Moving Overseas

Updated on February 25, 2008
J.S. asks from Grandview, MO
19 answers

I am getting ready to move overseas with my husband who is active duty army. we will have to fly with out 3 young kids ages 4-3months. i am needing to know if anyone has ideas on how to keep them occupied during the flight. (15 Hour flight) I know my 2 year old will be the one i have the most trouble out of.

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P.F.

answers from St. Louis on

Having travelled overseas quite a few times I would say the best thing for the two year old is a variety of smaller toys, so that you can keep introducing something new to keep them interested. The others would most likely be occupied with hand held electronic games, coloring/activity books/plain paper for drawing. Good Luck!

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L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Another suggestion that worked for me once: A book with vinyl cling stickers or colorform stickers kept my daughters entertained for a long time. We stuck and restuck the stickers to the airplane window where the light would come through and make them shine. We also spent a lot of time with the mini pots of playdough. I don't know if playdough is allowed anymore, though. I wish you the best of luck!

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L.C.

answers from Tulsa on

I know when our kids first flown they were 3 & 4, the pilot took them into the cockpit and showed them around and then gave them their first set of wings, it was pretty cool. We were only in flight for about 5 hours though. However I did find that bringing books for them to look at, and coloring books that they kept themselves pretty entertained. If they have a window seat then they could always be amazed at what they see below. I also had a bag full of snacks and favorite blanket and stuffed animal, I think it will be harder on you than it will be them. THe stewardesses were also amazing.

It has been several years since I have flown overseas, but if they still do this they will have movie4s on the flight, so maybe they could catch a show before naptime!

Enjoy your flight! HOpe this helps a little.

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K.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Go to a Dollar store and let all the kids pick out their own bag (book or duffle) then let thempick out all sorts of stuff to play with; books, cars, coloring books, I'd call the airline and see if you're allowed to pack snacks for the kids (friut tpye things). Man, 15 hours..yikes! They wll also sleep part of that time. Good Luck, I hope this helped. (this was what my old boss did with her two kids when they went on a road trip it was no where close to 15 hours, but it helped pass the time.)

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B.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm sorry I did that coming back from Guam 20+hrs with a newborn,3,4 year old. The best thing you could do be to have the kids put a bag together with toys they want--with-in reason. If they like using markers get the crayola books. The ones that only write on the paper. Bring snacks also. Just remember try to make it a bag they can carry. You are limited and you have to carry the bags and in my case I had to use the bag on my sons back to carry him off the plane when he through a fit. Bring a stroller if you have one. Ask them to check it when you board the aircraft. That way you can get it when you are getting off the plane. You won't have to worry about how you are going to get to baggage pick-up. Hope I helped--good luck.

B.

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J.D.

answers from Oklahoma City on

We fly with our 3 1/2 year old quit frequently - we always bring our travel DVD player for video's, books, coloring books, snacks (you can bring food, but not drinks) and head phones for music. If you're lucky, they'll nap for a lot of the flight. My daughter likes to walk up and down the isle too. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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H.L.

answers from Wichita on

LOTS of advice. My husband is in the National Guard and goes across country so we have had to fly with our 2 yr old a few times. Here goes:

*Color wonder markers (they only color on special paper)
*Crayons and coloring books
*books
*play-doh in a tub
*portable dvd players
*the head phones they give on the plane are wonderful. My son was so intriqued by putting it in his ear and listening to radio disney.
*SNACKS!!
*dry-erase boards to draw pictures of planes and such
*photo album for him to look at fun things
*I Spy books
*Magna Doodles
*Aqua doodles (it is a reuseable picture that you fill a pen with water and color over and it colors the picture. No mess and once it dries you can use it again.)
*Stroller if you have a layover
*Juice boxes or something of the like.
*toy cars they can play with on the tray

Let the 2yr old get the window seat. My son LOVED looking outside at the clouds!

I hope this helps!!

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P.B.

answers from Peoria on

get him aa CD player and a few childrens songs or stories. As for the babies under him, I think they'll be fine

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J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

We only had a 6 hour flight to California, but still traveling with kids can be really difficult. I bought my kids both new toys, and didn't give them to them until we were up in the air, and on our way. I unboxed all the items for less trash, and easier travel, but this kept them busy for several hours. Make sure you take plenty of snacks, and drinks, and books are usually a really good idea. My son is 1 1/2 and loves the "lift-a-flap" books.
Good luck,
J.

A.H.

answers from Tulsa on

I can't give much advice for the older children, but I just flew to India with my 2 1/2 month old. See if the plane you are going to be on has bassinets that attach to the bulkhead. Since it'll be an international flight, I'm pretty sure they will. I'd then get your seats switched to bulkhead seats. The bassinet was a lifesaver for me, since one of the flights on my trip was 16 hours. This is also a great place to change diapers since the lavatories didn't have a changing area. Good luck!

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D.P.

answers from Chattanooga on

First I am jealous, i would love to go back overseas. We flew when my dd was 3 mths old so it was easier on her then. First call the airline you are flying with and see what you can and can't bring on the flight, get a small backpack for the 4 yr old and 2 yr old and have them put just a few things in there, a book, color pages, crayons and such that are allowed. for the 3 mth old you could use a lil tylenol and he should be fine, my dd was still nursing and we made sure she was during take off and landing and she slept almost the entire flight, i made sure to have her own seat and it made for a smooth flight

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K.B.

answers from Springfield on

My husband is also military.My children were 2 and 3 months when we flew home from Germany, and my 2 year old was actually better than the baby.Pack a small carry on bag with a few small new cheap things, like a coloring book and crayons,small game, cars, or barbie, depending on if gender, and whatever else you children like.And every 2-3 hours let them pick one thing out of the bag to play with.Also, you can order kids meals for them beforehand.It is much more kid friendly food, you just need to call and order them before your flight.Hope this helps!!Good luck!Where are you going?

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R.

answers from Oklahoma City on

When we flew from Oklahoma to North Coralina we left really early in the morning and she slept most of the way. It was very easy going. However on the way back we had much later flight about nap time. She was not interested in sleeping at all. We had a hard time calming her down. We were also on smaller planes on the return trip. We did give her tynolonal to calm her it did help. I think she has the same air sickness I have, so when she was awake it was really hard for her. I can't fly on little planes -- I get sick. We did have books and new toys for her. All in all it wasn't too bad. Just the return was a little stressfull she wanted to move and couldn't I would say if you can try to take the red eye so the kids sleep through most of it. We also kept her up late the night before so she would sleep in.

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L.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I know this might sound crazy but I would bring lots of snacks and new toys for them to play with but I would also pack benadryl and plan to give them the minimum dose whenever they should be sleeping (night time sleeping). I would also pack special juices and special foods that they don't get often. Your 4 yr old would probably play a leapster, you might be able to get one used on ebay or on craigslist.org. Maybe that will help....best to you on your trip, I feel for you! L.

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V.N.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Wea re getting ready to embark on a nine hour flight, and I'm going alone with my 3 kids...youngest being 9 months. I would recommend taking your 2 year olds car seat on the plane. When I did that last time it was so much easier. My son knew he couldn't get out, just like being in a car, and so it was easier for him to expect. I have travelled with everything but the kitchen sink and found that I was forever chasing item down. I typically find that the kids sleep more than they play, espacially if its an overnight flight, that being said this is what I pack.

* Colouring books and crayons---dollar tree is a great place

* Small puzzle in a ziplock bag

* Some snacks, but most airlines have plenty, same as juice

* Pre-book kids meals----British Airways has a policy, kids eat first!!!!

* Aqua Doodle---they have a travel size--my 7 year old loves to play with this still

Hope you have a great flight, we ar looking forward to ours. I am going to invest in a potable dvd player, but mainly for our time in England. british airways has continously running cartoon netowrk and disney channel. I have to say they are the best airline when it comes to travelling with kids.

Good luck!!!

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T.J.

answers from Tulsa on

I would take those bubbles in tiny bottles (like wedding favors) or the kind that doesn't spill -this could be used inside airports. Also those books that you can paint in by using only water (no paint) and a brush. I bring a small cup with a lid to put water in - not very much water at all-or ask for water from the steward. You probably need to hold the water cup and I bring the brush and book inside a ziplock bag in case it gets wet. Playdough and cookie cutters. Show him how to make snowman, balls, etc. He might not be able to use cookie cutters but he can manipulate shapes with his hands. Make circle "cookies" for his family to "eat". Color Wonder markers and paper by Crayola, string Cheerio necklace with yarn and Cheerios, thin paper books to read that are not heavy to carry, couple of HOt Wheels cars, polly pockets dolls don't take up much room and little boys like those also, crayons, dry erase board/pen, mini-travel size Aqua-Doodle, tape player with tapes and head phones. Those portable dvd players are about $100-if you get those, sometimes they run out of batteries on a trip so be sure to take the extension cord so he could plug that in at the airport to finish watching if have long layover, simple card games like Go-Fish with 2 matches instead of four - and only use a few cards. Bring wipes for spills...Hope this helps!

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S.G.

answers from Kansas City on

I gotta say, I think I'd invest in a portable DVD player for this trip! ;) I think I'd also run them around like crazy to wear them out the day before. Hopefully they'll sleep a bunch.

When we were kids and going on long car trips, my mom would have little gifts for us to open each hour. They were little things - like books, coloring books, etc. - and it gave us something to look forward to every so often. The magnadoodle someone suggested is a great idea. Don't forget to pack favorite stuffed animals and blankets. Your oldest is probably old enough to enjoy some simple card games - Target has a large selection. My nieces really enjoy Wig Out, they're ages 5 & 2. The LeapPad is another good idea, your 2 yo might even enjoy it.

Good luck!

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R.A.

answers from Lawrence on

While travelling with my 15 month-old on a flight overseas, I gave him "Tylenol with cold" in it. It made him sleep more. Of course, there was that nagging guilt that I was drugging my child. Yet on another flight when I gave my child "Tylenol with cold", I was sitting next to a pediatrician's wife, and she said her husband frequently confirmed that children do need to sleep, that the special Tylenol was not a bad practice. It also helped with my son's ear pain when changing altitudes. I also tried to push the fluids on him so that he wouldn't become constipated because of the med , an ailment which has been a problem for him until he stopped drinking milk.

Other ideas:
-Baby Einstein and a portable DVD player.
-A supportive father in tow.
-Games, personal ones that you play with the child that you do to make the child laugh, because a child's laugh eases environmental tension, which is necessary on a flight like that and with the increase in incidences of flight rage (nicotine withdrawl in most cases?).
-Adopt a grandmother for a day while in flight, using and believing in your intuitions about who is safe and who is not. Many grandmothers love all children, and want to dote upon them, and they also want to help more than most others.

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M.

answers from Wichita on

Hi J.,
A 15-Hour flight is quite a long ways to travel. I would recommend having a good variety of snacks on hand, water and juice, a number of books (their favorites and some new ones), and some games that do not make noise/music so as not to disturb the other passengers.

My 2-yo daughter loves books and her favorite snacks (goldfish crackers, cheerios, chex, grapes, & strawberries) when we travel. I also pack her some water to keep her hydrated.

Have a safe flight!