Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'm Not Sure Which Is More Nerve-Wracking...

I'm not sure which is more nerve-wracking: traveling across the country with your two small kidlets or the days of packing, list-writing, list-checking and face-to-palm moments in the days leading up to the actual boarding of the plane to travel cross country with your two small kidlets. 

The good news? Where we're headed is chock full o' kids which means there is lot's of kid stuff at our disposal once we arrive which means less kid stuff that we need to pack. Things like car seats and strollers and pack n' plays, those things are all ready out there which is amazing in itself and a huge-giant-mongous help. 

Just minutes ago I shipped diapers, wipes, sippy cups, kid shampoo and our toiletries (next day, many thanks to Diapers and Soap (dot) com) to greet us there when we arrive. You see, I'm all about doing whatever it takes to make this trip as seamless as possible. 

Ever since Carter was born, I hemmed and hawed about taking a trip somewhere. When I say hemmed and hawed, I mean I was pretty downright annoying about it, however, kids are expensive. And traveling with kids? Even more expensive. And then we had another expensive baby and the furthest we ever made it was Delaware.

I always knew I wanted our kids to grow up worldly and accustomed to travel. I want them to know that there is so much more out there to see than what lies in their backyard and now that we are just days shy of boarding a plane to Time Change Central? I AM FREAKING OUT. 

So if you don't hear much from me in the coming days? It's because I'm buried beneath lists. And more lists. And luggage. And if you've ever written a post on traveling with kidlets, especially by plane? That explains the heavy traffic from that IP address that appears to have been stalking you for days on end. I've been studying those posts and taking notes and printing spreadsheets like it's my job. 

I spent all day yesterday updating the iPad to software version number 4,728 and spent most of Carter's college savings on new apps and movies. I know we'll get through it and hell, we may be that couple on the plane with those kids. But I dare anyone to give me the side eye. 

So here's where you come in. Got any Traveling With Kidlets tips? Secrets? HELP A SISTER OUT! Spill the beans and I'll love you forever. 

35 comments :

  1. I've traveled with nieces and god daughters and my secret won't help you at all and for that I am so very truly sorry. My Hubs, Hubs BFF and Wife, their 2 yr old and I went to Cozumel for a week. They had 6 pieces of luggage, including car seat and stroller. Each adult had 3+ pieces of luggage to tote through 3 airports.

    Strap em to their strollers and hope for the best.
    I'll open a bottle of wine for you ;)

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  2. I have never traveled with kidS, but I've flown with Vivien quite a bit.
    Put Mac in the ergo, that way you're hands free. They will let you "Wear" him thru security, they will just swipe your hands with something super fast.
    And, your carseat/stroller can be gate checked (for free)
    And, curbside check-in. It's easier and worth the $3 or whatever you tip them.
    Have fun! If your kid cries, they cry. Most everyone has been "that" a-hole before. :)

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  3. I always remind myself it's only (hopefully) a few hours out of the day and this will pass! ha! In terms of time change, I just kind of went with when she was tired, hungry, etc. and she naturally adjusted. Here is a great comprehensive list that helped me:
    http://www.kimsfinds.com/Kims_Finds/Air_Travel_with_Baby.html

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  4. I flew sans husband with the baby for the first time, she was three months, and it went pretty smoothly. I nursed on take off and landing, but also had a bottle just in case. She slept most of the time. I don't recommend changing the baby in that tiny bathroom. The changing table shakes and it's so loud in there that it scared her. You'll be better off changing Mac on your lap. The second time we flew, at 5 months, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with a nap and fussed every time I tried to hold her horizontally. If that happens I say just go with it. I pulled out the iPad and put on music and let her play with everything in my purse. She mostly just wanted to look around. It helped that a sweet nana was sitting in front of us and kept turning around to talk to her. Never underestimate the power of help from random grandparents on the plane. Good luck! I'm sure the boys will do great!

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  5. Snack, snacks and more snacks. Those little pouches with the fruits and veggies (like baby food, I can't think of their exact name) are perfect for traveling. When we were on the plan I would give Eli one of those and he would suck it down, keeping him occupied. I also had people tell me to bring suckers that a sucker would keep him occupied for hours but I didn't do that! Here is my blog post where I issued the same desperate plea for help! The comments were very helpful!
    http://www.talesofthetrees.com/2012/01/travel-help.html

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  6. Vacations are fun! Don't stress out about it too much, it'll be easier than you're fearing. ;)

    Well theres the old standard - feed during take off and decent to help with ear pressure.

    Number one tip I can give is to bring C's carseat ONTO THE PLANE. Strap it in tight, then put him into it and buckle per usual. Toddlers do NOT understand having to sit in a plane seat for hours, especially with that one silly little lap belt. They will take it off constantly, when they're not just climbing out from under it. So, take his car seat. He knows what his car seat means: SIT. Plus, mine usually napped in it on the plane too, which OBVIOUSLY is the ideal. ;)

    Bring the stroller through security, it will make life much easier. Then gate check it with the attendant at the gate. It will be waiting for you when you deplane as well, which is handy. Even if C is like I'M READY TO RUN, then at least you'll have somewhere to put Maclane and all your bags. :) Also, not sure if you're traveling solo, but it gives you a place to put C's carseat. Either hubs can hold his hand walking through the airport, or you can just tell him to hold onto the stroller at all times. :)

    Maclane will be a piece of cake. Boob, blankie, toy or two? He's good. Maybe iPad with Baby Einsteins when he's awake? iPad for movies for Carter. I like the LeapFrog headphones for kids, they seems to fit/stay on fairly well. Headphones are good bc he'll be able to hear better (plane engines can be loud). If he won't wear them - no sweat. Pump up that volume. I always figured people would rather hear Disney movies than whining. Or is that just me? ;)

    Lastly - CHANGE OF CLOTHES for everyone. Including you. Diapering can be tricky on planes, and a fresh shirt and pair of leggings can be a lifesaver. ;)

    Hope this helps! Good luck and have fun!

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  7. you're a genius for drop shipping basics. We're going to FL again this February and I'm already nervous to do it again with a big ol' belly and a very active toddler.

    A couple of posts for you:
    http://livinglikethekings.com/2012/03/our-favorite-things-the-vacation-edition/

    http://livinglikethekings.com/2012/03/our-first-vacation-with-baby/

    http://livinglikethekings.com/2012/03/traveling-with-baby/

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  8. Vacations are fun! Don't stress out about it too much, it'll be easier than you're fearing. ;)

    Well theres the old standard - feed during take off and decent to help with ear pressure.

    Number one tip I can give is to bring C's carseat ONTO THE PLANE. Strap it in tight, then put him into it and buckle per usual. Toddlers do NOT understand having to sit in a plane seat for hours, especially with that one silly little lap belt. They will take it off constantly, when they're not just climbing out from under it. So, take his car seat. He knows what his car seat means: SIT. Plus, mine usually napped in it on the plane too, which OBVIOUSLY is the ideal. ;)

    Bring the stroller through security, it will make life much easier. Then gate check it with the attendant at the gate. It will be waiting for you when you deplane as well, which is handy. Even if C is like I'M READY TO RUN, then at least you'll have somewhere to put Maclane and all your bags. :) Also, not sure if you're traveling solo, but it gives you a place to put C's carseat. Either hubs can hold his hand walking through the airport, or you can just tell him to hold onto the stroller at all times. :)

    Maclane will be a piece of cake. Boob, blankie, toy or two? He's good. Maybe iPad with Baby Einsteins when he's awake? iPad for movies for Carter. I like the LeapFrog headphones for kids, they seems to fit/stay on fairly well. Headphones are good bc he'll be able to hear better (plane engines can be loud). If he won't wear them - no sweat. Pump up that volume. I always figured people would rather hear Disney movies than whining. Am I wrong??

    Lastly - CHANGE OF CLOTHES for everyone. Including you. Diapering can be tricky on planes, and a fresh shirt and pair of leggings can be a lifesaver. ;)

    Hope this helps! Good luck and have fun!

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  9. We have three kids (4,2, and 6 months) and are getting to take our first plane trip with three. We've done a fair amount of traveling with two (a few international trips and domestic as well). My biggest suggestion - realize it won't go perfectly! I've been on a flight to Europe that was easy and a 90 minute flight where I thought we wouldn't make it in one piece!
    We like to keep the packing to a minimum since between carseats and suitcases there aren't any extra hands. Bring snacks for the plane and suckers for landing (to help ears). I don't worry about healthy eating on flights. If they need another sucker to keep them happy, so be it! We usually try to just bring one stroller or just use a baby carrier and not bring a stroller. On our upcoming trip we'll bring one umbrella stroller and a bjorn. We don't really like to board too much ahead of time. We check our luggage so our carryon stuff fits easily and it means less time sitting for our kids. Plus, our boys are just excited to be at the airport and see planes and trucks. It's better to take the time in the airport to look at that stuff than sit on the plane. You can actually get a rolling cart to put your carseat on, or buy a bag to help lugging them around. Sorry for the rambling!
    Good luck!

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  10. We're getting ready to take our first trip with three kids (4,2, and 6 months)and I'm a little nervous about managing that!
    We've done quite a bit of traveling with two kids though, both international and domestic. You've probably heard these tips before, but here are a few:

    Bring snacks and suckers (for landing), I give up on healthy eating on flights - if another sucker is going to keep them happy, so be it!
    We try to keep the luggage to a minimum and check it so we just have strollers and carry ons at the gate. We don't like to board early since it just leads to extra time sitting on the plane.
    Find an empty area and let your kids run around the airport before you take off.
    We bring books, movies, etc.
    Realize it won't go perfectly! I've been on a flight to Europe that was super easy, and a 90 minute flight where I wasn't sure we would make it in one piece!

    You'll figure out what works for you, and then of course it will change as your kids get older and change!

    Good luck!!!

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  11. http://sugarnspicelife.blogspot.com/2012/08/vacation-with-toddler-working-husband.html

    Here are a few tips. I have yet to travel with 2, that is in a few months. eek. good luck!

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  12. first of all, relax! it's so much easier than you are thinking... really, I promise.

    TSA is usually pretty accommodating and understand that it takes longer with kids. Stroller and/or baby wear is a must! just bring a few NEW toys they've never seen, and use them if they become restless. Mac will probably sleep, leaving your concerns to Carter - which I'm sure he will impress you and be great!

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  13. I have yet to take the girls on an airplane, mainly cause it scares me shitless. But we have taken a few roadtrips.

    -make sure to have lots of snacks
    -use any and all electronics available.
    -keep them on the same schedule as much as possible
    -don't push back mealtimes...EVER
    -relax. It's not going to go perfectly, it never does, but at least it will make for a good blog post!

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  14. My daughter is 2 and I have flown with her 10+ times alone and my three best pieces of advice:

    1. Strap your toddler into their car seat on the plane. They will be comfortable in a familiar seat even though the environment is very new.

    2. Bring your stroller with you and use it. Places like BWI, ATL, LAX are not kid friendly no matter how well-behaved your child is! We use the stroller from the car to security, she goes through security with me and then right back in her stroller until we get to our gate. Once we get all our gate check tags and find an open place next to our gate she can get out and raise hell until it's time to go on the plane.

    3. Pack light. My daughter likes the iPad and she likes her little Dora figurines and stickers. What did I pack? Stickers, Dora toys (including 2 new ones she hadn't seen) and the iPad. The flight is the easy part if your kid is strapped in. Getting through security, getting on and off trams, finding your seats on the plane, and chasing a toddler through the airport as he stretch his legs are all PAINFUL when you bring a metric butt ton of stuff with you.

    As for the baby - he'll probably be fine just watching his brother!

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  15. My daughter is 2 and I have flown with her 10+ times alone and my three best pieces of advice:

    1. Strap your toddler into their car seat on the plane. They will be comfortable in a familiar seat even though the environment is very new.

    2. Bring your stroller with you and use it. Places like BWI, ATL, LAX are not kid friendly no matter how well-behaved your child is! We use the stroller from the car to security, she goes through security with me and then right back in her stroller until we get to our gate. Once we get all our gate check tags and find an open place next to our gate she can get out and raise hell until it's time to go on the plane.

    3. Pack light. My daughter likes the iPad and she likes her little Dora figurines and stickers. What did I pack? Stickers, Dora toys (including 2 new ones she hadn't seen) and the iPad. The flight is the easy part if your kid is strapped in. Getting through security, getting on and off trams, finding your seats on the plane, and chasing a toddler through the airport as he stretch his legs are all PAINFUL when you bring a metric butt ton of stuff with you.

    As for the baby - he'll probably be fine just watching his brother!

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  16. Have a great time!!!

    p.s. do you need a guest poster :)

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  17. I have 100 opinions on this, haha. I have done quite a bit of air travel but only with one child. When he was an infant it was the easiest it ever was. I fed him him on the way up.. and on the way down (especially down) to protect his ears. I made sure he was hungry during those times.

    For a toddler? I recommend getting their a bit early, finding a safe space he can run around/play a bit at the airport. Burn off some of that extra energy right before getting on the plane. When I had a crawling baby, I put socks on his hands so he didn't get the disgusting airport floor all over him.

    Lot's of SMALL items, keep the favorite things for when you NEED them. Don't start off with his favorite video.. let him look out the window.. enjoy the plane, look at some small toys, etc. Break out the ipad and videos when you NEED em. You'll know ;-)

    Tons of snacks, lots of variety... Maybe give Carter a salty snack when the plane is descending so he'll drink a lot of water to protect his ears... maybe a lolly pop if you aren't opposed to it. Making sure both boys are swallowing during that time is The.Most.Important.Thing.

    You got this girl!!

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  18. My #1 tip is to put Mac in the Ergo for getting on and off the plane. You'll need all the extra hands you can get. Also, bring headphones for the iPad.

    You'll be fine! My other top tip is to ship stuff ahead via diapers.com, and you already got that covered!

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  19. Oh lord, let me know how it goes. We are flying with our then 3 month old to California for Christmas. Which means 2 hour time change and all that goes with it. I can only imagine what it will be like when she's a toddler lord help me. Make sure there is wine waiting for you when you get off the plane!

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  20. Where are you headed?

    Sorry, no advice for you but you are a brave brave woman!

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  21. Let me know if you have time to meet up while you are out here! Good luck and safe travels!!!

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  22. I have 2 boys (age 2.5 and 14 months) and have flown with both multiple times. Biggest thing is just to relax. There will be some bumps along the way but I think they will surprise you overall. Mine are always just excited to be on an adventure. The baby should be pretty easy. Toddlers are harder. Movies def. help. Hope you guys have a wonderful vacation!

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  23. While we were living overseas we flew round trip from Guam to Maryland (24 hours each way) with a two month old, to Beijing with a five month old, to and around Australia with a 13 month old, and back to Maryland when he was 16 months. After all of that, my favorite piece of advice is to carry gallon ziplock bags with a disposable changing pad, diapers, and a sandwich bag of wipes. That way you don't have to lug the whole diaper bag into the teeny tiny airplane bathroom. I always did one bag for each hour of flying just to be safe, but that may be a lot of bulk with two. Like someone else said, diapers tend to explode on planes so bring extra clothes.

    Bring a couple familiar toys, books, and/or shows, buy a couple new ones. If something is able to be wrapped, wrap it. Kids love opening things! Oh, ripping up airplane magazines is good for a few minutes of entertainment, too.

    Order ahead, like you did. I also second lots of snacks, but not too many lest you want to be cleaning up vomit and buying the person behind you a drink. ;)

    We LOVE the gogo babyz travelmate, but it's only worth the $80 if you're going to be traveling regularly.

    Good luck!

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  24. You're going to be FINE! I've flown cross country so many times with Coop that it doesn't scare me at all. Entertainment is key so you're fine with that iPad! And snacks. Lots of snacks. The time change was always hard for us, but going there will be easier, in my opinion. I would take Mac's infant seat, too. I always did infant seat and stroller checked at the gate. Its hard to get through security, but you will be so freakin glad you have it all in the plane and on layovers.

    Then just remember, if they are screaming, its really not loud other than right around you. You're not disturbing the whole plane! And I found sleep was easier to come by with the plane noise!

    Good luck lady!

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  25. I traveled with Hudson starting at 6wks!

    Always have snacks, paci, juice within arms reach...when H got older we put his stuff in the seat pocket so he could get it

    Don't let C1 unbuckle....just tell him its the rule

    Feed M2 at take off & landing

    Take purell wipes & wipe down every inch of plastic near u b/c C will touch it!

    You'll do great!!! Let C run around before u bored so he gets some energy out!

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  26. Okay, I just major LOLed at the IP stalking line. Because I think the worst part about blogging is that you become aware of Statcounter and the fact that you can't really stalk blogs anymore... because the writer can definitely find out who you are!

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  27. Girl, sounds like you will be FINE! You and Mike traveled all the time before. Yes, now it's with two kidlets but you are on the right track. I shipped diapers, bibs and sippy cups too and it helped SO much - good job! And you're loading up the iPad - I think the key is giving them something new or not played with often to keep them entertained. Try to keep as many things "normal" as much as you can - feed/nap times, bed time & routine, etc. since the rest of their environment will be changing.

    If all else fails, take me with you and I'll help! I loooove NoCal and know I will live there some day. Enjoy mama!!

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  28. Rearrange the apps. The ones he has been using forever. I do this for Connor when I notice he is playing the same ones over and over. Once I rearrange, the new(old) ones are favorites again! Good luck.

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  29. Rearrange the apps. The ones he has been using forever. I do this for Connor when I notice he is playing the same ones over and over. Once I rearrange, the new(old) ones are favorites again! Good luck.

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  30. I traveled with my little one around the same age a Mac is. I'm sure you've read this but nurse him on the way up and down. Because mine is also a comfort nurser, I nursed him about 23423 more times in between everytime he got restless because not only was I traveling with a 4 month old, but I was traveling alone. Brave soul I was. I also tried to plan my flights when he should be sleeping anyway and that helped. No advice for C though, as I'm only baby #1! Good luck and you will do great.

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  31. We just traveled to Mexico with a 5 week old and a 18 month old and this weekend we went on another trip. Two things: 1. TSA now allows you to carry a baby in a carrier (ergo or bjorn type) through security which makes it do much easier than having to take them out. 2. Make sure you have everything you need easily accessible. The worst is having to dig for a burp cloth or pacifier when you are taking off and can't unbuckle. I will take longer getting settled into my seat and I don't care if people are behind me getting annoyed. Good luck!!

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  32. Kal actually surprised me when we traveled to California when she was 6 mos and then 15 mos- both times were exhausting but she did pretty well. I had lots of snacks. Lots. She could have cared less about her toys - interested in everyone else and the snacks. Now 2 kids? Good lord good luck with that! Drink a few glasses prior to boarding. It'll help! And even if it doesnt, you'll be a little less freaked :) Good luck, mama!

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  33. Girl you can do it! The husband and I have traveled via air with a now two year old several times together and each by oursevles. Snacks, a new toy and book and you'll be good to go. Though I'm going to join you under the pile of lists and luggage- we are leaving for Hawaii on Friday- yes 11 hours via plane and 5 hours time change difference. Let the credit card Gods get me but I bought my two year an ipad and I'm sure it will be worth every penny. The best part about our trip (enter sarcasm here) is that somehow the three of us aren't sitting together on ANY leg of our 5 planes... nicely done husband nicely done.

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  34. I have yet to travel with my kiddos. It will probably be a few years before we do.
    Good luck & have fun!

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  35. Shipping the basics, that's genius. I'm remembering that.

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