But despite the fact that the toys kept him occupied, there still were small issues to worry about. We had to prevent him from kicking the seat in front of him, and deal with the difficult task of reaching toys and snacks in the bag under the seat. There was no place for him to stretch out, so basically if he fell asleep, it had to be on one of us. And heaven help us if we needed to go to the bathroom!
The fact of the matter is, it is hard work traveling with a child -- especially if you accept the moral responsibility of keeping them from crying and annoying the rest of the passengers. My husband and I were singularly focussed for the whole 13 hour trip and completely exhausted upon arrival. (In fact, we both got sick and missed several of our precious days in Hawaii.)
So what's my final analysis?
Even though our boy was a trooper, cried very little and had a great attitude, I wouldn't do it again. It was too exhausting. And he was too young to appreciate the beauty of our destination. In fact, he seemed like he would rather be home, in his own room, with his familiar toys. I suggest you save your money for a romantic get away, or a fun family trip when your child is older and excited by new environments, not scared of them.
A long trip with a toddler can be done, but take it from this Mom -- don't do it (or "it's no vacation")!