Flying with 2 4 yr olds

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by w101ttd, May 13, 2014.

  1. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Hi ladies! Hope everything is going well for you all. I am sure this topic has been posted many times. But I am still asking... Sorry!

    So we (my 4 yr olds and I) will fly from OH to LA I. July. Out cousin family invited us for a beach camping trip. I'm not sure how we will do it. My kids are awesome with car traveling. They can stay in the car for a straight 4-5 hr trip. But we have flied yet. So I'm nervous. It will be 1 stop: Day to Dallas (1.5 hr on air), then waiting time is about 3 hrs(??!!) at the airport. Then a over 3 hr flight from Dallas to La.

    I'm thinking of checking in our car seats is it a good idea? Will they break?

    On the way back: la to Chicago (4.5 hrs at night from midnight to 5:50 am). Is it going be ok?

    Please if your have any advices, please share!!!

    Also, I hate flying since so many bad news about airplanes lately

    Thank you all!
  2. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    You are flying from Dayton Ohio? You are in my neck of the woods. If you were willing to drive to the Cincinnati airport, you could fly nonstop, which would be my preference with 4 year olds.
  3. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    We have only flown once with my kids and they had just turned 5 and they did really well.  We were going to Disney and staying on resort, so we didn't bring car seats because we wouldn't need them (used Disney buses) so I can't answer that question.  They each had a small backpack.  In the backpack we had a few new toys, their leapsters, coloring books, crayons, markers, a little stamp set and a few smaller travel type games.  I also brought snacks with me (a lot of snacks).  I would also recommend gum or suckers (to help with the pressurization on take off/landing).  We had a direct flight on the way down and a short layover on our trip back.  We had a sit & stand stroller with us that we checked at the gate and that was a lifesaver in the airport.  If it wasn't busy we let the kids walk but when the concourses got crowded (or if we had to hurry) we put them in the stroller and could go faster and keep track of them. 
    With such a long flight, I would try and fly direct if you can.  I think on the plane kids would be fine, but would worry about long layovers in airports.  Good luck!
  4. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    We've flown a few times with our kiddos and our niece and nephew. They all did really good! A lot better than I thought they'd do at first. 
    Our first flight with the kids was from New Orleans to Orlando for Disney and it was a direct flight. Honestly, they were so super excited to be on an airplane (and going to Disney!) that they didn't want to do anything except go see the airplane bathroom (only my kids lol) and then just look out the window. 
    Our second vacation was from New Orleans to Tahoe, with a layover in Las Vegas. Again, they just did so much better than we thought. Jason is my sleeper, so while his younger cousins and his sister never napped, he did on both shorter flights between Vegas and Reno. We had snacks with us and my BIL brought a portable DVD player, but honestly, they only watched that for a little bit here and there.
    We also flew from New Orleans to San Francisco  last year with everyone. Again, they did really good. When did have some nasty turbulence right at the end of the flight coming home. The kids all thought it was awesome and like a roller coaster while me and SIL were gripping our seats! LOL Try to hide your nerves from the kids so they don't get scared. They'll think it's a big adventure!
    We didn't bring their car seats though. Because we were renting a car to drive from Reno to Tahoe, we just rented seats from the rental company. And we no issues with that. We did that for our twins and my niece. Since at the time our nephew was still in an infant seat, my SIL did bring that. She checked it in a car seat bag with no problems. 
    Our layovers weren't bad. I'd honestly rather a little longer of a layover than a really short one. That way there is no rush for everyone to use the bathroom, get to your next gate, get food, and burn off some energy. We were that family that would take up a corner at whatever gate we were at and just let the kids play and be a little crazy. 
  5. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    If you can manage to gate check the car seats, do that. Having them personally carry them instead of going down the conveyor belt reduces the risk of damage. Ask for the big plastic bags at the check-in counter too, or we bought carry bags/backpacks for ours. (Radians). The bags were worth the investment for us as we traveled with the car seats a lot.
    The overnight flight should be ok if they're good sleepers. My boys think sleep is for jerks, so we don't schedule night time flights.
    I allow the boys complete use of electronics when we're on the plane; it keeps them engaged and quiet the whole time. I let them pick what they want from the beverage cart, let them have snacks. Let the airline attendants know it's their first time flying and they'll usually go out of their way to bring them some extra fun stuff. 1.5 hours is nothing, and even the layover won't be bad. Once you consider boarding, you'll be in the airport for 2 hours. Go have a meal, let the kids run. I *think* there's a kids area in the Dallas airport that they can play in (I was just there.. why can't I remember???) and lots of shopping and things to look at. They will do great :)
  6. tarcoulis

    tarcoulis Well-Known Member

    Our carseats have flown (checked in) all over the country and to Canada in big plastic bags.  No problems or damage at all.  Flights of 1.5 hrs, 3 hrs and 4.5 hrs should not be a problem.  Between a couple of movies, beverage service, snacks and meals, looking out the window, a new game or toy, the time will pass quickly.  Bring a new book and read to them.  The 3 hour layover is not bad either.  After disembarking, going to the bathroom, getting a drink and snack, looking in a few stores, and getting to the next gate, there won't be much time left.  Find an empty gate lounge and let them do cartwheels on the carpet if there is no play area.
    My kids really enjoy the logistics of travel.  They make sure we have all the luggage, get us to check in, organize everything through security, find the right gates, then find our seats.  Have a good trip.
  7. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much ladies! I definitely will get the carseat bags. I never knew about those bags before. I prefer our car seats over the rental ones :). And yes lot of snacks, quiet toys, iPads with headsets, books!

    I checked and there are no direct flights from Dayton/Cincinnati/Columbus to San Diego. 1 stop flights should be ok. I think my kids will enjoy checking out everything at the airports lol. And yes Dallas airport has many stores and very crowded. And we will have to take the train for terminal to terminal. I'm sure they will love.

    After planning out the details, I feel more confident. And I am excited now lol. Thank you so much ladies!
  8. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Delta has a direct flight from Cincinnati to Sam Diego. I'd be shocked if there weren't options from Columbus too. But I think a stop will be fine.
  9. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    If I changed my depart and return dates 1 day later, yes delta has direct flights (only 4hrs!!!). There are no direct flights on the dates we will travel though.

    Also the nonstop from SD back to Cincin is night flight. It will arrive around 5:35 Am. Nah, I avoid traveling on I-75 on weekday morning at all cost lol.

    Thanks again. I will keep it in mind. We might fly down to NC, I will check direct flights from Cincin :)
  10. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    If you gate checking your car seats, see if you can borrow a go go kidz or something similar ( so you don't have to physically carry the car seats during your stop over.  Or if you were planning on bringing a rolling bag into the cabin, bring a bungee to strap the seats to the rolling bag.  Have a great trip!
  11. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I have flown with my twins several times now, the first time when they were 3 (almost 4).  They do great with or without connections.  I only took car seats once, and I borrowed my neighbor's car seat bags and checked them with the baggage.  No damage at all.
  12. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Yes, I saw those and wanted to get them. But I got regular bags because I will check them in with my luggage. It would be a nightmare to move from terminal to terminal with 2 kids and 2 car seats lol. But I agree those are awesome! Thanks :)
  13. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much ladies! We are looking forward to the trip ☺️
  14. Sofiesmom

    Sofiesmom Well-Known Member

    My twins are super frequent flyers ... I even keep track and they have flown about 150,000 miles (my oldest well over 200,000), so we have experience! Long haul, short haul, business, economy, stopovers, layovers ... First thing ... stay relaxed, you can't change what will happen, so whatever happens will happen (and I've had lots happen!). Be calm, be flexible and breath (I try ... but lost it last year with a 23-hour delay on our first leg)! I often fly alone with them, also long haul and with layovers (next month including a 3-night stopover). I haven't used car seats in the plane since 6 months old ... too much hassle, too heavy, too difficult to manage. They've been sitting in a regular seat belt ever since. You could look into the CARES-harnass which is FAA approved. I had travel bags for the car seats and just checked them through in hold. Never had issues with damage, etc. We've been stroller free since age 3, so that has made a major difference. So much easier.
    I don't bring lots of toys (completely overrated), because they'll play with whatever you don't bring, they'll sleep, eat and watch DVD / iPad or in our case mostly inflight entertainment system with more choice than you'll ever need. I do bring some basic meds (fever, suppositories, nasal spray) and clean clothes (have had vomiting accidents more than once including last summer) and often a clean shirt for myself as well. Not too many snacks (but we always get full meal service) but definitely something to eat, nothing to sweet and nothing that stains! They're all allowed one small back pack with a few toys but they must be light enough to carry by themselves (this mommy does not carry anything they don't want to carry). I bring some pain meds for myself, folder with all passports, documents, etc. Use have a small trolley on the long haul with all the extra stuff and my hand bag with the important stuff at my feet. 
    Don't force them to sleep ... forcing = crying in my opinion ... I have more luck pretending I didn't care and usually they're out fairly quickly with night flights, etc. With layovers, walk around, promise them a small gift (or special something), have a snack, go to the toilet, watch some planes, watch a little bit DVD or iPad ... and things will move pretty quickly. I find flying easier than long car trips, but possibly because they have way more experience flying long haul than driving long distance (we can't really go far here). 
    Best of luck!
  15. w101ttd

    w101ttd Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mom2S&twins for the helpful info. I took note lol. I forgot about the med! Yes, I will check in our car seats. Thanks again!
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