Monday, 10 August 2009

How to survive a long airplane ride with kids 7 and below (for flights 18 hours and longer)

My family and I had a smooth ride with Korean Air going to Toronto for the past 17 hours (yes, we were at Pearson International Airport one hour earlier than the schedule). I would not have survive the long flight if not for the following and I would like to share them to passengers with children in tow.

1. Bring Activity books, quizzes and mazes. This kept my kids busy especially while waiting at the airport and at the first Boeing that we rode because it didn't have the Personal Video at the back of the seats.

2. Keep them playing while waiting for the plane. At NAIA, there a Kid's Lounge or play area where Aloysius and Achilles played with other kids. This kept them from asking is it time yet? By the time they were seated at the plane, they were dozing off.

3. Bring your own baby food, water and formula milk. Although this can be requested at the airline, it is better to have them ready before the baby starts to feel uneasy. The schedule of feeding at the airplane might be different with the baby's. I fed Alexus before boarding and at the stopover. the Formula Milk handy is helpful especially when the plane is about to take off to ease on the pressure. I learned this lesson on the second plane because Lex was crying the first time we took off.

4. Befriend the Inflight Nanny and smile at other passengers.This worked for me. Each time Alexus would cry, the Inflight Nanny would come and comfort him. I tried to be friendly too to the other passengers who will get annoyed at the kids noise. The 3 Koreanas behind us were very fond of
Alexus that when its time for me to go to the lavatory and Lito carried him while standing (Lex wants to be carried this way), the girls asked if they could carry Alexus and when Lito handed Lex over, they were glad Lex willingly came. The almost 15 minutes these koreanas carried Lex was an opportunity for me to eat and stretch. Before we disembark, these girls gave Lex a necklace/choker as a souvenir.

5. A Portable DVD Player might help. We brought one which we used while waiting at the stopover. The Nursery/Playroom at Incheon International Airport looked good but we never had a chance to use them because it was closed since the AN1H1 outbreak. So the 3 hours waiting was not difficult - one Sesame Street movie kept my kids eyes glued to the gadget.

6. Bring portable games and charge them before you go. The PSP was helpful but only for a few hours because the battery life was short.

7. Take advantage of the Personal Video entertainment center in front of you. Whoever thought of this is a genius. Imagine you can watch the movie you like, listen to music and even play games. This is the airplane's replacement for our discharged PSP. There is a Kids Zone in the entertainment center and the movie Nemo amazed Alexus.

8. Wear comfortable, ready to breastfeed clothes. Each time Lex would feel uneasy and about to cry, I would just pop 1 boob out in my discreet mommy-matters-blouse and there you go, he would be sleeping in no time.

9. Relax, Focus on one kid at a time and Pray.

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