We have 12 HOURS ON THIS PLANE WITH 2 KIDS?! Pretty much sums up my thought process of our China travels. Our kids are typically great travelers, but they’ve never been on a journey this far, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
When we arrived to the airport we immediately faced our first problem. How on Earth are we going to carry all our bags? When you fit everything you own in to a few suitcases, it seems like you’ve cut back so much, but when you try to walk through an airport with 4 suitcases, 5 backpacks, a roller carry-on and a duffle bag, it suddenly doesn’t feel like you packed light. We VERY SLOWLY made our way to the check-in desk where we happily gave up as much luggage as they would take from us. A huge stress was relieved once were able to send off the bags and deal with just the kids and our carry-on.
The first flight was a breeze, it was only an hour and a half and went by quickly. We only had an hour to get to our connecting flight to Beijing, so we hurried off our first flight and made it just in time to board our second one, but we ran into another problem. We didn’t have tickets for our flight to Beijing. The lady at the desk was asking for a receipt, and we had no clue what she was talking about. We were doing our best not to panic, but we had no way of boarding this plane (that was already boarding) until we found this mysterious receipt. We ripped through bags looking for any paper that might have been tucked away, but nothing. Drew went back up to the desk with our boarding tickets from our previous flight and our passports, to ask if there was anything else that they could use or that could be done. As the lady looked at our previous boarding tickets, she noticed the receipt she was looking for, was printed on the back of the ticket. A huge sigh of relief over came us, and we boarded immediately.
When the flight started for take off, that exciting feeling overcame me again, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. We’ve waited almost an entire year for this moment, and it was so surreal that it was finally happening,
After feeding us dinner, they turned off the lights in the cabin and the kids and I fell asleep. That helped a few hours go by, but then Grant woke up, and he was not happy about being on the plane still. between hours 5 and 7 Grant ranged from wining to full out screaming, until we found something to finally calm him down. Meanwhile, Ellie slept, she was a perfect angel the entire trip. Around hour 10 they brought us our second meal. I can’t say I was a huge fan of the airplane food. We hadn’t even made it to China and I had already eaten tofu, salmon (i don’t like fish) and a wasabi coleslaw. It made me pretty nervous for the foods we might encounter in China. I didn’t want to spend the next year of my life starving!
As we finished up our meal we were getting close to arriving. Although we still had an hour, when you’ve just traveled 11, it feels like nothing! We started to organize our things and anxiously await landing.
Although there were a few rough hours, and getting through the airport was a pain, I’d say over all. the flight wasn’t too bad. It was and felt very long, but giving the kids melatonin and having them nap, really helped.
If you plan on flying with kids, especially long flights, here our the tips that worked best for us:
Pack light-getting around the airport was difficult with so much stuff, and we didn’t even us half the the things we packed in the carry on to entertain the kids
Candy Buttons- My Grandma bought us some candy buttons to bring with, and they were life savers! Not only are they great for bribery, it gives the kid something to do! They aren’t just eating the treat, it took our kids a solid minute to peel each button off the paper, so it was a great why to kill time while keeping them entertained.
New toy/Blind bag- the kids each had a tsum tsum blind bag to open on the plane, which we used for incentive to be good, as well as a time frame for the kids. So after so many hours they were allowed to open it.
Snacks- When you need your kid to just chill for a minute, snacks are awesome!
IPad- We downloaded a ton of games, movies, and tv shows to the iPad, and that was a life saver, having a show that we knew the kids would like made things much easier.
Melatonin or Benadryl- Sometimes it’s ok to help your kids sleep. In our case, with the time change being a ten hour difference, we felt it would be more beneficial to have them sleep on the plane since it would be 4pm when we arrived in Beijing.
Well, those were the most helpful things! I brought coloring books and neck pillows and tons of other stuff, but honestly, I didn’t even use them. So if you plan on going on a big trip, these are the things I’d suggest bringing!