Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 things for traveling with children

We're off again...
This isn't a great pic but it gives you an idea of what we look like at the airport. 
I held MM and FO is in the bassinet at my feet while Mark collected our luggage.
Sometimes it's the other way around. I'm not sure which job is harder.

I thought I'd do a quick post on traveling with kids...

  1. Your bags will be heavy – kids require a ton of stuff. (We also usually have boat supplies - the two together creates a lot of baggage).
  2. Carry-on the essentials for at least two days. - One of our bags got lost and didn't show up for two days. Only it wasn't really a problem. Sure I had to use the crappy toothbrush the hotel provided but I wasn't short on diapers or formula or even a pair of clean underwear. (I usually do carry my toothbrush as well but I wanted to lighten the load – STUPID!)
  3. Have a couple changes of clothes onboard. MM threw up on me for 5 hours on one flight. I was so happy for all the extra clothes I had.
  4. Entertainment is key – New toys they've never seen will go a long way. MM still isn't allowed screen time so yes this adds to the carry-on dilemma of too much stuff.
  5. Don't ignore your kids. Most people will be understanding of your kids being kids as long as you are trying. Walk them around when you can. Play with them. Snuggle up and help them sleep – even if it means you can't. Mark didn't open his computer once between the US and the Canary Islands (anyone who knows him knows this is nothing short of a miracle but completely necessary.)
  6. Try to fly when they normally sleep. Red-eye's may suck for us but they are great for kids.
  7. Don't expect your stroller to be available on your lay-overs. It's pretty common practice that once you send it bellow there is a good chance it won't be coming back up. Yes, this is annoying.
  8. Rearrange the hotel room. Just do it. There hasn't been a room I've been in that I haven't moved something. It may be to make a play area or just to block some outlets. There is always going to be something that needs moving (and usually it's the telephone).
  9. Throw the plans out the window. Seriously you aren't going to get to 15 sites in one day. It just isn't going to happen.
  10. Have fun. It may be a LOT of work to take your kids but it is worth every extra pound of luggage and every lost minute of sleep. You are giving your kids something exceptional!

    Many people think we are nuts but I love that I get to share the world with my kids and can't wait till they are old enough to remember the places we visit (and to manage their own bags!)
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