How to book your flights when you’re travelling with tots

Booking flights is something we take very seriously…..possibly a little too seriously! There is a method to the madness, though…

The ‘Hubster‘ once read somewhere that the best time to book flights is three months before you want to travel…..whether or not this is true or not I have no idea but so far it seems to work for us!


Skyscanner is also a favourite travel comparison tool for us and we’ve used it for flights and car rental but not accommodation as of yet. We like that it’s quick and easy to use and that you can compare flights for the entire month to see when the best deals are. If you’re flexible, you can also search by the cheapest month to travel to your destination.

We have a list of criteria that we try to stick to when we choose our flights and airline….we’ll I say list, but it’s one main point really… this the easiest journey we can do with our kids….those of you who travel with kids….you know where we’re at with this….those who don’t… should thank us. It’s your ear drums we’re saving when our kids are screaming their heads off because they’re bored/tired/they’ve been on the plane too long, and it’s the end of the world that they can’t watch YouTube on their iPads because the wifi isn’t working – talk about first world problems!

So for this particular journey – the start of our adventure we decided to fly Gatwick to Bangkok.

Technically Manchester is a lot closer to where we live than Gatwick but flying from Gatwick meant that instead of a 2 hour layover in Dubai we got a 25 hour layover….if that doesn’t quite make sense to you think of it this way…2 hours is not a long time for toddlers to be off a plane when there is a 6/7 hour flight either side….25 hours meant a bed in a hotel and a day exploring in Dubai….make sense now? We had a great time going to the top of the Burj Khalifa, (Blog coming soon)

So Gatwick it was, which just left us with the decision of which airline….we narrowed it down to either Emirates or Etihad which weren’t actually as expensive as we had assumed they would be. Both apparently really good for families, similar flight times (as in duration) which to choose…which to choose.

We were very tempted by the fact that Etihad has a ‘Sky Nanny‘ who keeps your kids entertained for you so that you can have a breather every now and again. The drawback to this is that you share said sky nanny with all the other kids on the plane….which we totally understand but wondered if it would be worth the extra money (it was about £100 difference).

Emirates doesn’t have a sky nanny, but they do get an activity pack containing all sorts of colouring books, stickers, a cartoon animal pillow and blanket and etch-a-sketch.

In the end, Emirates won out, but in the end, it was because the flight times (as in AM/PM) worked out just that bit better for us.

We have a separate review of Emirates coming very soon, make sure you check back on

How do you book your flights? Do you have a favourite airline?


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