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Emirates Makes Flying Fun For Families And Kids

Emirates reveals the secret to keeping your kids entertained on the plane with the Child Boredom Quotient

  • Under 12s bored 49 minutes and 47 seconds into their long-haul journey
  • Top 3 worries for parents when travelling with their children on a plane include entertaining their children (64%), disturbing other passengers (43%) and keeping their kids hydrated (23%)
  • Sitting sweetly: 41% of parents admit that they have resorted to bribing their children with sweets, chocolate and crisps in exchange for good behaviour whilst on a flight
  • A third of parents (33%) also rely on electronic babysitters by loading up their phone or tablet with their favourite games, apps, television episodes, and films 
  • Emirates launches the Child Boredom Quotient – helping parents work out exactly when their kids will get bored and what to do about it

London, UK, 28 October 2017: Young flyers will take just 49 minutes and 47 seconds to ask the dreaded, ‘’are we nearly there yet?’’ so with parents battling the boredom threshold, Emirates has teamed up with Dr Sandi Mann, a psychologist and boredom specialist at the University of Central Lancashire to find a solution. Dr Mann has worked with the airline to create the Child Boredom Quotient (CBQ), helping parents identify the exact moment their kids will get bored so they can enjoy stress-free travel.

The study of more than 2,000 UK parents of under 12s alongside observations of children during their playtime helped Dr Sandi Mann categorise activities into Active (A), Passive (P), Interactive (I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) to formulate the CBQ, and ultimately help parents mix the perfect blend of activities to catch boredom before it sets in.

The findings which also saw two thirds of parents (64%) worry about entertaining their children and 43% expressing concern about their children disturbing other passengers, found little travellers aged 3 – 4 to be the most volatile. Bribery techniques such as giving out snacks (41%) in exchange for good behaviour were often used just to keep the peace. Other tried and tested methods of distraction for parents include employing electronic devices (33%) even if they’re not allowed at home, handing out new toys (27%) to keep their tots happy or trying to tire out their children by running around the airport before boarding (16%).

Dr Sandi Mann, psychologist and boredom specialist, University of Central Lancashire comments: “Parents of children aged 3-4 will start to find that this is when their children are physically very active, gaining independence and when they need more sophisticated things to entertain them than they did when they were younger.

For instance, the ‘electronic babysitter’ whilst popular for a flight may not work for all age groups and parents of younger children will find that they have less attention span for this than older ones. Breaking up this passive activity for active or creative ones will stop children becoming bored, restless and disruptive.’’

However, it’s not just bribery that parents resort to when travelling with their children on a plane. An honest 7% revealed that they simply try to relax with an eye mask to block out the disturbance.

When engaging in an activity on board, films are the most popular for keeping children occupied from around 40 minutes for the youngest age group (0-2) to 1 hour 45 minutes for the oldest (11-12). This is followed by games either on a smart device or on the inflight entertainment system (keeping kids occupied from 30 minutes for the youngest to 1.5 hours for the oldest).

Meanwhile, creative pursuits such as drawing was the most popular until age 9 when quizzes and puzzles become more engaging. Colouring and sticker books have most appeal to the younger ages.

Dr Sandi Mann further comments: ‘’Very young children don’t need very sophisticated toys for a plane journey and will be most amused by things in the environment – including people and of course their parents. For example, this could be ‘I Spy’ whilst, regular walks up the aisle are good for toddlers for exercise and for pre-toddles to change the visual environment. Don’t forget singing and interactive games like peekaboo are also great.

Older children can be given simple materials like notebooks and pens, puzzle books and comics. Ensure that they take breaks every so often to walk up and down the plane and try to restrict the passive viewing just like you might at home. Don’t be afraid of them being bored as left to their own devices with a few basic materials, they will find creative ways to engage their brains.’’

Jade Cobbs, Emirates Cabin Supervisor, comments: “We understand that parents often dread the idea of travelling on a long-haul flight with bored children. 

However, parents need not wait until the boredom alarm sets off. Whether it’s utilising the Cabin Crew to provide your kids with activity packs to watching the family friendly TV shows and movies on Emirates’ ice entertainment system, families can avoid the boredom threshold via some pre-prepared activities, interactive games or inflight entertainment.’’ 

Dr Sandi Mann has created a suggested guide for how to structure a plane journey for each age range. The activities are categorised as Active (A), Passive (P), Interactive (I), Creative (C) or Sensory (S) and the idea is that by mixing these up and stopping an activity at the right time, boredom and restlessness will be minimised. 

Passive – watching films, listening to music

Active – walking up and down the aisle, playing with a pack of cards

Creative – drawing, colouring books

Sensory – refreshments

Interactive – reading a storybook, chatting

The CBQ tables are attached as well as a guide to Emirates’ top tips for travelling with children. 

TravelStart Wants To Know Where In Africa Would You Go On Holiday?

Travelstart South Africa, the cheap flights provider and leading Online Travel Agency in Africa, invites you to explore the unique rhythm of Africa and find out which country you secretly want to explore.

Get ready to embark on your next great adventure and discover the irresistible magic of Africa with TravelStart!

I recently participated in their quiz where they make you choose the types of things you prefer when on holiday or those that you wish you experience on your ideal vacation. Being the person that is very much passionate about our African continent, I must say that I was happy with the results and it shows that when they were working on this project they put much work and did a lot of research on the African continent. These were my results:

For years I have obsessed with Nigeria, from their fashion, their movies for a good laugh and the unique African sounds of Nigerian music.


Why Durban Is Your Perfect Summer Destination

Durban is everything for travellers wanting a summer holiday to remember. It combines balmy weather, gorgeous beaches, plenty of water sports, top-class restaurants, non-stop entertainment, and absolutely delicious cuisine. Choosing Durban as your summer vacation destination promises so much to see, do and experience.

Here are some of the reasons that we rate Durban tops for your holiday:


Being on the east coast of South Africa, which is lapped by the Indian Ocean, Durban enjoys warm seawater. It boasts long stretches of sandy beaches, where families and friends tan, and play ball games on the beach. The waters are ideal for swimming, surfing, kite-surfing, stand-up paddling, or snorkelling. The beaches are close to the city centres and are flanked by loads of restaurants and cocktail bars.


The city of Durban itself is home to pretty natural centres like the Durban Botanic Gardens and the Durban North Japanese Garden. But, it is also a great base from which to explore the many natural attractions just outside its borders. These include the Drakensberg Mountain Range, Valley of 1 000 Hills, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, and many more. Be sure to head out on game drives, walking safaris, or bird-watching excursions. Wildlife photographers will be spoilt for choice when they head out into the KwaZulu-Natal countryside.


As pretty as it is, Durban is not only for those wanting a laid-back time to enjoy nature. There are plenty of adrenalin-inducing adventure sports in and around the city. Swing from the highest bungy swing in the world at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, go shark cage diving with great whites, or venture out on a helicopter flip. Just outside the CBD, you can abseil down the Shongweni Dam wall, head out on a deep-sea fishing charter, zip line over the Karkloof Forest, or glide over mountain ranges and the Midlands in a hot-air balloon.  


Families choosing Durban for their annual getaway are spoilt for choice when it comes to fun activities for the little ones. Apart from days spent playing in the water or on the sandy beaches, there is a huge variety of entertainment for kids. Visit the uShaka Marine World (which has its own water park as well as interactive animal displays), the Fun World Amusement Park on the beachfront (complete with old-school rides and carnival lights), or spend time on the lawns and play areas of the People’s Park in the Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park is very popular for youngsters and teens that want to test their cycling skills.


Durban is renowned for its hot, humid weather almost all year round. Summer days frequently hover at around 30 degrees or higher and there are, on average, 320 sunny days every year. Winter days are cooler, but still very pleasant, with a minimum high of at least 20 degrees.  


Durban is a big, busy metropolis; full of all of the necessary hotels and facilities that international tourists need. But, on its outskirts, there are scenic retreats and gorgeous views, coupled with charming little guest houses, B & B’s and lodges. Take your pick from a massive variety.   

Exploring Inanda’s Hidden Gems With WOWZULU

‘Mr President, I have come to report to you that South Africa is now free.’ Nelson Mandela at the grave of John Langalibalele Dube, First President of the ANC, after voting at Ohlange in South Africa’s first Democratic Elections on  27 April 1994.  

Tasting MaMtshali’s UMQOMBOTHI

On Mandela Day, 18 July 2017, about 50 tourism stakeholders and bloggers headed into the Inanda Valley,  to get a sense of how community-based tourism development can ignite a local economy and create income for rural entrepreneurs here, in the cradle of South Africa’s democracy.  

WOWZULU Responsible Tourism, an initiative of rural development agency Africa!Ignite and partners, has discovered a wealth of ‘hidden gems’ in this vibrant semi-urban community: places to eat, drink, hear music, view art, engage with friendly locals to share stories, experience local culture, learn new skills or get active on the valley’s trails and waters.  

All this adds vibrancy and local colour to the Inanda Heritage Route with its proud historical sites, where the seeds of South Africa’s democracy were sown.

The WOWZULU Marketplace at the historic Ohlange Institute is the perfect starting point for any exploration of Inanda, as tourists’ gateway and warm welcome in the valley. This is where the Mandela Day ‘educational’ experience started, with story-telling and an opportunity to view local art and craft.

From there, we got a taste of the wealth of vibrant community life, history and natural attractions of the Inanda Valley: A tour of the JL Dube Heritage site under the guidance of the highly knowledgeable Mandla Nxumalo; a neighbourhood walk through a village along winding roads and hillsides;

Then a visit to a picturesque rural homestead of Ma Mtshali in the hills of Umzinyathi above the valley, to try their hand at beadwork and for an introduction to Zulu culture.

For our 67 minutes of community service on this Mandela Day, we handed over 67 vegetable seedlings to Ma Mtshali as the start of a sustainable food garden

Ended the day off for lunch at Ohlange Rocks Junction with its vast views across the coastline below.

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