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Holidays

Two children on a plane - will it be hell?

24 replies

Hilary · 10/02/2002 22:30

I am getting quite keen to go abroad for a holiday, not having been since BC (before children) I am having a hard time persuading dh that 2 children in an airport waiting, sitting on a plane waiting and having their routines shot to pieces, not to mention car journeys at either end will be a wonderful, relaxing holiday experience! As you can tell, I am not so sure myself. Anyway, lots of you seem to jet off abroad so I thought I would ask how you all cope. My children are 3 and 1 and are both of the lively variety.
Also, where is really cheap and family friendly?

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callie · 11/02/2002 10:18

Hilary! I am also interested in what eveyones advice is on this. I haven't been abroad since dd was born 21mtha ago. Iam also worried about the flight etc.
Dh wants to go to Florida this year but Iam not so sure. We went before dd was born with our then 6yr old ds and his age was perfect.

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Rozzy · 11/02/2002 21:06

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Ailsa · 11/02/2002 21:51

Do it Hilary we've been abroad a few times with 2 kids (3 if you count dh!!) We've never had problems at the airport or on the plane, because we flew with Britannia and had an infant we were allowed a later check-in, less time hanging about. If you go somewhere warm, the kids will be more relaxed and probably have a nap in the afternoon so that you can have time to yourself.

In the past we've stuck to places like Majorca, Ibiza and Mainland Spain because of the short flight, only a couple of hours - the time goes so quickly. My two like to listen to the airline radio, it's amazing how a set of headphones will keep them quiet for ages.

My two will be 8 & 5 this year (actually during our holiday) and we're doubling the flight time. It's a night flight so I'm hoping they'll sleep.

When we booked our holiday, there wasn't much available. The cheapest we could get was to Turkey, and it was the only place we could get a 5 bed room (MIL is coming with us).

Callie - how did your 6yr old cope with the long flight?

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helenmh · 12/02/2002 09:31

I have been on a few long haul flights with our children. The first was when they were 2 and a few months. I absolutely dreaded the 12 hour flight back from San Francisco but they slept the whole time. Night flights can be good for that. if you are thinking of Florida, the planes are very geared up to families. We flew with virgin and they had kids packs, the staff played games with the kids and there was a kids cartoon channel. A friend of mine flies regularly to Indonesia with a toddler and she wraps lots of small gifts which he opens once an hour. I would say go for it its worth it.
helen

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jackalene · 14/02/2002 18:13

hi hilary

I have been to quite a lot of destinations with children (4 kids) Last year I went to Roquetas De Mar in Costa Almeria in Spain and found it to be inepensive to eat out. Buying food from the supermarkets is fairly inexpensive too. The resort itself is very child friendly with Hotels offering lovely swimming pools andevening entertainmentand some have kids clubs. There is an independant play area for the kids with soft play area, slides, small funfair, small charge (£2.20)There is a little train that runs around the resort too as well as a horse and carriage. Look out for the senorita who sings to everyone on board. Very friendly hoping to go back again this year. The beach is very shingly though.

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JoAnne427 · 14/02/2002 18:21

Here's a question somewhat in line with this topic - did you all purchase seats for under 2 yrs., or have them on your lap? What is your advice on this?

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helenmc · 14/02/2002 21:40

I went to Gran Canaria when my twins were 7 months, and went to Italy just before dd was 2, and they went on our laps. You can book sleeping cots that look like boxes. You won't be allowed to seat near exits - as in an emergency you should be able to help every-one else. When you fly- carry spare clothes for yourself as well as kids in hand luggage.I spent a sticky evening after having Tango poured over me..yuk. Have a good holiday!!!

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triplets · 18/02/2002 20:52

Hi,
This is an interesting one as we are flying to Majorca in April with our 4yr old triplets, their first flight! Am I dreading it? Yes, but well do it because you just have to go for it and it will be worth it once you are there. As for where to go, we are returning to Puerto Pollensa in Majorca, it really is perfect for families with young children, friendly, and not expensive. Next year we are planning to take them to California, Disney, San Diego and possibly Palm Springs. If anyone can recommend hotels Id be glad to hear from you.

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callie · 18/02/2002 21:07

Sorry , Ailsa. Only just seen your question!!
My ds coped brilliantly with the flight. At 6 he was old enough to play with his gameboy, play cards and read. He also watched the film and played games on the tv on the back of the seats.
In fact i was able to totally relax and read most of the time.
He was also old enough to cope with the 5hr time difference when we landed.
Iam not sure dd would cope at all well with that.Iam loathe to try as she is in such a good routine at home that I really don't want to upset it.6^ is really the PERFECT age to go to disney. Old enough to cope with the flight the heat and the time difference as well as the rides but young enough to still believe in the magic of it all.

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jasper · 18/02/2002 22:17

We took our one year old and two year old on a three hour flight last year and it was not too bad, but the airport delays were hell.

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knakered · 22/02/2002 10:16

we've just taken 3 away to Lanzarote....3 yrold, 4mths, and 16 months...we had 2 on our laps...just be prepared...note that food/drinks are not provided for the children on the laps....the hardest bit was the airport...parking the car ...getting the luggage, 2 in push chairs and the 3 year old on the shuttle bus, checking in etc....getting your luggage of at the other end whilst holding 2 babes in arms and hanging on to an active 3 year old...the pushchair is now in the hold so ther is nowhere to put the children...make sure you feed yourself and the kids before...and bring snacks...try tackling one of those airline meal trays with wriggling fractious babies....best thing is a buggy with looads of storage to get you through the airport and around on holiday...have fun

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callie · 22/02/2002 10:30

Hi, knackered! Where did you stay in Lanzarote?
A few yrs ago we stayed in Puerto del Carmen and loved it.

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DavidD · 22/02/2002 13:52

Hilary, we took our 3- and 1-year olds to Naples last September, using Go from Stansted, and it was basically fine. Fortunately no major delays (even on return just after 11 September) and ds was happy watching planes! He also slept a lot of the flight while dd was content to read/shred in-flight magazines - or make eyes at other passengers!

This year I would like to revert to BC-style holiday in Greek islands, involving one short ferry hop. dw will have none of it - how would two children cope with 2 hour ferry after 4 hour flight, etc, etc?! Am I being naively optimistic and should I just settle for Crete and a short road transfer?

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knakered · 02/04/2002 15:40

We went to the Costa Teguise ..it was quite unspoilt and upmarket ...very good quality food...no discos only a few pretty bars playing classical spanish music...we weere right on the beautiful sandy beach...cant wait to go back again

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Rhiannon · 02/04/2002 18:57

Es Cana, Ibiza. Small town, hotels all close to beach, only about a dozen hotels in the resort. Buses into Santa Eulalia if feeling adventurous. Wouldn't recommend the Caribe though due to small rooms and banging doors.

Have a look at holidaytruths.co.uk R

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cos · 02/04/2002 21:56

Hi
i flew to the carribean with 2 year old twins and a four year old in january on my own. i went BA who allow you to prebook seats, and pre order meals. they also feed the kids on demand. the 11 hour flight was fine, they watched seat back tv and did loads of sticking and colouring. the hardest part is home to check in desk, i got a taxi, 100 pounds to gatwick return but cheaper than car parking for 2 weeks. BA were fantastic, cant recommend tham enough

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Alibubbles · 03/04/2002 10:09

Knackered, why not use the meet and greet service at the airport? We use BCP and they meet you at the terminal door and take your car away and park it, (they'll even valet it for you) when you return, your car is there waiting at the terminal entrance. Well worth the extra cost, especially with all the extra luggage with kids. Just get the kids out of the car straight into the pushchair and wheel into terminal, use a sky cap for the luggage, as they wait with you until you are checked in, and take outsize luggage down to the special collection area, so all you have to hold is your handbag!

Or the other alternative is to use BCP chauffeur service, it cost about £5 more than parking for 2 weeks, and that again is a door to door service. We have done it to Heathrow a few times, it obviously depends where you live on cost, but as parking is £80+ it can be worth it. We do it everytime, with skis etc, you don't start your journey feeling like your name!!

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starmoon · 03/04/2002 12:39

Hello everyone,

We took our little girl Phoebe to Florida when she
was 11 months old. Flt was no prob. She had a sky
cot (she just about fitted in it). The only prob
is when there is turbulance you have to take them
out of the sky cot and put a seat belt around them
on your lap. This happened loads of times on the
inbound flight which kept waking Phoebe up. Hol
was great we had a two bed apartment, washing
machine etc which was a godsend. Last June when
Phoebe was 3 months off being 2 we went to Cancun
to an all inclusive hotel. The flight was great we
managed to keep Phoebe amused, people near us even
congratulated us as to how well we had amused her.
On the way home was even better as we got upgraded to club class (we work in the tvl industry), so Phoebe slept all the way home. End of June we are off to Florida again, flight is with Virgin. Phoebe has started her terrible twos
tantrums and I am worried about the flight. Any
ideas?

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Mel · 07/04/2002 17:08

I stuck to short flights for ages (been flying since oldest ds was 8 months) - mainly to Spain. Costa Blanca, Denia, Jalon, Alcalali. Always self-catered or stayed with rellies. Beaches are gorgeous and it's cheap! The headphones were a good wheeze for a while, but also had a bag with things I rationed. Worst flight was ds having a WHOPPER tantrum and delaying the plane by about 15 minutes (small airline from a local airport)!! Eventually got on when he fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, and the other passengers were ahhing and cooing at him! I could have throttled him!!
Did first long haul when the ds's were 5yrs and 10 months. Flew with Delta and would NEVER go with them again. Terrible service, everything was too much trouble! In contrast, Virgin last summer (boys now 8 and 4) were brilliant! The screens in the back of the seats were great and it would have been even better for the 8 yr old if we had had the games.And they offer ice-cream half way through the flight, which the boys loved - plus the nifty kids' backpacks and the nifty adult ones! We ended up with SO many bags!

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LizP · 08/04/2002 23:50

Think how well the flights go really depend on the child - we've just decided against 2 weeks in Calafornia for 4 days in Cornwall because I can't face another long flight with my toddler. Still flying (can't face a long car trip with him either!) but at least it's only an hour. I second Alibubbles suggestion of the meet and greet parking thing. Also (asumming you are still allowed to take them in hand luggage) a pair of childs scissors should while away some time - letting them cut up the in flight magazines.

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jenniferyellowred · 14/04/2002 12:33

Hello, planning long haul (20 hr) flight London to Hawaii with a 20 month old and a 3 month old. (Ulp!) Any suggestions re: where is best to sit for space, best airline carriers, and just general help! Is it possible to guarantee a bulkhead? Also, anyone flown American airlines? We flew United to the East coast of the US last summer and they were terrible!

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batey · 14/04/2002 20:36

We flew to Japan when our daughters were 3 and ( months. Going was O.K for the 3 yr old as she was excited and had lots of mew things to fiddle wit. I would recommend those reusable sticker books. They kept her entertained for ages. Also lots of snacks, eek them out carefuly so you don't run out when they're at their most tired/bored. We flew with Virgin who have endless T.V. to watch, which helped to.
The baby was a different story though!!she was harder to entertain and feed as she wouldn'nt sit still. S he also wanted to crawl down the aisle all the time which was hazardous.
Coming back was harder as the baby had a runny bottom and I changed her every hour of the 13hr flight!! And used every single item of cloyhing poss. I think she was wearing some of her sisters when we landed. Also my eldest ate so much on the flight she was really sick. Virgin were very quick at cleaning and disinfecting it though.
We had a sky cot for the baby and checkedin v.early to get bulk head seats. The baby wouldn't settle in the cot, I did see another bulk head family mak a "bed" of coats and baby blankets on the floor by their feet and she slept well. We didn't pay for the under 2.
Last year we flew to Potugal on Sept 29, Just after Sept11 and the delays were bad, 4hrs going and5 1/2 coming back. Both were evening flights so we didn't take off until the small hours!!!! The girls were 18 m and 3 1/2. They adapted fairly well to the delays and were thankfuly both asleep on the actual flights but very fed up on landing and being woken. We also had medical emergencies on both flight and nearly had to land in France!!
So my advice is take more nappies, food, entertainment,clothes and money than you think you'll need and then some more! You never know what may happen, we were down to our last coins in Portugal, and you don't get food vouchers until you've been delayed for 12 hrs!! The airlines are more lenient re hand luggage with famillies, aso take a bag for each of you.
Lastly with your 3 yr old explain in advance that airplane loos can be noisy but its O.K., I have a friend whose child eventually went on a box of tissues an the F.T. as she refused to go in the scary loo. And we gave our 3 yr old a lol
ly to suck on take off/ landing instead of boiled sweets (choking!) It was all worth it tough, honest!! We had 2 great holidays, and I feel like we can go anywhere now, it can only get easier, I hope??!! Good luck.

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batey · 14/04/2002 20:37

We flew to Japan when our daughters were 3 yrs and 9 months. Going was O.K for the 3 yr old as she was excited and had lots of mew things to fiddle wit. I would recommend those reusable sticker books. They kept her entertained for ages. Also lots of snacks, eek them out carefuly so you don't run out when they're at their most tired/bored. We flew with Virgin who have endless T.V. to watch, which helped to.
The baby was a different story though!!she was harder to entertain and feed as she wouldn'nt sit still. S he also wanted to crawl down the aisle all the time which was hazardous.
Coming back was harder as the baby had a runny bottom and I changed her every hour of the 13hr flight!! And used every single item of cloyhing poss. I think she was wearing some of her sisters when we landed. Also my eldest ate so much on the flight she was really sick. Virgin were very quick at cleaning and disinfecting it though.
We had a sky cot for the baby and checkedin v.early to get bulk head seats. The baby wouldn't settle in the cot, I did see another bulk head family mak a "bed" of coats and baby blankets on the floor by their feet and she slept well. We didn't pay for the under 2.
Last year we flew to Potugal on Sept 29, Just after Sept11 and the delays were bad, 4hrs going and5 1/2 coming back. Both were evening flights so we didn't take off until the small hours!!!! The girls were 18 m and 3 1/2. They adapted fairly well to the delays and were thankfuly both asleep on the actual flights but very fed up on landing and being woken. We also had medical emergencies on both flight and nearly had to land in France!!
So my advice is take more nappies, food, entertainment,clothes and money than you think you'll need and then some more! You never know what may happen, we were down to our last coins in Portugal, and you don't get food vouchers until you've been delayed for 12 hrs!! The airlines are more lenient re hand luggage with famillies, aso take a bag for each of you.
Lastly with your 3 yr old explain in advance that airplane loos can be noisy but its O.K., I have a friend whose child eventually went on a box of tissues an the F.T. as she refused to go in the scary loo. And we gave our 3 yr old a lol
ly to suck on take off/ landing instead of boiled sweets (choking!) It was all worth it tough, honest!! We had 2 great holidays, and I feel like we can go anywhere now, it can only get easier, I hope??!! Good luck.

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batey · 14/04/2002 20:46

Oops!!!

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