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Would you go on a longhaul flight with a 2yo?

(22 Posts)
mjo1 Wed 29-Jul-09 18:32:09

My family is having a reunion in September and my daughter will only be 2-1/4 years old. It is a 10 hour flight each direction - during the day on the way over and a night flight on the way back.

Am I insane to consider a 10 hour flight with a toddler?

I'm keen to hear anyone who has dared ....

LivingLaVidaLurker2 Wed 29-Jul-09 18:36:23

I would definitely go - even if it's awful, it's only 10 hours out of your life. And if you're really keen on the reunion, it will be so worth it.

(I've been to NZ twice with my two - first when they were 8 months and 3 years and secondly when they were 20 months and 4 years. It's not that great, but it's not that bad.)

thighsmadeofcheddar Wed 29-Jul-09 18:38:11

I've been to Australia 3 times on my own with DD. At 4 months, 18 months and 2.5years. You just need to be well prepared and remember it's only 10hours. It'll be so worth it when you get there.

Itsjustafleshwound Wed 29-Jul-09 18:39:10

Been there and got the T-shirt.. it isn't quite as bad as it sounds as long as you are prepared.

Two year olds also have their own seat, there is usually in-flight entertainment for them and can be quite fun ...

Good luck - a family re-union is always worth it ...

EldonAve Wed 29-Jul-09 18:39:10

We have done LA with a 2 yo and a 4 yo
It was okay. I would go

weegiemum Wed 29-Jul-09 18:42:25

We did Canada with an 8 month old, then Guatemala with a 16 month old.

If you can bf so much the better. But it was easy enough with our kids. Plenty of distraction and take your own food - should be fine!

barey Wed 29-Jul-09 19:02:08

I went to US when (9hr flight) when DS was almost 2 and was 25 wks pregnant. Walked up and down the aisle for most of the flight and he finally went to sleep on the descent. It was a bit of a nightmare. However, I got over it. I am still trying to brave it with 2 - DS is 4.5 now and DD 2.4. Can't contemplate it at the moment but hoping to do next summer. But I think the key is it is only 10 hours or whatever out of your life and you do get over it. Just be prepared to do lots of walking! Good luck!

prettybird Wed 29-Jul-09 19:05:12

The other advantage of doing a long haul flight at this age is that you may well find that your dd gets "used" to travelling, which will make all future travelling much easier.

Ds is now 8 and he has driven to France/Italy/Germany with us on many occasions, first time age 4 months, been to South Africa 3 times (13 months, 4 and 7) and flown to greece on many occasions (1st time at 11 months). He now pretty much gets on to a plane and goes to sleep.

I'd agree with making sure to go prepared: pack lots of wee toys to maintain interest if your dd doesn't fall asleep. Raisins and bread sticks are good snacks, as are Smarties if you are not bothered about chocolate (the candy coating means that it doesn't get too messy). The airline will probably also give you a goody bag with toys/crayons.

Go for it!

wonderingwondering Wed 29-Jul-09 19:05:53

I did it recently with a 4 yr old and 2 yr old. It really was fine.

We went with Virgin and they supply car seat type child seats which were really good for the day flight as they stopped them fidgeting and standing up on the seats, taking off the seatbelt etc. Not so good for night as they wanted to lay across our laps to sleep, so we got rid of them for that.

And we were near a door so had that space to play cars in when they wanted to stretch their legs.

Timbuktu Wed 29-Jul-09 22:18:52

I did a 7 hour flight to the Gambia with dd aged 2.5 and was dreading it, but she actually surprised me and was quite content sticking stickers everywhere and playing doctors (box of plasters) and a little nap.

hellywobs Wed 12-Aug-09 14:37:08

For a reunion I would do it. For a family holiday I wouldn't - there are so many wonderful places to visit in Europe.

My ds is 6.5 and we are off on our first long haul flight this evening. I wouldn't have done it sooner unless I was visiting family somewere who were unable to travel to me.

Hulababy Wed 12-Aug-09 21:51:24

We took DD to Florida when she was 2y4m. It was fine, no problem at all. She slept a lot of the time. Have taken her long haul since then too and never been a problem.

blowninonabreeze Wed 12-Aug-09 21:54:30

definately, would and have, (plus taken her younger sister too!)

At 2.4 she'll have her own seat, For DD we take her car seat on board as she sleeps well in that, she loved the individual TVs (take your own headphones as the plane ones are sometimes in-ear ones) and basically didn't move for the entire flight last time she did it (admittedly she was 2.11 that time)

PlumBumMum Wed 12-Aug-09 21:55:52

Like hulababy my dd was that age when we took her to America, and I was 4 months pg, it was fine,
I was sorry I didn't pack alot more bits of fruit etc and made sure I stocked up for journey home although it was a night flight so she slept more

good luck but you'll be grand

twinmam Wed 12-Aug-09 22:16:15

Am taking my twins to Australia in Oct when they will be 20 months old. Now that's insane grin Am sure your DD will be fine and like people say even if it's a nightmare flight (we had a terrible flight in April - constant screaming etc) it will be over and will be worth it for the lovely time you will have smile

deepdarkwood Wed 12-Aug-09 22:19:37

Went to US (10 hrs) when dcs were 17 mths and 3.5 - it was fine - so much easier than I expected. And fellow passengers were incredibly supportive as well.

Top tip - get bulkhead seats for extra space...

MollieO Wed 12-Aug-09 22:26:56

I did an 11.5 nightflight, 6.5 hr day time wait, 2 hr day flight and then 2 hr day drive (all in one go so 22 hours continual travelling) when ds was 2.5 and on my own and return! Everyone thought I was mad but it was fine. Flights were overnight which helped. Have done 8 hr daytime flight with a 3 yr old that just required a bit of activity planning.

anniemac Wed 12-Aug-09 22:46:20

Message withdrawn

weegiemum Wed 12-Aug-09 22:50:23

When ds was 17 months (and dd1 3) we flew Uk - Canada (West Coast, so about 11 hours I think) and was fine.

When dd2 was 16 months we flew (complicated arrangement given our 6 week sabbatical plan) Glasgow - Vancouver - Guatemala City - so an 11 hour flight followed by a 9 hour flight next day.

Then at 17 months we flew back to Vancouver (9 hours) and 3 weeks later back to UK (another 11 hours).

Was all fine - we never had any issues with it at all.

hmc Thu 13-Aug-09 11:44:17


We waited until youngest was 4, and it was even quite tough (albeit manageable) then

MarshaBrady Thu 13-Aug-09 11:46:54

Yes I've been to Australia three times with ds without dh, and one with him, as a baby and toddler.

It's hard, but it's fine and worth it. Also ds is good at going on planes now!

The night flight should be easy, she will sleep.

mumof2222222222222222boys Thu 13-Aug-09 11:55:42

Go for it! For same reasons others have mentioned. I took DS1 to Dubai when I was 5 months pg as DH was working there. Hard work, but fine. Definitely worth it when we got there.

in fact we're going back there in Oct to see the boys' Godfather. DS1 will be a breeze, but DS2 will be nearly 3 and challenging!

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