Longhaul flying to Florida with two toddlers!(8 Posts)
We are going to Florida in the Easter holidays and I have never travelled on a plane before with my little ones. They are 3.5 and just (birthday 3 days before we travel) 2 year old.
I have a few questions and concerns
1) Can anyone provide a list of the all important things to take on a plane to keep them amused. My initial thinking is ipad, sticker book, drawing pad/pencils, books, wrapping toys and giving every hour, snacks.
2) How on earth do you keep a two year old still for 9 hours! The 3.5 year old will watch a lot of films and play but my 2 year old is so active and throws tantrums if she is restrained/told off
3) We are flying Virgin. How do the car seats work? Do you have to carry them through security at the airport and all the way to the gate?
4) When do you request toddler seats for the plane if we choose not to use our own car seat? Also are they 5 point harness?
5) Are there changing facilities for changing nappies?
6) Do the airliines provide milk on board and if so can it be warmed?
7) Can we use a buggy through security and up to the plane door and hand over to staff? and when do you collect it the other end?
8) Non children related - Are drinks included on economy and is there anywhere to charge ipads/ipods?
9) Anything good to know
10) Any recommendations to do whilst out there including which parks etc.
Has your youngest child in particular got a seat of their own?.
I would check the car seats at the check in desk, taking them on the aircraft may well become more trouble than it is worth (those aircraft aisles are very narrow). This is what they say about car seats on board:-
Also from VAs website:-
"If you are travelling with infants or children, you can bring a fully collapsible pushchair and car seat, in addition to their free check in luggage allowance.
Infants too young for their own seat on the aircraft (travelling on the lap of a parent or carer) can have one piece of hold baggage weighing up to 23kg, and one piece of hand baggage weighing up to 6kg. We’re afraid we can’t allow extra baggage allowance to be purchased for infants".
Again from VA re the buggy:-
"Pushchairs may be checked in or used up until the boarding gate. On landing, whenever possible we’ll have your pushchair ready and waiting at the aircraft doors. However, you may have to reclaim it at the baggage hall, due to local customs restrictions at some destinations".
At Orlando for instance these are usually left in the Oversized luggage part of baggage reclaim near the baggage carousel or on the carousel itself. If there are not many buggies you may actually be able to collect it upon disembarking the aircraft. You should be advised at the departure gate as to where to collect it; you can take the buggy up to the gate.
They will warm up the milk but do test it carefully before giving this to your children; it can be still hot.
Changing nappies onboard will be done in a confined space; there is usually only enough room to turn around. Carrying a small change mat is a must as there will not be one of those on board.
Do not rely on the airline to fully provide. Take a spare set of clothes incase of spillage.
You may have to walk your youngest child up and down the aisle of the plane. Wear flat shoes!.
Drinks are included but they tend to do only one drinks run. If you want more drinks you will need to go to their galley area.
There are USB ports usually in economy seats. The website "Seat Guru" should be able to give you more details about the planes Virgin use on their routes.
You will be given a white US customs form onboard or at check in to complete. This will need to be given to the Immigration Officer upon arrival into the US.
Leave any uneaten food, particularly fruit if you have this, behind on the aircraft.
Have you booked a seat for the 2 year old? Assuming so I wouldn't bother with car seats. Too much hassle plus if you change your mind about using them there is no where for them to go. Basically both children are in their car seats or nothing for the whole flight.
No milk is not provided. Some airlines help with warming but others don't. Is milk necessary for either? Take kids food with you. Don't rely on airline even with booked children's meals.
No 5 point harness. Just a usual airline seat belt.
Yes, baby changing on planes. Just a pull down table in the toilets.
Pull-ups are easier to change than nappies, if your 2yr old is a girl put a skirt on her then that saves taking shoes/pulling down trousers etc always take more than you think you will need incase of any delays.
If you want a relaxing few hours away from the parks then head to Green Meadows Petting farm!
I don't think the airline will supply you with a toddler seat. I have only ever seen toddlers using the same lapbelt as everyone else. Also, they will not let a two year old sit on your lap for take off / landing no matter how close to their second birthday they are.
Be aware that many UK car seats do not have the relevant safety standard / sticker to allow them to be used on a plane. And if you take your own car seat your DC will be stuck in it for the full 8.5 hours as there will be no place to put it if your DC no longer wants to sit in it.
I disagree re sitting on your lap (unless you have a very tall old looking 2 year old). If you want toddler on your lap for take off or landing just smile nicely and ask for an infant seat belt. Works for me!
Take 2 iPads with lots of their favourite programmes pre-loaded. The peppa pig games are great too, and the cebeebies app and all the duplo and Lego juniors ones.
Change of clothes for everyone (pyjamas are comfy and pack down small)
Time consuming non messy snacks
Bottle of water so you don't have to stress about balancing little glasses on your tray
And my top tip? Don't drink alcohol. I know that sounds totally killjoy and it feels like it will help, but it really doesn't. You just end up still having to work as hard but you resent it more because you feel tired and a bit fuzzy.
You might not get the pushchair back til baggage collection belt so factor that in when planning hand luggage.
Put the nanny in economy while you travel first class...
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