Note to self: do not get on a budget airline with a 5 year old and two almost 3 year olds again unless you are a) desperate b) guaranteed two rows of seats c) drunk/on prozac and with a ready supply of top ups for a 6 hour flight.  Actually make that 8 hours if you add the 2 hour delay.  I was not impressed with Jet2’s generous, “apologies for the short delay” at the end of our flight when I was borderline sobbing from exhaustion.

The most important thing is that we made it, we are now safely ensconced in the loving warmth of my family in a slightly damp part of the UK.  Gone is the terrible 80% humidity and 35 degree temperatures of Tel Aviv, for the next couple of weeks at least.

To be honest the flight, which I had been dreading to the point of denial since I booked to bring the childers alone for the summer hols, was better than expected.  Apart from a short period of complete over excitement from number 1 son and a slightly hysterical moment when I couldn’t spot no. 2 son in the departure lounge it was really only the terrible boredom and discomfort of 6 hours in the air with 3 little ones that had me verging on hysteria by the time we landed.

Here are some of my top tips for travelling by air with multiple small children: 

– dress them in the same coloured t shirts for easy distinction in a busy airport

– bring the small shoulder pouches their Israeli grandmother made them and stuffed with distracting crayons, plasticine, miniature notebooks, stickers, puzzle books and tiny toys.  It’s a genius idea that kept them busy for at least 45 minutes (which sounds like a little but it was 45 minutes I wasn’t juggling/entertaining them)

– Food – in small packages that takes time to open as well as eat.

– Pull up nappies – despite spending at least 1/6 of the flight at the toilet (3 small children all needing the loo at different times results in a lot of door holding and hand washing), I put the little ones in nappies rather than carry a billion changes of just in case clothes.

– Wipes – where would a mother be without environmentally unfriendly wipes?

– Water – don’t dare ask the cabin crew for a drink of water each time your child requests one.  Jet2 cabin crew on the whole aren’t a happy bunch, (although a couple on our flight were thankfully the exception) so pressing the call button at any stage is inadvisable.

– Check the DVD player is charged and NOT LEFT ON when you leave the house.  If you make the effort to carry a DVD player plus DVDs thereby taking up half your carry on luggage you should at least be sure it will work. Doh.

– Make sure you can work the borrowed laptop you are using as another form of children’s entertainment.

– Make sure the earphones you have brought for the children’s entertainment work.

– Make sure that if you have messed up all electronic forms of entertainment that YOU  are armed with a few thousand talents to ensure peace for your fellow passengers.

– Wear shoulder pads and a cushion in your trousers.  This helps protect you when one son falls asleep across 11/2 of your 3 chairs and you and the twins share a chair and a half between you (because no-one wants to sit on the 1 remaining seat on the other side of the aisle)

– Make friends with your fellow passengers.  You WILL need their help and you don’t want their hindrance (thank you to the lovely extended family sitting near me.) 

– Make friends with the cabin crew, even if it means talking through gritted teeth – why are they so grumpy?  Having befriended the lovely Ryan on our flight he let myself and the twins hang out in the galley for a much needed change of scene.

– Breathe.  Sometimes its easy to forget and hyperventilation at altitude with 3 dependents is inadvisable.

So, we made it, here we are.  I am very very happy to be home and even happier that I will be doing the return journey with my husband.  Phew.




2 thoughts on “Looks like we made it

  1. Welcome home! Glad you made it in one piece. I am heading back to the Uk at the start of Sept on my own with 1 toddler and one cooking slightly longer flight but at least only 1 to actually entertain. A friend of mine told me to get a few little small gifty things and wrap them then as he’s getting hard to handle bring them out bit by bit. Works on the same premise as the food in packaging those extra seconds opening them make all the difference on a long flight. I am also very grateful I will be doing the return journey with husband. Quite apprehensive but trying not to think about it too much. Enjoy your time at home. Xxx

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