A few months ago I was brave enough to take my toddler alone from Washington DC to Austin. me to attend SXSW and my toddler safely deposited with his aunt to play with his cousins. The journey was great, he entertained Ranajune in Baltimore who was - also flying to SWSW - before we boarded and then promptly fell asleep as the flight took off only to wake up in Austin. The return journey was the same.
Now that my skills at taking a toddler cross country have been proven I am now going to fly with him to India next week. We have a 8.5 hour flight to Amsterdam and then 5 hours layover and then another 8.5 hour flight from Amsterdam to Hyderabad.
Now for those of you who have made a similar trip with only one parent , what do you suggest. Any tips and advice is highly appreciated. Please leave a comment here !
CNN has some tips for travel with a toddler at http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/traveltips/06/06/flying.with.babies/
other resources I found are
I do know that the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam has play areas, and one of my Family Travel guest posters had tips on long-haul travel with young ones (to China, in her case.)
Lots of books, puzzles, kiddie movies!
Can you stay in Amsterdam a day or so, to check into a hotel and sleep in an actual bed one night? Why kill yourself?
It's always worth remembering that your child can't really force itself to adjust to a time zone change, so keeping a watch set at Eastern time is useful as it will let you know what time it is for them and plan accordingly. I agree with the 'lots of books, puzzles, movies' comment. Having an iPod or iPhone that can play videos is helpful at those moments when nothing else will work to settle a child. Keep an eye out for recharging opportunities for it.
In general flight attendants are sympathetic to those traveling alone with a child and can be relied on for extra snacks or a brief interlude in a galley (during non-serving times, of course) that could serve as a temp play area.
Hopefully all travel goes as planned, no delays, that'd help.
Sheila and Steve,
Thank you very much for the comments. Sheila that article on your blog http://blogs.bootsnall.com/Seafarer/oh-china-part-one.html was awesome. I have already started preparing him and now I should show him a map.
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