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Things to keep children busy on long haul to New Zealand

(21 Posts)
WitchOfEndor Sat 22-Nov-14 14:28:58

Hi all, my DFriend is moving to New Zealand in a few months and I was wondering if anyone can recommend what to take to entertain a nearly 2 and nearly 5 year old on the trip. Is it worth it to take something small to open every hour or is that overdoing it? They aren't sure if they are going via LA or Hong Kong, does anyone have any preference? They were hoping to visit Disney on the way out but weren't sure which would be best. Thanks.

InaPuckle Sat 22-Nov-14 22:10:01

It depends what the children are into and if they have electronic gadgets they usually travel with. The nearly 2 year old will be the trickiest, I travelled to NZ and back with my DS at this age. If they have a seat for the nearly 2 YO, I would strongly recommend taking a car seat as that will keep them at the right height to use the tray table and securely fastened as a toddler who wants to run in the middle of a flight full of sleeping passengers can easily escape a lap belt! Hard for toddlers to sleep in reclined adult seat, a reclining car seat would be far better. Different ages for skycots/basinettes on different airlines, my DS was two old for one on the way out to NZ with one airline but qualified with another airline. Even if they're a bit big to sleep in it, it's a useful places to store all their bits and pieces.

Lots of preparation for the children, explaining about how they will be travelling for a long time and how they will watch movies on the plane and sleep and eat and sleep and play and SLEEP! I always give my DS a quiz on the safety demonstration, just to get him to pay attention and stop disrupting others at this time.

I could recommend a magna doodle as good entertainment, the 'pen' is attached with string so can't disappear down the back or under the seat, can't draw on the seats either.

Child sized headphones and a plane adapter for the inflight entertainment system.

Via LA gives them a greater luggage allowance than Hong Kong.

A beach ball is great for chasing around the departure lounge to give them some exercise before the flight, if possible go to an empty gate area next to their departure gate so they have some space to run.

PossumPoo Sat 22-Nov-14 22:26:20

I took DD to Aus at this age. I definitely would not recommend the car seat on the plane. I was able to lay down with DD to help her sleep, impossible with a car seat and she was the right size for the table tray without the CS.

Agree child size earphones, meant DD could happily watch what was showing on the plane or what we had on the tablet.

Take food they like, don't rely on them eating the food on board.

It's going to be a long old flight, tell your friends to accept that and take the easy road. We let DD watch as much tv as she wanted and reset her body clock when we got to Aus.

Lots of people do it, many times. People will be nicer than you think on long hauls smile

Sibble Sun 23-Nov-14 06:45:02

Car seat didn't work for me either, neither dss liked sitting in them on planes and screamed. It was a pain to use in transit and find somewhere to put as the overhead lockers were full.

Take whatever they like and doesn't matter if they lose. Colouring, small books, small toys but if they like movies just let them watch the movies. I've lived here 12 years and been back and forwards numerous times with the boys from 6 months to their teen years. TBH children are unpredictable so best not to plan too much, best to concentrate on looking after yourself! As long as they are not kicking the seats, screaming full pelt for 24 hours or throwing food all is good. Take plenty of water (they don't bring it around frequently enough), be prepared not to sleep at all, take snacks for everybody, change of clothes for all (be prepared for food or vomit over yourself as well as them!), walk them up and down the plane and remember the mantra - it is only 24 hours..........

Hong Kong gets my vote.

Hazchem Sun 23-Nov-14 06:51:20

Food! Little snack things plus aldi dark chocolate bars for grown ups (the ones that look like a block but is really 5 small bars on the inside).
I'd think a car seat would be a pain and then probably useless once at destination (I'm not sure about NZ laws but a UK car seat would be illegal in Australia)

AggressiveBunting Sun 23-Nov-14 07:15:38

Disney HK is quite small and not at all comparable to US Disney. It's still nice for a day with kids of that age, but it doesn't have the same wow factor- they just don't get the atmosphere quite right.

SanityClause Sun 23-Nov-14 07:24:17

My DC were about 8, 6 and 3 when we went to Australia for Christmas. They just watched film after film on the console on the back of the seat in front. The two older ones had Nintendo DS to play with as well, but the little one just watched the film Cars on a loop! (It hadn't been out all that long.)

The main problem was the difficulty in sleeping. This was worse for the eldest. I would definitely advise against car seats. They wouldn't easily sleep in those.

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Nov-14 07:30:52

Child sized headphones are the best thing you can take.

I stop mine from watching the safety demonstration as the last thing I want them to be thinking of on a 16 hour flight is plane crashes.

WitchOfEndor Sun 23-Nov-14 13:31:07

Thanks, lots of good advice, child sized earphones hadn't occurred to me!

hazchem why are British car seats no good in Australia? Not sure if it would have occurred to them to have looked into that for NZ.

Hazchem Sun 23-Nov-14 22:27:00

In Australia only car seats which are approved car seats are legal. Basically they have to have a particular stamp/mark issued by Australian Government.
This website has info on NZ child restraints Looks like they mostly use a top tether in NZ which is quite different to the UK so well worth them looking into it.
If they need to buy car seats in NZ I like the INfasecure which meets the AUS/NZ standard and has both a long rear facing life and all very high FF markers.

InaPuckle Sun 23-Nov-14 23:02:37

I just used British baby seat from the travel system in NZ when my DS was small, not sure whether or not it was approved but it was handy to have with us.

JellyTipisthebest Sun 23-Nov-14 23:57:24

In nz you can use european, some american and australian seats. Bring carseat with you even if you don't use them on the plane as they are very expensive here. If the five year old is not yet in a highback booster she should consider bringing one with her. Not as much choice here and very expensive.

chloeb2002 Mon 24-Nov-14 19:18:01

Phergan... Both because it helps with travel sickness, not a lot worse than having the child that vomits on the plane. Trust me they don't carry spare seat covers wink
And because you may get some sleep!

Hazchem Mon 24-Nov-14 21:23:33

Following on from chloeb2002 some of the pre measured sachet of paracetamol . While we didn't use them having them there all ready gave me piece of mind and they weight next to nothing.

chloeb2002 Tue 25-Nov-14 09:46:31

Yes. Paracetemol is also essential!
Generally less is more. Planes have TVs games, drawing, they do kids meals. Take some lollies, buy more treats in transit airport. Transit through Singapore and go for a swim enroute. smile

WitchOfEndor Tue 25-Nov-14 09:54:36

Thanks hazchem I'll let her know she has to look into car seats then. Sachet paracetamol is a good idea, as are lollies as they are bith very good eaters and food focussed (I think her DS was a labrador in a previous life! Am just jealous as my DS can be a picky eater whilst her two eat whatever you put in front of them with enthusiasm!)

Is there anything nice I could send out ti them when they get there? Any treats not available there or really expensive? What about clothes etc? Are there any brands you miss?

JellyTipisthebest Wed 26-Nov-14 05:37:25

Cadbury chocolate tastes different here, Quavers and watzits are only available in english shops so very expensive.

It took us a while to find a tea we liked. We noticed that all the crisped tasted really salty. Hot chips are very salty best to asked for no salt. chip shop Chips here are not freshly made from potato they are made in a factory

Essel Wed 26-Nov-14 06:22:55

- A balloon for playing with during a stopover (like the beach ball idea but smaller and disposable).
- play-dough and mini tools. Honestly its not messy and really easy to clean up.
- sticker books
- tiny cars/animals/dinosaurs etc
- absolutely child headphones and an adaptor for the plane (usually needs to prongs to insert into socket)
- ipad with games
- agree, change of clothes for everyone

Aquilla Fri 12-Dec-14 00:36:29

Cut back on the telly watching/ipad before you go and that way it will be a 'treat'. Good luck! Alcohol is your friend...

Aquilla Fri 12-Dec-14 00:41:26

Don't forget to reserve your seats before you leave. Emirates/Qantas had our two year old sitting on his own on almost every leg of the journey and it was basically up to us to juggle other passengers so he could be supervised by at least one of us!

smaths Fri 12-Dec-14 01:33:41

Have a look at air new Zealand's "skycouch" planes - might be a good option for getting the kids to sleep if you've not yet booked. I'm currently on hols in australia with a 3 year old, Tablet with hundreds of peppa pig episodes and Disney films has been invaluable. Also kid-size headphones and adapters for the airline headphone jacks. She wouldn't eat the airline food, even though they were lovely kids meals so bring some non-sugary snacks.I saw a lot of other kids on the plane had full size pillows. Non spill cups too! Maybe a couple of new small toys but not loads. The airline will likely give them a kiddie pack of goodies. Check seatguru and pick your seats when booking.

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