My First International Flight with 2 Toddlers

This year, we had a lot of anxiety leading up to our first ever international flight with two children under the age of 4. We weren’t just going international, but actually crossing over the date-line. I used to think that 6-10 hour flights were long, but 15 hours and 40 minutes to the Philippines? Plus TSA lines, waiting to board, and delays? Let’s just say the experience felt longer than it was—and it was really long.

Going in, there were a few things we weren’t sure about. Would we be allowed to bring milk on board for the baby? In the quantities needed for that long of a trip? Would the kids sleep at all on a 15+ hour flight? How will I manage with a baby in my lap the whole time?

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Fast forward to the actual trip:

Luckily, it wasn’t a problem bringing milk on the plane for our 1.5 year old. I took out the shelf-stable milk cartons during the security check and placed them in their own bin. No problem from TSA (either direction.)

The real horror: We boarded over an hour late. Our flight was over 20 hours (as opposed to the scheduled 15 hrs 40 min) with an unexpected stop to refuel in Honolulu (which took about 1.5 hours, as opposed to the 45 min projected.) As a passenger, this was my worst nightmare. I rarely fall asleep on planes and being the control freak and organizer that I am, I don’t like unexpected changes in plans. On top of that, I get sick practically every time I travel.

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All that being saidthe kids did great. I let them spread out, smothering me and taking up my already limited space—worth it to keep their smiling faces smiling. Alas, the plane was full and we weren’t able to get the seats with more leg room, so dealing with the lack of space was tough. Plus my husband wasn’t able to sit with us. That was a real downer. And the rickety plane we were on deserves a whole separate post…

So, what’s my point? The moral of the story is that kids are better equipped to adapt than this mommy is. I brought a lot of kids’ Clif bars for my older son and plenty of milk for the younger. Even with the extra 5+ hours tacked on, they did great as long as they were fed, hydrated, and dry. They even slept almost half the time!

When all was said and done, I was ecstatic that these little ones made it through and, difficulties aside, this momma didn’t do so bad either!

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About Becky Nimoy

Becky Nimoy is a Southern California native, residing in the small but lively Los Angeles port town of San Pedro, along with her high school sweetheart and husband, two baby boys (ages 2 years and 2 months), and their 3 cats. When she can manage it (having two boys is rough!), she loves to draw, bake, repaint the rooms and work in the garden. In her spare time she and the boys like to explore the many parks that San Pedro has to offer and hike on the horse trails of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. She is passionate about all things chocolate, eating organic as much as possible and using cloth diapers on her kids. She holds a B.S. in Art History from UCLA and a professional certificate in Interior Design through UCLA Extension. She freelances as an architectural draftsman and stationery designer.

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