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Leaving..on a jet plane

As some of you know, I'm Korean but spent a lot of my childhood (15 years) in the Philippines. My parents still live there and my sister lives nearby in Singapore. I was just there visiting in July but I'm going back again because my sister just had a baby!! I have to go see my first nephew and of course, reconnect with my family. It is incredibly difficult living so far away from my family because we are very close.

It's a 13 hour flight to Seoul and then a 3.5 hour flight to Manila. The flight to Manila back in July was the nightmare of my life. A was extremely tired but couldn't fall asleep so she was crying, whimpering, or whining for most of the 13 hour flight. At least I had the hubs to help me out. This time, I'm flying solo with the little monster, I mean darling sweetheart. :) 

 This is a video of A when we were about to land after our 13 hour flight. You can see that hubby and I (+ all the people around us) are so numb to her crying at this point.

Can you tell I'm nervous for the flight. I'd really appreciate any tips!!

girl japan (October 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM)  

100% know how you feel... ugh.. the flight from Japan here to my hometown NYC 18 hour flight.. UGH... does make for a quick vaycay.... lol

Do you have your own cube in the next flight?

Anonymous –  (October 29, 2010 at 8:58 AM)  

Both my children have traveled by plane since they were 12 weeks old {and every year after that to Florida mostly}. My son is 6.5 and daughter is 3.5 now. Our longest flight would be to +5 hrs to Calif.

When my son {as a toddler} was restless, my husband would hold him, take walks with him on the plane. Talk to other passengers {who were willing to make small talk and say hi}. Point out things to him, what's going on, see the windows, clouds, anything to engage him. Toddlers are easily distracted, and forget why they were fussing. Of course, if they're tired, then it's harder to calm them.

I'm sure you probably do bring her favorite things along. We bring their favorite books, his toys, favorite stuffed animal he'd walked around with at the airport, snacks. I was still nursing them, respectively, up to 2yrs {which helped them to calm down and/or nap}.

With each passing year, we'd talked to them about our next trip -- they get excited. Learn about airport, the airplanes, who we were visiting, whatever subject that engages them about the trip.

Flying with child on overseas flights can be stressful. It will get easier as A gets older. She will get used to going to visit family in Korea. I know she's at that age where the crying can make you frazzled. But don't get stressed out, don't worry about what the other passengers think. Do the best you can to engage/distract her. Prep her as much as you can. I know it's easier for me to say things {believe me, I've been there with those moments on the plane} But my husband would never be sitting down, but always picking them up, and walking around the cabin usually helps.

I've never done this, but don't be tempted to give her Benadryl because it's not a good idea. Good luck!

Anonymous –  (October 29, 2010 at 9:07 AM)  

Sorry I forgot to add to my long-winded comment above. We like to book early/red-eye flights. Since the kids are up 5am getting ready, they would usually fall asleep soon after take-off.

Truly Smitten (October 29, 2010 at 9:12 AM)  

Aww, poor A =(. Good luck on your next flight! Hopefully she'll be better!

swankychicfete (October 29, 2010 at 10:14 AM)  

im even freaking out even for a 2-hr flight...but here are some tips - aside from A's favorite toys/books/candy(!?!), bring NEW stuff toys/coloring books/chips)that you open inside the plane and get her busy trying to figure out what these new items are! hope that helps!

have fun and i miss phil!

TheBabyMammaChronicles (October 29, 2010 at 10:45 AM)  

I haven't flown with Kaia yet so will probably be asking you for tips before long! I wish you the best luck! Yay for new babies! Congrats to your sis and congrats to her new Auntie! I'm sorry you and your family are so far apart. I hate being so far away from mine but that's on such a small scale compared to yours. So glad you get to go visit them though! And such beautiful locations too!

honey my heart (October 29, 2010 at 11:28 AM)  

oh i hope you and a have a safe and worry free flight. congrats to your sister for hey new baby :)

Jennifer (October 29, 2010 at 11:56 AM)  

YES! My sister in law does a reward based system for long plane trips and also road trips that works amazingly!!!

She makes little gift bags with fun crayons and inexpensive toys and play jewelery and such (anything that will keep her occupied. Shes 3) and then tells her that there are special presents that she gets to open every few hours if she behaves. The presents (she usually does 2-3 total and keeps the budget super low so its not a pain) will keep her busy usually until it is time to open the next one.

I'm probably horrible at explaining this but you could probably google the reward method for traveling with toddlers and see if anything pops up? I would say bring her usual favs along with a few surprises and put them in a cute colorful paper bag and bribe away ;)

best of luck! hope this helps!

Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons

Ella Pretty (October 29, 2010 at 1:15 PM)  

Did you study at ISM in the Philippines?

Good luck with the long flight...we had to travel a lot between London and Canada when my twins were babies...I couldn't believe the dirty looks we'd get when we'd sit down - people were so scared of sitting next to us! But we were hyper-prepared...and by the end of the flight, people would come to us and tell us how good the twins were.

But the cost of that was UTTER exhaustion on our part...we just anticipated every single little thing - and our carry-on luggage was just full of stuff for the kiddies!

Here are my top tips:
-Make them drink liquid or suck on a pacifier during take off and landing...we'd have them drink water mixed with gripe water
-Try to book the flight during their sleep time so they sleep for most of the flight
-Pack lots of toys and little snacks (I bring their own blankies and little travel pillows)
-Adequate changes of clothes for them (and for one wants to smell sour LOL!)

That's all I can think of for now...good luck and enjoy your trip! I love mango juice - how I miss you!

Anonymous –  (October 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM)  

When I've traveled with both my girls I have the following:

Their own seat - my youngest 20 mo old was a little monster when she had to seat on our lap. She loved having her own seat & I had a break.
I bring her car seat to strap her down
I packed tons of little gifts- small play dough, little dolls, little games, crayons, books etc.
I give the kids juice or gum (for the older kid) when we are taking off and landing. It helps with their ears & keeps them occupied
I can not live w/o the dvd player and a new dvd. I rent a 2nd for the youngest and that way she can push all the buttons she wants w/o me freaking out.
Also moving around helps a lot. If you can find other kids in the plane so they can look at each other it some times helps.
Most airports have a children's play area that is not often advertised - ORD has one between terminals (can't remember where thought)
A friend brings an old blanket and lays her kids down to sleep on the floor.

I am about to do another flight out to CA so this is a good reminder

Tales of a young mamma (October 29, 2010 at 2:24 PM)  

Goodluck! And have SOO much fun! On our flights to and from Sweden jasper was miserable on the way there (18 months and wanting to walk/crawl everywhere) but when we flew back to the US he was 22 and did MUCh better because he was finally interested in the TV a little bit which helped a ton. Lots of snacks is my number one tip!! Seriously can't have too many- and new toys/books. Can't wait to see pictures of your trip!

Justine (October 29, 2010 at 4:02 PM)  

I wish you luck! I hoe the second time around will be A LOT easier!

Just Better Together

The Girlie Blog (October 29, 2010 at 5:03 PM)  

Awww she's scared :O( I am going to China next year with my daughter. Yikes!

chicky*bits (October 29, 2010 at 5:44 PM)  

good luck, girl... little a should be a pro by now!

will you be re-stocking gingersnaps??

PearlsAndGreenTea (October 29, 2010 at 5:55 PM)  

Thanks for all the tips! I'll be sure to post updates from Manila.

Hana: I'll definitely be restocking A's supply of Gingersnaps but not sure if I'll buy more to sell again. We'll see. :)

Gina (October 29, 2010 at 7:50 PM)  

I'm new to your blog and have to say your outfits are gorgeous! I don't have any kids, but wish you lots of luck on your solo trip.

I grew up in the Philippines as well and saw your post about the Sue London and Gap ballet flats. (I now live in FL, about to move to CA.) Have you tried Posh Pocket Shoes? My cousin sent me two pairs from Manila--they look great and are really comfortable. I wear them relatively frequently and they've held up so far.

Their website is:

KJJ Houston (October 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM)  

I lived there for only 3 years, but I do desire to go back to check it out again! My cousin lives there so I want to go see her soon :)

KJJ Houston (October 30, 2010 at 2:34 PM)  

Oh and a tip that worked for our son on a longer flight was this... someone told me.
Go to a cheap toy store, like a $1 store, where they have cheap toys. Buy $30 worth of little toys and put them in a diffle back to bring on the plane. then you bring out a new toy every once in a while. Having toys that they have never seen really keep interest! It worked for us! Once we got there we tossed the toys (since they were cheap $1) and then we got more from another $1 store when we were leaving to come back home.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller (October 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM)  

Yikes, I'm sorry! (And for the other passengers as well). I don't have any advice, but I do identify with you about living far from your family and missing them. I've been feeling the lack of mine again recently. It does tend to come and go in waves.

Jada (October 31, 2010 at 2:16 PM)  

Sometimes they say children ears start popping when they fly on plane. I here giving children pain meds and ear plugs sometime works. Poor baby she was so sad! :(

Faboulista (October 31, 2010 at 6:43 PM)  

oh wow i must say that must be hard flying with children so young on such a long flight. it must have been a nightmare.

Boston to Nashville (November 1, 2010 at 1:24 PM)  

Wow! 13 hours?? God bless you. The farthest we've flown with Z is 4 hours and I was panicking! I will cross my fingers that A does well for you!

Roxy Te (November 1, 2010 at 7:22 PM)  

awww bless her little heart! I want to cry! I need to ask my mom, she made that flight several times with me at 2 and my brother at about 6 months. I can't imagine! Good luck..and safe travels. Say hi to my homeland :)

Ivana | Love Ardently (November 3, 2010 at 4:39 PM)  

awww, poor little girl!

'm an indonesian and my family still lives there so we go back to indonesia for vacation a few times and i totally understand what you meant. it's around 23 hours flight (with long 13 hours flight from here to either singapore or taiwan).

it's a tiring flight by itself, moreover, having your baby girl coming along. we don't have a child yet but i travel with my nieces a lot and my sister in law always bring a lot of things to keep them entertained like coloring books, story books, their favorite stuffed animals, snacks, portable video game etc... my sis in law bring a small carry-on filled only with her clothes + stuffs to get her busy.

have a safe trip back home and have a blessed time! :)

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