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USA wedding in June - with under 5s - are we mad?

(27 Posts)
purpleturtle Fri 13-May-05 16:34:31

We have been given a sum of money this week, which is enough for us to fly to America for a friend's wedding in June. We had never dreamed it would be possible, but we are quite excited at the prospect.

So, as one who has never been out of Europe, I thought I would seek the wisdom of MN. What do I need to know? Dd is 4 and ds is 2. We drove to Austria last summer and they were fantastic in the car, do I'm not too concerned about the flight from their point of view, but I am frightened of flying...

KristinaM Fri 13-May-05 16:39:27

Thats great news Pt - I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.Some questions - what part of the US are you going to ( so you know what the weather will be like) and is it only one flight?

If you search the net you will find lots of tips on flying with young kids. Fear of flying - thats another thing....maybe you should post another thread with that in the title as there must be other MNers who have conquered this.

spykid Fri 13-May-05 16:42:31

Tok ds's (4& 6) to America in Feb and was ^so ^ nervous!! Only 2nd time they had flown, and first was only to Belgium.
Have to say fears were unnecessary as flight seemed a doddle in the end!
\We flew with BA who were fantastic with all the children on the flight, giving them drinks and play packs. They were so excited about having their own tellys that they spent a good couple of hours watching kids movies!!
I took a little gift for them to unwrap every hour (crayons, stickers, puzzle books etc), and that kept them going.
Try to get them to sleep on th way back, useful to have a night flight. We gave ours a travel sickness tablet,dramamine, which had a mild sedative in for the journey back and they slept nearly the whole way!!
Any questions just shout!!!!

purpleturtle Fri 13-May-05 16:44:11

We've been told to fly to Cincinatti, then drive the 85 miles into Kentucky where our friend lives. It looks like we can do it with one plane change, in about 12-13 hours. Since we spent 13 hours in the car one day last year, I'm not too worried about that, as I said.

I know I will get on the plane, and will manage. I have flown before. I'm more worried about handling the kids in that terrible anxious time at the airport before boarding, which is likely to be hours for a flight to America, isn't it? I don't want them to look at me and decide there must be something to be afraid of.

Weather - good point. haven't got a clue. off to find out. thanks.

Chandra Fri 13-May-05 16:47:41

Keep in mind that after the flight you will be very tired, so try to have little sleep/rest before driving. Or take turn with DH so one can sleep while the other watch the kids. HTH

Chandra Fri 13-May-05 16:49:28

The waiting is not that bad, you just get them by the window and ask them who can seemore planes, pick ups and luggage trains. Most major airports have children areas so you shuld be OK. Which airports are you using?

Ameriscot2005 Fri 13-May-05 16:51:36

Hey Purpleturtle, I used to live in Cincinnati, so know that route well.

The flight to Cincinnati takes about 9 hours. It leaves at 10.15am and arrives about 2.15pm. Getting to Gatwick early will probably be your main challenge of the day. You are supposed to check in 2 hours before departure, and can occupy this time fairly well between queuing at checking, having a snack and browsing the shops, and getting to your gate.

The only problem with that route is that Cincinnati is a horrendously expensive airport. You may find it a lot cheaper to try to get flights via NY or Boston to Louisville or Lexington.

The weather in June should be pleasantly hot (ie hot but not too humid yet).

Frizbe Fri 13-May-05 16:53:02

damn I wish I'd have known about the drugs spykid! never time
We recently took ours aged 16mths and 6 to Vegas then Orlando, and they flew fine, on the way out, and on the two flight internal transfer, it was only the way back even on a night flight, where neither wanted to sleep, even tho it was technically bed time, due to excitement (calpol did the trick on the little one for a bit) we just had a very tired 6 year old.
We flew with Virgin, who were great, they gave out a kids pack, and once you get your flight tickets, you can book the kids meal online, so they get more kiddy food, think it was sausage, mash and spag hoops on the way out! mini burger n chips on way back! also did interim kids sarnies, jam n cheese as I recall, so quite yummy, also provided enough extra stuff with dinner, to enable grazing for next few hours, I even managed to blag more fruit off the crew whenever they wanted it as well
this is quite a good site for travel tips,
although there are a few others out there!

KristinaM Fri 13-May-05 16:54:06

OOOh Kentucky will be hot and humid I think.

You dont need half the clothes you think you will though - Americans dress very casually compared to most Europeans. Apart from your wedding outfits you will only need casual stuff. be warned - overpacking makes traveliing very difficult.One of you will be busy with the buggy and 4yo so that so the other will have to do the luggage on their own. Not all airlines let you check it through.

The bit at the airport will be fine. I knwo you are there for hours but there is so much to do, assuming you are flying out from a major UK airport. You will be so busy taking teh kids round teh shops, eating junk food, playing with the automatic taps in the wont have time to worry.

Chandra Fri 13-May-05 16:56:38

Now that you mention the food. If you are using American keep in mind that they don't provide any kind of food for toddlers (we were told at the check in so had to find something on the airport for DS)

purpleturtle Fri 13-May-05 16:58:30

Thanks guys - keep it coming!

We're looking at flying out of manchester - preliminary internet searches reckon we'd leave Manchester about 12.30, which means a slightly more civilised departure from home (Sheffield). Our friend, the bride, suggested we fly into cincinatti rather than Lexington (where she lives) because others who are coming had found that better. Might look into that.

Chandra - I'm hoping to be able to sleep during the flight as I find it a good way of suppressing the anxiety! As dh almost certainly won't want to drive 'on the wrong side of the road', I should be able to use that to my advantage if the kids won't settle on the plane!

Ameriscot2005 Fri 13-May-05 16:59:16

The direct flight is Delta, and they do have kids' meals. Saying that, the adult meals are probably just as kid-friend - a bit of chicken and pasta, bread and fruit.

You should always order kids' meals ahead of time.

spykid Fri 13-May-05 17:00:53

Another thought for yourself...Bach rescue Remedy, works a treat!!

purpleturtle Fri 13-May-05 17:01:11

Buggy! Hadn't thought about that
See - I'm used to throwing everything you might possibly want into the back of the car. TBH ds doesn't use it much - might see if we can get away without taking ours, and borrowing one when there if we need it.

purpleturtle Fri 13-May-05 17:04:21

I'm getting quite excited! And to think, I've never really had the slightest desire to visit America. Turns out, all it takes is a wedding - I'm a sucker for those. Probably take a trip to a travel agents tomorrow - I don't think I trust myself to book the right thing over the internet IYSWIM.

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:07:34

Travel agents were so expensive, we've come home and booked over the internet. Got flights & car hire for less than the travel agents quoted for flight only!

Eeeek! Better start thinking about what we'll need - we go on 13 June

Ameriscot2005 Sat 14-May-05 13:13:16

What airport are you flying into?

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:14:39

Cincinatti - turned out cheaper than Lexington for us.

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:15:34

Am now bidding on a hippychick carrier to save taking a buggy with us

Ameriscot2005 Sat 14-May-05 13:16:45

Lexington is about 60 miles south of Cincinnati, so it shouldn't take you too long to get there. Have you sorted out hotels yet?

Ameriscot2005 Sat 14-May-05 13:19:01

Bah, type - it's 80miles

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:20:30

Hoping to avoid hotels. Bride-to-be is more than happy (mad woman) for us to stay with her at beginning of week, and then again while she's on honeymoon. In between we have mutual friends in Cincinatti who might accommodate us (or they may be away, in which case we could housesit for them too)

Ameriscot2005 Sat 14-May-05 13:23:54


If you want to know what to do with kids in Cincinnati, just ask!

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:32:10

consider yourself asked!

purpleturtle Sat 14-May-05 13:33:41

Off out just now to a birthday/leaving party for friends who are moving to Phoenix on Tuesday! Will check back later in case you've had time to post. Thanks for your help so far

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