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Taking kids to US - what would you do?

(10 Posts)
FairyBasslet Tue 22-Aug-06 15:35:54

re goHi all,

This is my first post on Mumsnet, having just discovered it after all the recent legal shenanigans. Forgive the length of this post but I'm going through hell trying to figure out what to do...

We have booked to fly into New York in a couple of weeks. Our plan is to have a couple of days there (our son will turn 3 while we are there, our daughter will be 8 months) then drive down to Washington DC where are going to friends' wedding then fly back to London from there.

This was all very well until all the terrorist crap kicked off and now I'm questioning whether we are completely insane flying over there just now bearing in mind it's coming up to the 5th anniversary of 9/11 and where we are going.

Dh and I have had a chat and he is happy to cancel if I don't feel comfortable going (though he's made it clear it's my decision - great - if we don't go I'm this enormous killjoy but if we do have problems it'll be my fault) but I just don't know if I'm overreacting. I don't want to give in to terrorist scum but I also don't want to put my kids in potential harm when we don't need to.

Some friends I've spoken to are understanding and wouldn't go either whereas others think I'm barking mad. What do you think?

I've said I'd be happy getting on a plane to any other place (within reason obviously), it's just where we're going and when.

Any views/advice?

TheBlonde Tue 22-Aug-06 15:56:14

I'd be more worried about any hand luggage restrictions and how to cope with 2 kids on a long flight

Scoobydooooo Tue 22-Aug-06 16:00:31

Hand luggage & coping would have to be something you would just have to get on with if you decided to go.

In all honesty i would not go but then i am a wimp

RTKangaMummy Tue 22-Aug-06 16:00:52

I have just arrived back from South Pacific via Auckland and Los Angeles

And we had hand luggage same as before

Just without gels, toothpaste, creams, etc.

It was fine

Behind us was a family with a 2 yr old and they had changing bag etc. He slept the whole flight {10 hours} from LA

prettybird Tue 22-Aug-06 16:07:49

It is a personal choice, but like TheBlonde, I'd be more worried about how to keep the kids occupied during a long flight, let alone the changes of clothes etc that well-equipped parent-of-small-children need to travel with!

The restrictions on what you can take on to flights to the States are still really srtict - no liqids except for children's baby milk. Are you breast feeding your dd? That would make things much easier, and you wouldn't need to worry about de-strilising the bottle when you take your compulsory swig of the made-up formula.

Go to your friend's weeding - the odds of anything happening are infenstisimal with all the added secuirty, which is particulary strict going to the States - and changing your plans would just be letting the terrorists win. They don't need to bomb anything - they just need to make people fearful that they might.

The next terrorist attack is probably going to be somewhere where we just aren't expecting it - so why keep looking over yuor shoulder?

BTW - I'm not totally blase about the potential risks: in my own sense of "risk assessment", I no longer consider Shamr El SHiekh as pa potential desitnation, just becasue I feel uncofnmortable about the possible risk. I nver said I was logical!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 22-Aug-06 17:47:25

Fairybasslet

Have recently returned from LA to Heathrow and had hand luggage apart from liquids and suchlike. All pax at that gate at LAX were divided into two rows (male and female) and each patted down by a TSA officer. All bags were hand searched.

As others have said I'd be more concerned about the hand luggage restrictions placed on pax bound for the USA (these seem to have eased somewhat but check with your airline's website) and keeping the kids amused on the flights.

Go on holiday and have a great time in the US.

pinkpyjamas Tue 22-Aug-06 17:53:58

I'd try and put your worries to one side and still go. We were in New York at Christmas time 2003, and whilst there the security levels were raised to their highest state. We were there for 10 days, and I admit to buying a large bag and carrying our passports, traveller's cheques and children's cuddly toys around with us in case we needed to get out quick - don't actually know where we would have gone, or how, but at least I had the cuddly toys. Coming back was a bit of a pain - 6 hour delay due to the upgrade of the security alert, but we are still glad we went. Lots of people say we can't let the terrorists scare us into not travelling, but that is quite a different matter when you actually have to do it - and with your children too. HTH.

Alibaldi Tue 22-Aug-06 18:02:56

I would personally feel that security is probably better now than in another years time and around 9/11 it will be even higher you can bet on that one. My H is more often than not going transatlantic as we live in the US and he came back just after the last scare. It's more of an inconvenience. I used to go to London with my mum during the IRA terror campaigns it never stopped us. But I can understand your reluctance.I was the same when we had to go to London to get our visa I didn't want to travel on the underground. But once we got there I decided that if i didn't the terrorist had won.

FairyBasslet Wed 23-Aug-06 09:19:11

Thanks for all your comments.

Common sense says go and enjoy but there's just a something holding me back. We're not daunted by the long flight. We took DS to California when he was 8 months old and it was one of the best holidays we've ever had. This flight will be fine - DS will sit happily watching films/cartoons and I have confidence that DD will be fine as well although she has just started crawling so will see. I am still breastfeeding as well and had intended to continue until we got back (did same with DS with California trip) so that helps I suppose.

We had another chat about it last night and to be honest we're not much further forward but the clock is ticking so I really have to make up my mind in the next few days. If we're going we've got a lot of stuff to organise...

I'm sure I'll be back on here in a month's time raving about what a wonderful time we've had...

HeyBaby Wed 23-Aug-06 13:45:32

Fairy - we are in the same boat you, having booked a two week holiday to New England for mid-Sept. It's a tough choice to make especially when there are things that you can cancel and get SOME money back if you do it early enough (eg 1-2 weeks prior).

Initially when it all happened, I was very upset and extremely anxious about flying. I am somewhat more "relaxed" now because the security level has been decreased. I spoke with DH about it and we agreed that we should try to live normally, without of course taking stupid risks. Who knows where they could strike next? They have hit the tube before but you can't stop going to work every day because you don't want to catch the tube anymore!

I hope we end up going but I don't want to be completely stressed out on the flight and staring down the other passengers in case they look dodgy!!! We are playing it all by ear at the moment, but it does gall me to think that our holiday budget could be lost in one sweep, esp as terrorism cancellation isn't covered by insurance - now that we are on 1.5 incomes it takes a lot longer to save up and we really need a break!!!

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