One Adult. Two Toddlers. 15 Hour Flight. Hell.
Yes, I know. CRAZY. But if I wanted to get home to visit my family it had to be done.
Last year, when I was 3 months pregnant I decided to travel back home to visit family. My dad had never met my third born and it had been more than a year since I had seen my mom. I hadn’t told my family I was pregnant yet. It’s the last thing they would have expected after just having two back to back, actually so close that they were born one day shy of a year apart. This really was only because baby Jet was born at 29 weeks.
Earlier in the year, I suffered a ruptured disc that caused sciatica, only weeks before I discovered I was pregnant and therefore I was unable to have any pain medication throughout my excruciating sciatica. It was so bad that not only was it the most painful experience I have ever been through, it also cause paralysis in my leg and foot. Something the specialist said I may never fully recover from. It took a little longer than five months before I could walk without a limp again. 11 months on and my leg and calf muscle are still very sensitive.
Anyway, I had a just one year old and a just two year old and booked two seats. Of course, we were placed in the very back row, but that probably turned out to be the only good thing about the flight.
Less than a week prior, two-year-old Fox was put on antibiotics for an ear infection and a day before we left I had Jet at the doctor getting antibiotics also.
From LAX to Melbourne is a 15-17 hour direct flight, and generally, these flights leave between 10-12pm. I made sure we booked a direct flight. To make a long night short, I was sitting in the middle seat and had a lovely young lady blocking us in. She had to put up with quite a bit. Poor Jet became sick on the flight and of course, he was sitting on my knee when he vomited all over me. Once during the flight and a second time as we were coming in to land.
I couldn’t leave the boys on their own at all and had to take both to the bathroom for diaper changes, cleaning up vomit and anytime I also needed to use the restroom. I also couldn’t sit for long as it was putting too much pressure on my spine due to sciatica. Apparently, they also didn’t have the child meal I booked as I didn’t call up on the day to confirm (never heard of that rule before). No one was helpful and the flight hostess was really quite rude. But I booked the cheapest flight possible and it was a Delta/United Airlines flight so I really didn’t expect anything more. My experiences over the years as a seasoned traveler with United Airlines have never been impressive, so I guess I really should have known better.
Anyway, we arrived smelling of vomit and totally wrecked. But we were there.
I had a great two and a half weeks visiting family. We didn’t do too much, just hung out with immediate family, Grandma mostly and visited Grandpa several times, and spent some time with the boy’s cousins. I also experienced a delightful evening in the hospital with Jet who supposedly had a viral infection which caused a rash over his entire body. So….usual stuff.
My flight home started off on a bad note. Even though I was allowed a set limit of weight and suitcases, one of my cases was slightly overweight apparently. They gave me the option to purchase a new suitcase at the airport and put some stuff in that or pay $270 for excess baggage. Really…one adult traveling with two kids in a stroller and they wanted me to add an additional bag to carry. I had to pay for excess baggage (no exception) even though the weight I had was listed as accepted. Physically I would not be able to carry an additional bag. Jokes on me, they got me. Oh, because they felt bad about charging me an additional fee, they decided to give me a seat with a bassinet. Something I should have been offered in the first place, having a two-year-old plus a lap child.
The return flight was much worse as it was during the day so I had to try to occupy them for an entire day. They spent most of the time playing on the floor. All I could do was give into the situation and watch the minutes tick away. I’m usually one pretty laid back mama. So I tried my hardest to remain calm, but getting milk from the staff proved to be a hard task, because of course, I couldn’t bring my own.
Would I do it again? But this time with three? Hell yes. I’d prefer not to, and I would not fly United again, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get to spend some time with my family.
Again my dad has not met my newest edition, and my mom only got to spend a month with her when she was first born. So I would like to go back to Australia soon. This time I might spend a bit longer there and hopefully during summer. If I can work it with my husband and/or my mom flying with me then that would be preferable.
I survived and I’ll survive again.
Since then I have learned of several items that help to make flying with kids a little easier.
- Child Airplane Travel Harness – Cares Safety Restraint System – The Only FAA Approved Child Flying Safety Device
- Car Seat Transporter
- Star Kids Snack & Play Travel Tray
- Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief for Kids, Grape Flavor
- Leg Rest Travel Pillow
- CozyPhones Kids Headphones Volume Limited with Ultra-Thin Speakers & Super Comfortable Soft Fleece Headband – Perfect Children’s Earphones for Home and Travel – FOX
The next time I fly I will write a review on these products because I’m going to be way more prepared.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."