conquer. If you're travelling as a couple, split your time with the kids. Say someone can do colouring in while the other walksatoddler up and down the aisle. Or one of you can take them to the toilet while the other cries into a G&T for five minutes.

3 Use the space. Right there, right at the back of the plane by the stairs to business class or at the door right at the back of the cabin, is a perfect spot to play cars for three hours. You can also chat to the other parents watching people playing cars for three hours. For extra fun, send the kids up to business class and walk away.

Advertisement

4 People are nice. It's true - the couple behind you will mind the kids while you go to the loo. The cabin crew hand out colouring packs and play peekaboo. The grumpy man in front will ignore having his seat kicked. And everyone at the end of the flight will tell you what a great job you did (even if it's a lie) and you'll feel like a hero.

5 Spare clothes. I'm telling you now someone will vomit on you - fact. We once arrived at Heathrow with a child dressed in first-class pyjamas after an amazing vomit-filled ride. Good luck, you'll be fine.