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  1. #1
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    Default Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    Just wanting some advice from those who've travelled to Europe alone with under 2's. My DD will be 18 months when DH travels o/s for work next year for about a month. It's not really an option for us to all travel on the plane together as I also work and would only be able to take two weeks off at best. It would be the trip of a lifetime as we have family on both sides we could visit (and who haven't yet met DD) but I'm in two minds about whether I go at all because DD is and always has been a crappy sleeper, and our trip to qld earlier this year was hell because I really struggled to hold her on my lap and she didn't sleep the entire flight. She was beyond grumpy by the end and to be honest I regretted even going on holiday in the first place and wished we had just stayed home!

    Can someone with a bit of experience traveling with toddlers (the non sleeping variety) please give me some advice on how to do a trip like this, or be honest and tell me if it would just be more trouble than it's worth?

    And please, no stories from ppl who have lovely angelic babies who sleep lots, it's not relevant to my situation and will probably make me cry :-)

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    Default Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    My friend did it solo with a six month old. To be honest she found it really hard and her baby didn't sleep and was noisy most of the flight.

    BUT she survived! And it was worth it to see her family.

    I don't think it's easy but it is possible and the flight attendants will help you out.

    I guess with a toddler having distractions is the key. Perhaps having small new toys/presents to give her every 4-6 hours or something?! Bribery usually works!

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    I usually travel with DH, but have taken DD overseas about 7 (maybe more?) times since she was born (she's now 2.5).

    Once she got to about 18mths+ we paid for an extra seat on the plane for her. This came on the back of a holiday where the flight out was horrific. She was too big for laps, and she couldn't get comfortable to go to sleep - so kept trying to roll over and then crying because she couldn't. We ended up buying an extra seat for the journey home.

    While we were booking that at the hotel, a pilot overheard us and said his best advice was to take the car seat on to the aeroplane. You can strap it in with the lap belt, and the child sits as normal in their seat. They sleep better (as they're used to sleeping in it), and they're comfortable - and can't really wriggle or go anywhere.

    We've done that on all subsequent trips (Malaysia, UK, Germany, and Dubai) and it's been fantastic.

    I know that only helps if you can pay for the extra seat though!

    Otherwise, I really think you'll be fine. If you need to go to the toilet then you just ask an air steward to keep an eye on DD. You can take the stroller right to the gate, so that helps with keeping DD in one place. The airlines usually give you priority in queues and for boarding too.

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    Default Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    Wow thanks for such quick and helpful replies!

    Can I just say that I LOVE the suggestion of taking the car seat and paying for the extra seat - I didn't think about that?

    I guess what was freaking me out was the memory of us both struggling to contain an extremely active baby on a 5 hour flight and juggling trips to the loo, nappy changes, feeding etc and that was with two of us, I don't think I could do that for 22 hours on my own! If she was in a carseat that would enable me to have hands free, and give us both more space as she's already big for her age, and finds it hard to get comfortable to sleep in my arms anymore.

    Some questions:
    - what sort of car seat? I'm assuming you mean a booster rather than one of those reverse capsule things?
    - suggestions for getting around (specifically London), hire car?
    - accommodation ideas?

    Thanks!

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    Hi A few words of wisdom - please don't hire a car for travelling around London I f you value your sanity. The public transport system is the best way of getting around.Websites such as last minute and wotif for accommodation. Please don't attack me for saying this but as the standard of accomodation can be so appealing in London you really need to stay in a 4 or 5 star hotel if you want to guarantee a clean and hygienic environment. If the budget won't stretch travel lodge is a good "budget" option Also please take into mind there are multiple london airports that are in some instances hours apart!!!! Take some disposable change mats copious wipes and a big supply of nappies. At stopovers let them have a run around in the airport near the gates. Pps suggestion of toys is good and also an iPad or other tablet with kid friendly tv as the seat back. Tv's are too high for toddlers to focus on. The second seat is great as it means you have more space and can eat without a toddler on your lap.

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    Default Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    Definitely don't rent a car in London!! Buses are the best I think.

    Check out airbnb.com for accommodation.

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    Default Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    We travel quite a bit with our kids DD was one of those angelic kids so she was easy, DS likes to challenge us

    On the long flights I dress them in comfy clothes, something easy to get on off, as your changing all different time zones some places are hot others cold. I take on board comfort items, a favorite toy and a new toy for once he has had enough of everything. I also take pre packaged snacks for some quiet time for me (while he is chewing lol)

    I also took our pram to the gate and they'd have it ready for me.(if I knew the first time how rough they were with them I would have wrapped bubble wrap around the handles)

    Always give dummy/bottle/bf for take off/landing to avoid sore blocked ears, I also take some fess and spray their noses a few times.

    On arrival in London we went to the counter and asked for a car with a car seat, we used public transport while there.
    I don't know if its allowed but we stayed at the strand palace hotel, I was a little worried as it was so much cheaper then then hotels around, dd said "this isn't fancy but its good" it was clean and was good service, but not fancy location was great!

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    Default Re: Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by HopefulK View Post
    Wow thanks for such quick and helpful replies!

    Can I just say that I LOVE the suggestion of taking the car seat and paying for the extra seat - I didn't think about that?

    I guess what was freaking me out was the memory of us both struggling to contain an extremely active baby on a 5 hour flight and juggling trips to the loo, nappy changes, feeding etc and that was with two of us, I don't think I could do that for 22 hours on my own! If she was in a carseat that would enable me to have hands free, and give us both more space as she's already big for her age, and finds it hard to get comfortable to sleep in my arms anymore.

    Some questions:
    - what sort of car seat? I'm assuming you mean a booster rather than one of those reverse capsule things?
    - suggestions for getting around (specifically London), hire car?
    - accommodation ideas?

    Thanks!
    I take our meridian AHRI safe n sound one - so the full reversible seat! But I'm sure any seat wiuld work just as well

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using BubHub

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    Default Re: Flying to UK with 18 month old, alone... Am I crazy?

    I flew to Canada with my two alone at 1.5 and 2.5 year's old. I found what worked the best was to take their car seats on the airplane for them to sit in.. also pack as lite as you can for carry on... I didn't bother with all the new toys etc.. we tried that before and they didn't get that much use. Gte airline supplied them with bags of stuff stuff( Emirates) and the tv's were a hit

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using BubHub


 

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