The Time We Survived an Overnight Flight

A tale of coping with those overnight flights.

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The purpose of travel tales is to share everyday travel experiences in a way that allow us all to realize that YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! This, I promise you. Just like parenting in general, you will figure it out and nothing is as bad as it seems.

Once, many years ago, we took an overnight flight. We’ve taken many overnight flights before then and since then, but on this particular flight, I was reminded just how “in the moment” you must be, not only when traveling, but in life!

Our flight wasn’t set to leave until midnight. I kept changing my mind about whether I should put the kids to sleep at their regular bedtime and then wake them up to go to the airport, or keep them up, hoping they would sleep better then when the flight took off as they’d be super tired.

My advice: the best laid plans often go awry, so do what you think is best and be prepared for everything. If you have too tight of expectations, you will not meet them…definitely not when traveling with multiple people of all different ages.

But anyway, I finally decided that I would keep the kids awake until our flight at midnight. The kids were excited to be up at such a late hour. We played games, packed, played outside and read books. Surely, when we got to the airport the kids would sleep the entire flight.

Alas, that didn’t happen. The bright lights in the plane and the noise was not conducive on this particular night to the kids going to sleep. They slept here and there, at different times of course, but nowhere near a full nights sleep.

Oh, how I wished for the days when we could get a bulkhead bassinet and let them be comfortable in a proper bed!

The best laid plans often go awry, so do what you think is best and be prepared for everything.

But–and here’s the moral of this story–we made it through! We made it and the kids were fine when we landed and excited to be in a new place. We made it touring for most of the day and then we all crashed a bit early and had a full night’s sleep. As much as you want to try to stick to a schedule and have everything go smoothly, it won’t. But if you can find it in yourself to go with the flow, enjoy the moment, and be a brave adventurer, it will all work out just find in the end! Sometimes that’s easier said then done…so shoot for about half the time and you’re winning in my opinion.