Flying with 3 year olds?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by haleystar, May 2, 2012.

  1. haleystar

    haleystar Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure I am borderline insane for even thinking this sounds like a good idea but I'm seriously thinking about making a 4 hour plane ride up north with a 2 hour car ride with just me and the boys, who will be just shy of 3, in June. My Mom is offering to fly the 3 of us up there with her and her husband and the pay for the rental for me to take the boys to visit relatives while she attends a wedding on her families side. It's a pretty big deal and the reasons I am seriously considering this massive migraine is because I have been dying to get back up to MI to visit family I haven't seen in almost 10 years. I've wanted to take DH up there to meet them and see the beautiful parts of MI that I spent almost every summer in but he got a new job and won't be able to take the time off. To top it off, coincidentally, my brother is driving up there to meet his new girlfriend/visit family and is taking my Dad, who lives in another state) with him and will be visiting around the same time as we will. The trip up won't be so bad it's the part when I venture solo with the kids with the road trip and especially for the plane ride back.

    Am I totally crazy? Has anyone traveled with toddlers semi-long distances alone?
  2. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    Quite a few people have done it--so rest assured it can be done. There are a lot of old threads on the topic if you want to take the time to do a search.

    On my girls 4th birthday (so a year older than your boys will be) I travelled from the small town I live in in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca to the small town my parents live in in southern Missouri alone.

    First, we took a 6 hour overnight bus ride to the airport in Mexico City. We left at 11pm and arrived at the airport at 5 am. Our flight was at 9am. That flight was to Houston, then from Houston to flew to Memphis then from Memphis to Springfield Missouri then there was 30 minutes in the car to get to my parents house--we arrived there at about 6pm.

    All of this was almost 4 years ago now, so it's all kind of a blur. I did do it again last summer with just my son, who was about 18 months at the time. In someways it was easier with just one, but in others, preschoolers were easier because they could talk to me and tell me exactly what they wanted.
  3. abrinka

    abrinka Well-Known Member

    You are not crazy!
    I will be flying alone with not quite 4YO twins alone-3 planes,19 hours of flight and I just can't wait to see my whole family! I have not visited my home country for about 5 years so that is what makes me excited and flying is going to be long but I am preparing all kind of activities,small gifts and snacks.
    Go for it and enjoy!
  4. Specky

    Specky Well-Known Member

    What a great opportunity! I took my boys from NH to California (about a 9 hr flight time in all) when they were 2.5yrs.
    They did so much better than I could have ever had hoped!! The hardest part was keeping them buckled in the beginning, I spent 15min just rebuckling them and reminding them that this is what we do it in a car....I'm sure I sounded like a broken record to the other passengers.
    I ended up bringing way more than I needed...but packed a dvd player, books, and busy things to do...I also gift wrapped a couple of things...brought some fun snacks and just talked A LOT about what was happening.
    For me the challenges, although few, were so worth seeing my sister and her family.
    She's coming up this year and we will be going again next year.
    Good luck and have a wonderful time!
  5. cc2010

    cc2010 Member

    In February, I flew from Honolulu to San Francisco by myself with my DD and DS (they were just shy of 2 years old at the time.) I was a nervous wreck in the weeks leading up to the trip, but it went a lot smoother than I anticipated. Like others who have taken on this challenge, I brought a lot of small toys, books and snacks to keep the little ones occupied. I even managed to take both of them into the lavatory with me when it came time to change their diapers (and for me to take a bathroom break too). It was a tight squeeze, but we managed it okay. I really talked about the trip and the airplane ride (their first time on a plane!) in the weeks prior, and even bought them some toy airplanes for Christmas in anticipation of the trip. A backpack is a must. Also, I've heard that sometimes you can get a porter to help you to the gate. I didn't do that, but I did bring the stroller with me and checked it at the gate.

    I think it's important for the kids (and you) to spend time with family. That was the reason why I took the kids on the trip too -- we went to see my older brother and his family. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
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