Finally after five years I was off to another continent to see the world. Oh how I’ve missed traveling but when your children are young, long flights and sight seeing can turn into nightmares so we held off. The last time I was away was when my son was 9 months old. We wen’t to Spain and Italy. I recall breastfeeding stops in the middle of the plaza and washing baby plates and utensils during the day. Now that my children are 3 and 5 years old, it was a pleasant vacation. Looking back here is what I did to prepare for this trip..
I bought winter clothes gradually during the last two quarters of the year.
I would stop at stores whenever I saw sales and pleasantly found 50% off winter wear from Old Navy, H&M, Zara and Aeropostale. Buying them gradually made things more affordable and getting great deals like Buy One Take One and 50% off were great knock offs.
I prepared some activities for the kids to use for the long flights and airport lay overs.
The last thing I wanted was for my children to be glued to the Ipad and Airplane screen for long hours. I went to Fully Booked and bought lots of activity books. Some of them had mazes and stickers, others were origami. Make sure you buy books that your children are interested in. My son loves airplanes and dinosaurs so he kept busy.
I also bought inexpensive little toys that I could keep in a ziplock like plastic dinosaurs and a Hello Kitty travel dollhouse for my girl. Lot’s of snacks (healthy as much as possible) like nuts, cheese, veggie chips were also an essential. I consider snacks an activity.. they keep my kids very busy, and it is the best solution to boredom.
Here’s what I packed in our hand carry bag..
I packed a complete change of clothes for us. My youngest daughter had two tops and bottoms. You’ll never know when she might throw up, spill beverage or pee when she is rushing to make it to the toilet.
Snacks, medicine, and first aid supplies made it into the had carry too. I packed my kid’s nose saline sprays and we did need it during the flight home. Airplane air can dry your nose and clog it too. I made sure we had gum to chew on during take off and landing as well as their own earphones to use when they wanted to play on the Ipad.
We brought our own neck pillows, eye masks and my kid’s had small water bottle containers. Having them drink from those small airplane plastic cups is a spill waiting to happen so their own stainless bottles were handy.
We had scarfs and winter head gear in our hand carry bag and held on to our winter coats. You can always dump them into the overhead bin at the plane.
Wipes, tissues and more wipes are an absolute must for traveling with young kids.
Don’t give in to jet lag
My kids were asleep at most times during our first few days in the United States, but not in their beds. They slept in the grocery cart, in the car, in the restaurant but at least they were out so we wasted no time. Getting some sunlight has been a good way to fight jet lag so we didn’t give in by keeping ourselves in bed.
We had a fun time and bonding over the holidays with family made things even greater. The kids learned lots of new things, ate new food, experienced cold weather, got to hold some snow and met some cousins for the first time. Traveling truly enriches the soul and going around with the kids can be fun and easy if you lower your expectations and deal with the natural restrictions. Can you share other travel tips too?