John Pasmore's Occassional Blog

Transatlantic w/ a 4 year-old by John Pasmore

I knew flying to London with the small person would be tricky — especially without my wife. Was I nervous?Yes. With memories of him as a toddler, shrieking, and me being his 2nd most-favorite person, I was definitely nervous. Ultimately, we were better than fine. No actual crying on the plane — even though he didn’t sleep at all on the outbound (Continental Airlines), he slept 3 hours (thankfully) on the return (Virgin).

What Worked

(in order of critical need)

– Window seat + sound sleeper seated directly in front who won’t object to seat being kicked

– Def check main bag — don’t want to chase the small person and leave bag unattended – u should be able to “run” with all bags and small person if needed.

– Computer with hours of favorite programs + DVD player

– External battery for computer (I have one of these and we arrived in London with juice:

– Well timed bathroom breaks (before leaving house (5am), before boarding (8am), mid-flight (11am), before landing) – had complete change of clothes in carry-on but that nightmare scenario never ran

– Snacks he likes

– iPad (with planning iPad could replace computer – but i needed it for work anyway)

– Water

– Couple DVD’s that he can watch over and over (Lotte from Gadgetville worked great) – only brought 5 DVD’s as opposed to his library

– Sanitizing wipes (

– Bring extra headphones as failure could be an issue (lost one pair to biting wire)

– Sweatshirt was key

What was Unnecessary

– Blanket from home (def more hygienic, but was at bottom of bag, and the seats on plane are just as bad as blanket)

What I Could Have Used More Of

– Properly charged battery on return flight (could have been critical error as UK power adapter didn’t really charge battery at same rate – saved by Virgin’s movie selection)

– More snacks on return flight (and juice – UK juice tastes different) – familiar snacks are critical – for the whole trip really, my parents used to travel with peanut butter and jelly

– Sanitizing wipes (

– Could have used some normal wipes as well (not critical – napkins r fine)

– Graphic books (book on way home was engaging, better than video, but short)

What I Would Do Different

– Not sure I would take Paddington Express from Heathrow — if you know a car service (as opposed to a Cab) the financial result is about the same 35 pounds one way via car.

We both would have appreciated his mom’s presence.  I’m sure he was slightly concerned for his own well-being as usually I have some assistance to insure certain levels of discomfort aren’t breached. We did good.

Leave a Reply