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Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

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california
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Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I dread these flights. I am miserably uncomfortable and can rarely sleep. Anyone have suggestions that work for them? Sleeping aids are not a possibility, I am traveling with my daughters.

Miami, Florida
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1. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

How old are your daughters?

california
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2. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

They are 13 and 9.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

The basics: Magazines, Music!, a book, games to play with your daughters, and if necessary, a french phrase-book or something like that to study. There will probably be a movie, and that should kill a bit of time, too...

And you can always get a portable DVD player for around $150, and bring a bunch of DVDs with ya.

Also:

*crossword puzzles

*coloring books [hey! some things never get old!!]

Good luck!

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I feel your pain, cherylc, and my overseas flight was only about 9 hours. Perhaps you could ask for bulkhead seats or seats on an exit row to give you a little more room. I packed a well-folded down comforter ($20 in Bed Bath & Beyond) inside a pillowcase, and it helped out as a pillow for my back and later as a blanket. The added bonus was it served as my pillow in my Paris hotel - many are notorious for their thin pillows. Another help that seemed to work for many on my flight was an inflatable neck pillow -I'll definitely try it next time.

To pass the time: Books, crossword puzzles (if you're a fan of them like me), playing cards, a cheap multi-type travel game (checkers, chess, etc.) Of course the in-house movie helps pass an hour or two if you haven't already seen it.

I packed lots of snacks - nuts, cheese, fruit, water and of COURSE chocolates. How about starting a family journal of the trip? Playing hangman? Oh dear, I guess you can tell I haven't had a 13 year old in almost 2 decades!

Well hope you can get some rest. I asked for a bulkhead seat and was surprised to get one immediately without a hassle. When I boarded, I realized that my traveling companion was a young mother with a 7 month old and a 2 year old! Well, I might not have gotten any sleep, but at least the time passed quickly trying to help her - she sure had her hands full!

Good luck, and remember, no matter how tedious and tiring the trip, when you get there you'll be in PARIS!

Jacksonville, FL
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5. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

Do sleeping aids make you not able to wake up and/or respond to your daughters? I find that although they help me go to sleep, I don't have any problem responding (and I always wake up when they come around with food!) Maybe you could try this when the girls go to sleep. Whatever you take for them to do, make it a surprise, and pull out only one thing at a time. What airline are you flying? Some have personal entertainment screens at each seat and the girls can choose their own movies and play games, etc. You can find out if yours has this by checking what type of plane you're on (this info should be on your confirmation) then go to www.seatguru.com and look up the particulars about your plane. Let the girls get into your makeup (or pack some that they can have)...just make sure you take some remover so that they can look 9 and 13 again when you land! Give them each a disposable camera and let them take photos of anything they want, but the deal is that they can't take them all on the plane! If your seats don't have personal entertainment centers, it might be a good time to invest in a personal DVD player. Don't tell the kids. They'll be more excited about it when you pull it out of your carry-on bag just about the time that they're getting bored to death. I'm not sure if these can handle two sets of earphones. Someone else on the forum may know. Good luck! Make sure that if the girls wear sandals, you take them some socks on the plane in case of cold feet. At least that's one less thing to complain about.

Calgary, Alberta
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6. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I don't have kids, but I've been reading every guide book I can get my hands on & many of them recommend that parents carry Benadryl & dose the kids to help them sleep on the flight. I don't know how you feel about that, but even if they don't sleep, I think your girls are old enough that you'll be able to snooze even if they don't (I assume you'll sit in a row together, so just position yourself in the aisle seat so that even a sleeping you is a barrier.)

Personally, the most frightful flight I can imagine is a small child (2 years +) that is being an ape simply because (s)he is bored and the adults didn't prepare adequately. My plan is to have a couple travel games & a deck of cards with me (also handy for a single girl to make new friends while picnicing) to play with them. I'm also going to pack a couple small colouring books and those 8 packs of crayons to hand out if necessary. Between you and your kids, you know what will hold their attention - bring it (within reason!). I've been on too many (considerably shorter) flights where the parents think the kids will just sleep... please don't make that assumption. Maybe bring something you can all do? I saw a mother/daughter team working on a quilt together on a plane. It could end up a sort of sewn journal of your trip together.

Auckland, New...
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7. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I travelled from NZ to LA when my kids were young (5 and 7), and I decided to get some sedative to give them, prescribed happily enough by my GP. It was quite mild, but enough to help them get off to sleep very quickly, and sleep continuously and soundly for virtually the entire flight. I gave it to them just as they finished their meal on board, and they were sound asleep in minutes. I found that with them both asleep, I was better able to relax and sleep myself, and it also meant that they were very well rested and refreshed for when we arrived in LA - full of beans to visit Disneyland! We also took a homeopathic remedy sold over the counter called 'No Jetlag', which worked wonderfully well - none of us suffered jetlag at all (unlike some of the relations we travelled with, who didn't take anything). Although your children are older, I would still give this some consideration (sedative), even if you just have it to give them should you decide they need it. Remember, the sedative only needs to be relatively mild, it won't mean that you can't wake them later, or that they suffer any after-effects of drowsiness at all.

Alexandria, Virginia
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8. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I'm all about my gameboy. I couldnt have flown from Chicago to Tokyo without it. Your daughters can link up and play games against each other.

Noise-reduction headphones are nice too.......that way you cant hear everything going on around you.

I always pack my cd player (some day Ill get an MP3 player), books, magazines, water (long flights are sooo dry), and some snacks. I always take my journal for jotting thoughts down.

I can never sleep on these flights either so I usually get up and stand at the back of the plane for a while. You meet some interesting people ;)

I tried the benadryl thing once, but I still couldnt sleep. I just cant sleep while sitting in an uncomfortable position.

Denver, CO
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9. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I haven't seen this tip posted. It won't make the flight any easier, but perhaps healthier. Walk around the cabin for a few minutes eevery hour to avoid potential blood clots in your legs. If this isn't practical, most airlines publish in-seat exercises that you can do in the flight magazines.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Tips for making the 11 hour flight easier?

I have discovered some years ago the benefits of the U shape inflatable pillow for traveling long distances. Now i can't even imagine traveling without it, so i highly recommend you to get one for each of you. Samsonite has a good one. Even if you don't sleep, it will ease your neck and avoid those terrible pains that you can have after some hours.

Another recommendation : drink gallons of water. People never drink enough on plane, while the air is really dry. It enhances the feeling of being tired.

When i travel with my daughters (which is very often) i never let them being seated for more than 30 minutes. We always exchange our seats, I send them to the back of the cabin to get some water, etc. The worst is to let them to stay on their seats too long, it's not human to stay seated for 10 hours! So invent some games, such as "do the pairs": walk (not run!!) in the alleys, and try to select a man and a woman to make a couple, and describe and explain why. It works with girls:)

Also, try to make some events : watch a movie, when will we have some lunch, etc. Everything must be something "special" to reduce the time that is longer when nothing happen.