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How to handle early morning flights?

Courtice, Canada
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335 posts
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How to handle early morning flights?

We leave for the CAT in two weeks and our flight schedule changed - so instead of afternoon flights, we now are flying early in the morning.

I'm not a morning person by far, and I feel sick when I don't get enough sleep. I don't drink coffee so that won't help either ;) Plus I take ativan to fly, yes I'm a scaredy cat and have never liked flying.

We'll also be flying with our two children (8 and 6), so I'm not sure how they'll handle it either. I know on any given day, if they are tired they tend to be miserable and whinny :(

We will have to get up at approx 3AM in order to be at the airport the required minimum of two hours prior to flying out. LOL this is just crazy to me!

Plus side, we switched flight carrier - and opted to upgrade to business class as it was available (we normally do this but with our original afternoon flights it wasn't an option).

Any good tips from the "pros" here on how to handle an early morning flight for non-morning people?

Midland, Canada
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3,468 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

Vodka usually works for me. Failing that, try staying up all night and then sleeping on the plane, maybe have a movie night with the kids and then slip them a few gravol before the flight.

Calgary
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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2. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

"slip them a few gravol before the flight"

LOL, I'm not sure you'll find that tip in any parenting guidebook but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures!

Not ruling out the Gravol approach but another idea might be to make the previous day a very busy one so the kids will be worn out and fall asleep earlier than usual and then make the whole getting up in the middle of the night an "adventure". I know this worked for my kids but our o'gawd-o'clock flights were usually the outbound ones, so the kids were excited to go on vacation anyway.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck !!!!

dedham, ma
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230 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

We have the same early morning schedule coming up in 2 weeks for our trip as we will have to leave the house at 3 am as well. I tend to not sleep the night before we leave as I am busy packing, etc and excited about the trip (or finishing work). We tend to just scoop the kids up when the car is all loaded and let them stay in their pj's...we change right before the plane lands or when we get to our destination. Bring plenty of snacks for the kids (and you)! I agree with the idea of busy day before and getting to bed early. I think it will be nice to arrive early and have more time to rest and unwind once you arrive. I also bring music for the kids to listen to or a movie to play on my computer for them.

What resort are you going to? We will be at Dreams March 20th-27th, my kids are 7 & 9.

Courtice, Canada
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335 posts
80 reviews
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4. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

LOL, Gravol is not an option... tried that a few years ago with DD, and let's just say the warning on the package "may cause drowsiness or excitability" was very true... except we experienced the excitability!

I think I may just get up extra early and keep everyone extra busy - then go to bed early, say 9PM. We might be able to squeeze in 6 hours of sleep that way - but then again maybe not.

Oh well, I'm not going to let it ruin our trip - although I was VERY disappointed yesterday. I know a lot of people prefer the early morning flights, but not us. ;)

Denver
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512 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

I agree with making it an adventure. My daughter LOVES leaving the house when it is dark to go to Mexico. I would also have them sleep in something that they can wear on the plane and jsut change into shorts when you are almost there. I think the kids will surprise you and be so excited that they won't be cranky. For you, have the car packed and shower the night before and just get up at the last minute. Hopefully you can sleep on the plane. Have fun!!

Wales
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698 posts
51 reviews
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6. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

Hi

Melatonin tablets, which you can get on prescription via your GP or via your pharmacy may be helpful to you. They help with sleep regulation and jet lag symptoms.

Iowa
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299 posts
54 reviews
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7. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

Vodka usually works for me. Failing that, try staying up all night and then sleeping on the plane

OK- that was seriously funny!!!

We work early flights 1 of 2 ways (depending on finances)

Put kids to bed in cozy clothes that can travel & sleep. Have 1 person check out- other person gets transport for kids to lobby (most resorts have a golf cart with driver available- you can chat that up on check in) Have that person come get wife/kids after check out & just before transfer arrives telling lobby transfer is on the way- GENTLY ease soon to be very crabby toddlers onto golf cart in partents arms- don't talk to them! No, no, no :) You want to keep them sleepy. Find a cozy, dark, sleepy place in lobby until transfer arrives- ease soon to be crabby toddlers into transfer- don't talk to them!! No, no....let the sleep to airport. Breakfast at airport, nap again on plane (hopefully)

Other option- transfer to Cancun the night before to airport hotel so you can cut the transfer time off the equation. We do this a lot too

Good luck!

Iowa
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299 posts
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8. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

LOL!!

I read your post too quick....now I see kids are 6 & 8

Bummer- :)

I don't think the carrying the around idea will work, but I don't think they are ready for the Vodka as previously suggested

Good luck!

Pittsburgh...
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244 posts
83 reviews
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9. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

Your best bet is to keep them up late. Let them get little sleep. Then buy some puzzle books for them to do on the plane. This will keep their mind busy and also tire them out. Maybe, they will then fall asleep on the plane.

Detroit, Michigan
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5,631 posts
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10. Re: How to handle early morning flights?

Flying out of Toronto Pearson? I have never been to that airport but it does look like a there is a Sheraton in Terminal 3. If it connects directly to the terminal that you are flying out of, you could stay there the night before so you could sleep in a bit. It looks like they also have a room/parking deal.

When we have super early flights, we always stay at the Westin that is connected to the Delta Terminal at Detroit Metro. It even has its own security checkpoint. They also offer parking/room deals.