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Best way to survive a ten hour flight with a five year old and a two year old?

(12 Posts)
maggiethemagpie Wed 06-Apr-16 09:38:11

Just that really. Flying to Jamaica in a few weeks. Really looking forward to the holiday but dreading the flight ! Can anyone give me any tips or hints?

The flight returning is a night flight so hopefully they will sleep most of the journey but the flight out is in the day.


OP’s posts: |
KidaniVillage Wed 06-Apr-16 09:59:03

Snacks, sticker books and crayons worked for mine. Small toys have sometimes worked eg small tub of dinosaurs
They also have iPads with appropriate apps.
The 5 year old might enjoy the seat back entertainment.
I take a Trunki Boostapak for my current 4 year old, otherwise he can't really see the screen.

KidaniVillage Wed 06-Apr-16 09:59:48

Spare clothes for the children and a spare top for you in your hand luggage too.

DessertOrDesert Wed 06-Apr-16 10:19:39

Kidani pretty much has it.
If there are 2 grown up, one of you board as early as you can, with as much stuff as you can, and the other keep the kids running round at the gate as long as possible. No point turning it into 11.5 hrs on a plane grin
Totally chill about screen time. If they watch stuff all the way, it isn't going to kill their brain cells. don't bank on them sleeping on the night flight

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 13:42:05

Would also suggest you take their favourite foodstuffs for them to eat on the plane; do not rely on the airline to fully provide.

Does your youngest child have their own seat?.

HeadDreamer Wed 06-Apr-16 17:32:00

I've done lots with two young ones. I wouldn't take crayons or anything small unless you fancy picking them up from the floor, all the time. They seem to have a knack at losing toys. DD1 is 5yo and she loved the in flight entertainment. We just buy a child headphone for her. (The flight ones are too big for her head). She's done that for the last two years and one of the trips is to Australia. Also the planes have USB jacks so don't forget to pack your own USB cable to charge the tablet if you are bringing one. For the two year old, is he old enough to sit down with games or TV? If so, in flight entertainment again.

The problem with sticker books is that they finish them in no time. I took some a few years ago, but DD1 finished one without an hour. So if you do use them, plan to bring 4 or 5. And double that for the return journey.

KidaniVillage Wed 06-Apr-16 20:00:29

I agree that you need more than one sticker book.
We also took pipe cleaners for the last 2 flights. DS used them to make things, spiders etc, then they were easy to put away.

Due to the ages of my children I haven't yet taken a flight without a preschool aged child in 18 years of regular long-haul flights.

All flights have been absolutely fine.
My children seem to enjoy turbulence. One of my DDs giggled loads when one of our flights experienced 10-15 minutes of it when she was 1 and DS4 quite enjoyed it last year.

With our older children we used to just put the stuff in a small backpack for them.
Our current youngest child (just turned 4 before last flight) has one of these

It's great because I clip it on to the back of the seat in front and then I don't have to keep bending down to retrieve a backpack from under the seat every time he wants to get a different item.

BiddyPop Thu 07-Apr-16 14:27:06

I found that on long flights (5+ hours) with DD, having a few presents, wrapped in (old, mixed) wrapping paper were very useful to dish out at intervals of no shorter than an hour. Cheap things from Euroshop and bargain stores, so small toys, colouring book & pencils/crayons, small lego set etc. I used to take about 6-7 packages to use between outbound and return flights.

She would also take her favourite teddy, a couple of toys (mostly for the holidays rather than flight), a book for daytime and a bedtime storybook, and snacks - some healthy that we knew she'd eat (kids meals on US airlines can be odd - like BBQ sauce all over mashed potato making it un-eatable to most people!) and some treats.

DH would load up the iPad or bring the DVD player from the car, which
would give us a couple of hours each way. Even if the plane's own entertainment wasn;t great (US airlines also tended to have older planes with overhead shared TVs and no music on radio - US, Delta, American - we've tried all!).

And there is always a couple of chances to get up and go for a walk to the loo and look out the doors at the back for a few minutes, or lean over Mammy/Daddy to look out the windows too!! (If the DC are not in window seats for entertainment or containment purposes!!).

BadDoGooder Thu 07-Apr-16 14:31:02

Wine, wine and more wine!
Everyone else has very sensible and great suggestions.......

<gets coat>

BiddyPop Thu 07-Apr-16 14:36:16

And yes, I agree about a full change of clothes for each member of the party in hand luggage - between what may happen on flight (spills, illness etc) or luggage not arriving, you want a change available to you all. But that can be very tightly rolled into a carryon bag.

Having each DC dressed in comfortable clothes, and layers, does help too. Include a hoodie for DCs, so that if plane is cold, or they find lights too bright, you can deal with that.

HeadDreamer Thu 07-Apr-16 16:26:20

BiddyPop US airlines sound dire! I'm glad we don't get such kids meal or bad in flight entertainment. All of ours have been great. Individual on demand systems with USB charger and touch screen types. We just did a return flight with Virgin Atlantic and they even have a kids profile (like netflix) with music and games and movies). There's also kids in flight pack with socks and eye masks.

We also do comfortable clothes. DD1 changes in PJs because tha'ts what she prefers.

BiddyPop Fri 08-Apr-16 12:38:04

HeadDreamer PJs are sooo handy at times - DD used to change into those for the night flights (we found ourselves twice having an internal short hop before the transatlantic) and wander around the airport in PJs carrying her little pillow (with lots of Americans calling her "so sweet" grin). Now though she wants to stay like us - so comfy tracksuits or combat trousers/hoodie combo; comfortable soft tshirts, her buff scarf around her neck, and her headphones around her neck until we board.

We are thinking about transatlantic again next year (possibly Canada for Christmas, or somewhere in the US for summer holidays) and I will be making sure it's a European airline. And that I get a window seat for a change, or else internal (not aisle with carts/bags/elbows whacking off my head all night!).

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