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Old 07-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
5ofus
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Questions for those who have travelled with multiple small people

We're going to Disneyland next year Unfortunately I don't know when yet, as we're waiting for our friend to set her wedding date (they're getting married in Vegas!) - and yes, not being able to plan is killing me! I know it will most likely be between May and October though, so we will have three boys aged 2, 4 and 6 in tow

We've taken the two older boys to TDL and that was when they were 16 months and 3 years old, so we're not absolutely untested when it comes to traveling with wee ones. This time though, we'll be outnumbered

One of my main concerns is managing to wrangle the kids and luggage through the airports. The older boys are getting some cute Disney rolling luggage for Christmas, so I'm hoping that they'll be able to handle them themselves. We'll most likely take the pram so #3 will be strapped in and safe until we unload the luggage at check in, but it will mean that only one of us will be able to cart the bags. Another worry is that DS2 (he'll be 4), is very stubborn (wonder where he gets that from ) and if he decides he doesn't want to carry his bag, or even walk anymore, we'll be in trouble!

Then there is the flight. 14 hours DS1 will be getting an iPod for his 6th birthday and we have an iPad so I think it won't be too bad. We're on a super-tight budget so we'll be looking for the cheapest fares, but not so much that we'll go United, who I believe still don't have the personal IFE. Hopefully we'll be able to find an afternoon flight so the kids will sleep for some of the trip. With books and colouring and a couple of matchbox cars I think we should be okay, but will be happy to hear any and all tips on what else we can do to amuse the boys.

So if you've traveled with very small children, let me know your secrets! How did you get through airports? How did you cope with long-haul flights? Do you still have your sanity?

Oh and one more thing, we're going on our 'big trip' in 2015. The boys know about this and know we're going to WDW and DL then. So far they have NO CLUE about next year, and we're thinking about doing the whole surprise thing and not telling them until the morning we leave. What do you think about that?
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
miss.potatohead
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Oh how exciting!

US airports are generally pretty family friendly. They often have separate lines for customs/immigration for families with young children to get you through quicker well that was my experience at LAX. Make sure the kids have slip on type shoes and easy to remove jackets, and understand they'll have to remove them, as that makes the security situation a bit easier.

In terms of the flight itself, most international flights have decent inflight entrainment systems in the seats with new and old movies, tv shows and music. The kids can sit down and watch a movie or two and fingers crossed they fall asleep for a bit. Get up with them and go for a little walk down the plane every few hours to get them active if they are like me and can't sit still for more than half an hour! Maybe have a look into Air New Zealand. Their flights leave at night and get into LAX around 9am so you sleep during your regular sleep time.

Often if you give them some responsibility (ie, taking care of their bags as you've said) they'll be a bit better behaved

And I love the idea of it being a surprise! Especially as they know of the other trip. I wouldn't be able to keep it a surprise for that long though :P

If worst comes to worst, you can always drug the kids up on phenergan like my parents did when I was 3...serves them right as I had an adverse reaction and ended up being hyperactive during the entire plane trip! (note: i don't recommended this! haha)
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
chris31997
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Dh is military so we have moved alot and flown alot.

Everyone gets a bag. Have kids, have pack mules All in relation to the size of said pack mule.

DS had a bag that he could pull, one on wheels and we packed it with extra clothes in case of lost luggage or accidents. When he was littleer I had my sling and would wear it, if he could not keep up or was tired I would sling him and than someone could pull his bag. But it was very important that his bag be on wheels for that very reason. Everyone else had bags they carried, no wheels.

DD was older and her bag was the entertainment bag, anything that the kids thought they might want to have on the planes went in there. I had veto power because they tend to get carried away and want to bring everything. They got to pick.

DH and I, each had a bag packed with snacks, hygenie, medicines, and elertronics. Because those would have to be removed when we go through security.

We wear slip on shoes, comfortable clothes.


Some other things that I have seen on here is to wrap little dollar store items, cars, coloring books and things like that, so that it is a surprise when the little ones get the new things and have to open it up.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:55 PM   #4
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Maybe have a look into Air New Zealand. Their flights leave at night and get into LAX around 9am so you sleep during your regular sleep time. [/QUOTE]

I'll do that, although I have a sneaky suspicion all fights stopover in NZ and I think that might be a bit much.

And I love the idea of it being a surprise! Especially as they know of the other trip. I wouldn't be able to keep it a surprise for that long though :P [/QUOTE]
I really hope I can keep it a surprise. DS1 is super smart and has extraordinary hearing (don't they all when you don't want them to hear something!). We'll see though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by miss.potatohead View Post
If worst comes to worst, you can always drug the kids up on phenergan like my parents did when I was 3...serves them right as I had an adverse reaction and ended up being hyperactive during the entire plane trip! (note: i don't recommended this! haha)
DS1 is allergic to a lot of medicine and has funny reactions to most others. He'd end up being the kid running up and down the aisles screaming We rarely use even panadol unless it's really necessary (btw, I realise you were joking )
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris31997 View Post
Dh is military so we have moved alot and flown alot.

Everyone gets a bag. Have kids, have pack mules All in relation to the size of said pack mule.

DS had a bag that he could pull, one on wheels and we packed it with extra clothes in case of lost luggage or accidents. When he was littleer I had my sling and would wear it, if he could not keep up or was tired I would sling him and than someone could pull his bag. But it was very important that his bag be on wheels for that very reason. Everyone else had bags they carried, no wheels.

DD was older and her bag was the entertainment bag, anything that the kids thought they might want to have on the planes went in there. I had veto power because they tend to get carried away and want to bring everything. They got to pick.

DH and I, each had a bag packed with snacks, hygenie, medicines, and elertronics. Because those would have to be removed when we go through security.

We wear slip on shoes, comfortable clothes.


Some other things that I have seen on here is to wrap little dollar store items, cars, coloring books and things like that, so that it is a surprise when the little ones get the new things and have to open it up.
I like the idea of having a bag of snacks, a bag of games and a bag of clothes. Between the five of us, I think that will work out nicely.

Slip on shoes and jackets, hadn't even thought of that! I'm glad I asked the question
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
miss.potatohead
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Air NZ flights do have a stop over in Auckland, but it's normally only an hour or two, and by the time you get off the first flight and then through all the security stuff, you are basically onto the connecting one It's not that bad, but I understand if you'd prefer a direct especially with the young ones. Another consideration is that Air NZ allow you (on some flights) to convert three seats into some sort of bed. Reviews say it isn't big enough for an adult, but for three young ones that might be something to consider!
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #7
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We've flown with multiples (literally -twins). First two times to Aussie and it does get easier year by year. Two years old was a pain, three much easier and we fly again to Sydney in a couple of weeks and the kids are 4.5 years. When we fly on 8th Sept to LAX the kids are closer to five than 4.5 years.

Our stategies - kids have Trunkis, from age three. From that age they can pull their own and sit on them when they get tired (Google Trunkis to see what they are like). Trunkis have been a lifesaver and they are really cute, so even cranky business men smile and get all cutesy with the kids.

We will fly Air NZ at night to LAX. Kicking it for a couple of hours if you are coming from Aussie is a bit of a pain but we'll have nearly seven hours to kill between our NZ connector and the Air NZ LAX flight. We plan to camp out in the Koru Club as it's quieter than the madness of the rest of the terminal. We will fill them full of hot food in the Koru Club before we board and that way they can doze off immediately.

On shorter haul flights we've taken the DVD players but they only have a three hour battery, so we will take DH's laptop if they want to watch a movie. Air NZ has great kids TV and movies and you can request kids meals which come with funpacks. We pack some snack foods that the kids like and also giftwrap some Hot Wheels, crayons and colouring books, kids get to open them at points we choose (when we can see them getting a bit bored). We also pack a full set of spare clothes for each kid in their Trunkis (even on Aussie / NZ flights) - a mate had a kid throw up all the way down himself and into his shoes as they were boarding the Heathrow to NZ flight and they didn't think of spare shoes and socks.

Having had two children who both had adverse reactions to Phenagren I do not recommend it at all. What we did do was take the kids to the GP one week before the flights to get their ears checked, if one had an ear infection (one kid was particularly prone) we got a course of anti biotics into them and made sure it was gone before we flew.

We always have chewy lollies - snakes seem to be the favourite here but there are plenty. When we start to decend we give the kids lollies to chew as they don't do sucking lollies one bit.

We found one boy liked to eat and sleep while the other one needed a bit of a walk down the plane and to visit the loo and galley before settling down. Fortunately every Air NZ cabin crew member we encountered but one guy was fabulous and gave Mr 3 a tour of the galley, which he found the highlight of his trip.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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We did a long haul flight to Thailand in April this year with a two and five yo.
It was fine.
I had heaps of snack food, which I am glad I packed the children ate nothing of the meals and on the way home had 8 kitkats between them from the dinner, breakfast, snack meals. (I vetoed all of them as they were asleep...)
I also found small toys, textas and a small notebook each, stickers, this cool playdoh like stuff that was also handy when we were at restaurants as I keep a ziplock bag with it in still, ipod touches, and our laptop with DVDs that they enjoy and a new one each of these too.
I am glad we took the laptop as the only show they would have watched on the flight entertainment was ONE episode of Dora. We flew Thai.

We are off again to the USA in October this year and I will be taking similar stuff although I think they will sleep a fair bit of the way as we fly out at 11am, so we'll have lunch, an afternoon movie or two, snacks some drawing, ipods, new toys, dinner and then bed.

I am actually a lot more relaxed this time due to how amazing they were on our earlier trip this year.

Run them ragged at the airport and feed them as much food (not so much sugar though which is why I took our own stuff) as they can eat.

With bags, we take trunkis domestically but for an international flight I think they would be a huge pain. If we get to the airport and the children are tired or don;t want to pull it it would be another small bag to carry for us.

We are streamlining as we go and this time will take:

Two medium suitcases and a smaller sized (take on flight sized one) to check in, and our stroller, which is in it's own flight bag. But the smaller suitcase will be empty on the way over, and even one larger suitcase will be empty or half full too.

[We plan on order nappies, food etc from Vons and have it delivered when we arrive, the hotel will hold it for us. So it's great as we save heaps of room.]

On board: my big handbag with all my usual purse etc along with documents and wipes, tissues, money, ipods and tickets in it.

One back pack with change of clothes for children, jumpers (although I will layer them as much as possible), snacks, play stuff, laptop.

That's it.

The ergo (child carrier) will be in the small checked on suitcase at the top so we can access this, or I may even pack it in the backpack in case we need it when we land at 7am.

That way DH can pull two larger suitcases and wear the backpack, DD (5yo) can pull the smaller one and I can carry my handbag, DS, and the stroller bag which has wheels. Worst case scenario is that I can wear DS in ergo, pull both small suitcase and stroller and my handbag can sit on another suitcase.

Sorry for the longwinded post, but I planned and planned and experimented alot with domestic travel before we went in April and it all was effortless almost.

Just relax, take just as much stuff as you need, and have fun.

C
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
5ofus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viaggiamo View Post
We did a long haul flight to Thailand in April this year with a two and five yo.
It was fine.
I had heaps of snack food, which I am glad I packed the children ate nothing of the meals and on the way home had 8 kitkats between them from the dinner, breakfast, snack meals. (I vetoed all of them as they were asleep...)
I also found small toys, textas and a small notebook each, stickers, this cool playdoh like stuff that was also handy when we were at restaurants as I keep a ziplock bag with it in still, ipod touches, and our laptop with DVDs that they enjoy and a new one each of these too.
I am glad we took the laptop as the only show they would have watched on the flight entertainment was ONE episode of Dora. We flew Thai.

We are off again to the USA in October this year and I will be taking similar stuff although I think they will sleep a fair bit of the way as we fly out at 11am, so we'll have lunch, an afternoon movie or two, snacks some drawing, ipods, new toys, dinner and then bed.

I am actually a lot more relaxed this time due to how amazing they were on our earlier trip this year.

Run them ragged at the airport and feed them as much food (not so much sugar though which is why I took our own stuff) as they can eat.

With bags, we take trunkis domestically but for an international flight I think they would be a huge pain. If we get to the airport and the children are tired or don;t want to pull it it would be another small bag to carry for us.

We are streamlining as we go and this time will take:

Two medium suitcases and a smaller sized (take on flight sized one) to check in, and our stroller, which is in it's own flight bag. But the smaller suitcase will be empty on the way over, and even one larger suitcase will be empty or half full too.

[We plan on order nappies, food etc from Vons and have it delivered when we arrive, the hotel will hold it for us. So it's great as we save heaps of room.]

On board: my big handbag with all my usual purse etc along with documents and wipes, tissues, money, ipods and tickets in it.

One back pack with change of clothes for children, jumpers (although I will layer them as much as possible), snacks, play stuff, laptop.

That's it.

The ergo (child carrier) will be in the small checked on suitcase at the top so we can access this, or I may even pack it in the backpack in case we need it when we land at 7am.

That way DH can pull two larger suitcases and wear the backpack, DD (5yo) can pull the smaller one and I can carry my handbag, DS, and the stroller bag which has wheels. Worst case scenario is that I can wear DS in ergo, pull both small suitcase and stroller and my handbag can sit on another suitcase.

Sorry for the longwinded post, but I planned and planned and experimented alot with domestic travel before we went in April and it all was effortless almost.

Just relax, take just as much stuff as you need, and have fun.

C
Thanks for that . We went to Disney On Ice today and DS2 was in one of his moods when it was over. Only bribery got him back to the car. Hopefully the lure of Disneyland will be enough to keep him under control...
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