Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top 5 Lessons Learned While Traveling With Kids

Well, we did it. We managed to fly across the country with two kids two and under and lived to tell about it. We had a great time visiting with family and friends and even managed to sneak in a "date night" which truly made our trip feel more like a vacation and less like for-the-love-of-god-why-did-we-bring-the-kids?

The boys absolutely exceeded my expectations on many travel fronts. They behaved impeccably well on both flights and adjusted with minimal meltdowns to the three hour time difference. 

That being said, I did learn a few things on our trip and what kind of friend would I be if I didn't share them with you? Here are the Top 5 Lessons Learned While Traveling With Kids:

5. Traveling with kids isn't a "vacation." It is merely taking your children somewhere other than your house for a predetermined amount of time, doing the exact same things you do at home, but with much less arsenal and more than likely, much less sleep than normal.

4. Pace the fun. When traveling by air and faced with 5 hours of in-flight time, be sure to rotate your toy and snack options wisely. Don't give up the good stuff early. Chances are you'll need to keep a few tricks up your sleeve around hour marker three point five. Two words: Tootsie pops. Or if you're like me and own an iPad, prior to your trip, spend approximately half of your children's college savings on new movies and apps. 

3. There is no such thing as "over-packing" when it comes to packing for your kids. Inevitably that extra shirt will get messy, those extra pants muddy and just like at home, you will lose baby socks. Less is not more when it comes to packing for your kids. More is more and sometimes then, not enough, and you want to make sure you're prepared for anything and everything. 

2. There is a reason you can buy alcohol on the plane. Take advantage of it. If nothing else, it will drown out your child's eardrum-bursting shrieks. If your child continues to shriek, encourage others around you to start drinking too and tell them it's on you. Of note: alcohol consumption also works when traveling solo and it is not your baby that is doing the shrieking. 

1. Remember, you're making memories. If nothing else, this type of "vacation" will leave you wondering why you so badly wanted to travel with your children in the first place. Sleep schedules thrown off? You're making memories. Both kids come down with colds just two days into your trip? You're making memories. Also? Take plenty of pictures. This way you can look at them for a good reminder when your memory evades you and you begin to feel that travel itch again. 

Speaking of "the itch," we feel it but I can say for certain that our next trip? Will be adults only. Bring on the Mai Tai's.

18 comments :

  1. Bookmarking this post for our trip out West in Feb with a 7 month old. To say I am apprehensive would be an understatement. My husband and I traveled a ton before having babies and swore that we would make the effort to continue it once we had kids... so here we go. Wish us luck + bring on the mini bottles of wine.

    (PS, would love to hear about how the boys did with the time change - especially Mac. Did he stick to his east coast schedule or gradually adjust?)

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  2. I can't even imagine traveling with two. We're doing the FL trip again this year with just the one toddler and I'm terrified as usual. Something else we've learned to do on trips is laundry. Because even if you over pack things it's still not enough. How? I have no idea...

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  3. Yes! We did 6 days to Chicago and it was this exactly. Minus one child. Next trip? A whole week in NOLA for Mardi Gras. I'm ridiculously excited, but scared shitless to leave my child for that long.

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  4. Yes! This is exactly what happened when we did 6 days in Chicago. Minus one child. Our next trip is 6 days to NOLA for Mardi Gras. I'm excited but scared shitless to leave my child for that long.

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  5. You are absolutely right that a vacation with kids is about the memories and at this point they won't even remember , which makes me wonder why I do it. Memories for me I guess...many of which I would like to forget.

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  6. Ahhhhh we have a trip planned in just a few months and I am scuuuuured about it all, the plane, the itme, the crazies, the meltdowns.....

    Glad to hear yours went well!

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  7. I don't have kids, but I'm a nurse and with you having been a nurse, I know you're a solid multi-tasker so posts like this I take to heart for the future. I live on the other side of America from my family so I know I will traveling with little ones a lot.

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  8. We have drug Ethan around with us everywhere thus far, but we also recently decided that it is time for an adult only trip. Mommy and Daddy need a REAL vacation in a bad way!

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  9. I'm glad it was a good trip. We have not traveled with both boys yet. But next year we're going to Disney World and that should be interesting!

    We're gearing up to take our first adults only trip in April. We're thinking Turks and Caicos :)

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  10. Obviously it wasn't perfect, but once you recovered from sleep deprivation and caught up on laundry maybe you'll look back on this trip a little more fondly? And I'm sure the boys had tons and tons of fun (or at least the Wildabeast did). Welcome Home!

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  11. Glad it went okay for you guys! We traveled from Raleigh to Maui with a two year old the same time you were gone & honestly it was one of the best vacations we've taken (and it was a work trip for my husband too). Those toddlers will surprise you with how much they love a good vacay! I got lots of tips on buying ear buds for all the people sitting around us on the plane, but Noah was really good especailly considering it was an 18hour travel day. Now if we could just adjust ourselves back to east coast time...

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  12. We are making a trip from seattle to Virginia for Christmas with a 3 month old. Hoping he will sleep through a good portion of it and not be THAT kid that screams through the whole flight - otherwise we may be spending his college fund on drinks for the passengers around us ;-) I will definitely keep your tips in mind.

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  13. You are so adorable. This was a fun and tremendously funny post! Glad you all survived.

    (Love the tip to encourage fellow passengers on the plane to drink up to drown out shrieking babies!)

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  14. You are so adorable. This was a fun and tremendously funny post! Glad you all survived.

    (Love the tip to encourage fellow passengers on the plane to drink up to drown out shrieking babies!)

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  15. girl that totally made me laugh my ass off! Hats off to you for taking such a big and long trip with 2 babes!!

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  16. girl that totally made me laugh my ass off! Hats off to you for taking such a big and long trip with 2 babes!!

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  17. Hahaha I will keep all of these tips in mind for when we finally have baby bears!

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