Solo long haul with 1 yo to California - bonkers?

(7 Posts)
mrsgembles Sun 28-Jun-15 20:46:25

My SiL is getting married in San Diego in October and would like us all to attend (obvs!). Problem is my husband just cannot get out of work for more than 5 days leaving us with two options:
1: He, me and DS going out for 5 nights.
2: Me taking DS out 5-7 days before and him meeting us there later.
I think in terms of jet lag it'd be better for me and our DS to be out for longer but this would mean flying long-haul alone with a 13 mth old, and I'm a pretty nervous flyer.
Is it as awful as I'm imagining in my head? We'd go BA so I could pre book a child seat/sky cot thingie.

SJane45S Sun 28-Jun-15 20:59:33

I've done a 14 hour flight on my own with a 6 month year old and no it's not a hoot but yes it's do-able and no you wouldn't be mad! The key is to be really really well prepared and to try and stay calm - it's likely at some point your 1 year old will seem to scream the plane down - just remember that most people are a lot more sympathetic than we give them credit for!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 28-Jun-15 22:12:35

Have done that BA flight you're thinking of to San Diego; it took just over 11 hours (it was not at all turbulent). They are the only ones I think that actually fly direct into SD from the UK.

It may be easier all round for you all to travel as a family rather than you and your son travelling together without your DH. Jetlag is more of an issue on the return journey rather than outbound.

BA skycots are mainly for infants; your one year old will not fit. I would book a different type of seat.

This from BA may prove useful for you to read:-

www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/family-travel/getting-ready-to-fly

When mine was that age I chose to fly into LA and take Virgin and then a smaller plane to SD. They were fantastic with the kids and would offer to take him while I ate.
Can you afford his own seat? Having ours in their own car seat made a huge difference.

The main problem I see is how to haul all the carryons and your son and the car seat. If you can have help getting through the airport with it all I think it would be ok. Mine was airsick at that age and threw up every take off and landing... on me. So I would take plenty of clothes. Also what to do if/when you need the bathroom.

I took an entire bag of new little toys, snacks and distractions. Every hour or so I'd pull one out and it would give me 5-10 minutes peace and quiet.

I think you can do it. It will be very tiring though. Five days is really too short though IMO.

QueefOfTheSporned Sat 04-Jul-15 17:01:42

BA gave us a sky cot for my (large) 16 month old. We hadn't booked one becaue we thought she'd be too big but they allocated us one anyway and a row of 3 bulkhead seats...we'd only paid for 2 seats. I voiced my concern that DD was too big for the sky cot when it was being set up for us but the stewardess was adamant that it was fine. DD slept happily in it for most of the 8 hour flight but they do have to be lifted out and belted in on your lap anytime the 'fasten seatbelt' sign goes on.

SofiaAmes Sat 04-Jul-15 17:10:22

I did that flight a dozen times with ds and then with ds and dd from birth to age 5. I always flew BA and booked a sky cot because it gave me a bulkhead seat. Even if your dd is too big for the cot, she can play happily on the floor in the bulkhead without disturbing someone in the seat in front of you. My experience was that they always filled up the bulkhead seats last, so that if there was even one spare seat on the plane, it would be a bulkhead seat next to me. The staff were always super friendly and helpful. Bring food for yourself and your dd so that you are not at the mercy of airplane meal timing. And bring sealable drinking containers so that you don't have to worry about drinks getting knocked over. Just make sure they are empty when you take them through security. I did the flight once with Virgin and they were AWFUL. My ds threw up on me 1/2 hour into the 11 hour flight and they couldn't run away fast enough. No one even brought me paper towel to clean up the mess.
I also advise bringing audiobooks for yourself, so that you can watch your dd while entertaining yourself. Bag of toys is a good idea too.

SofiaAmes Sat 04-Jul-15 17:12:20

Oh, yes, make sure you bring an umbrella stroller and try to get them to let you bring it on the plane. The hardest part was getting to and from the plane with all the carryon stuff. The luggage carts in LA have a place for a baby, (the ones in the uk do not), but you don't get a luggage cart until after passport control.

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