Monday, March 18, 2013

// tips for traveling with kids // from kara

while i'm busy over packing, my friend kara is stopping by with some tips for traveling with kids
specifically a toddler, which is who i'm focusing on preparing for.
she recently flew to visit our other friend carina ... which i am still super jealous about.

like kara, i'm banking on my kids charming the passengers around us
(... and on uncle benny )

thanks kara!!

- - -

hi, i'm kara. i blog over at sunrise & sunset about faith, adoption, and my day to day life as the momma of a 20 month old boy. thanks for having me in your amazing space esther. xo

i recently took a trip trip to seattle with just my little one. it was my first time flying alone, his first time flying and obviously my first time flying with a toddler. i was super nervous even though our flight was only three hours i had visions of screaming and crying and running up and down the aisles of the plane.   thankfully none of the previously mentioned worries actually happened except for some happy screaming and general wiggles. i'm definitely no expert but im happy to share what worked for us! 

i've put together my top 5 tips for traveling with a toddler

1. be prepared: for me this meant having some of his favorite books, a portable dvd player, snacks, some milk, a couple of small toys, diapers & wipes, burp rags for cleaning up messes and lastly (and most important) any comfort item your little one uses (my boy has a blankie he cannot sleep without)

2. use the airport to your advantage: airports make check-in with little ones pretty pain free. kids can leave their shoes on and you can carry on a small amount of milk with you as well. check the tsa guidelines before you leave! bring a stroller unless you are somehow capable of wrangling a toddler and carrying all your stuff with your own two hands (i am not this skilled). i'd recommend arriving a little early and after getting through security find an empty gate and let your little one run around and get some energy out! try to change their diaper right before you board and pray that they don't poop until you reach your destination. 

3. at the gate: when at the gate put a big smile on your face and go tell the airline employee that you are traveling with a child (my little guy was on my lap) and kindly ask if there are any seats that have an open seat next to them. i did this on our flight to seattle and right before we boarded i got a new seat assigned and had a middle and an aisle seat to ourselves. also take advantage of early boarding for families and get yourself settled before everyone gets on the plane.

4. a word about snacks: snacks are a great thing to have on a plane but you don't want to overdo it. id recommend giving them fruit snacks to chew at take off so their little ears don't hurt. this worked great for my son and he didn't seem to have any pain at take off or landing. too many snacks (as i found out) can lead to your child spitting up a bit. so don't overfeed and don't give them anything new that may upset their tummy. keep them hydrated with water. 

5. be flexible and remember, this too shall pass: smile at the people sitting next to you, make friends with the flight attendent and let your sweet little one charm your seat mates. if its terrible awful and seems to be the worst experience ever just tell yourself that this will all be over in ___hours (hopefully not too many). our little ones feed off of our energy so try to give off positive happy excited vibes even if you're super stressed out. 

lastly pray that they fall asleep and stay asleep for a loooong time

esther, sending prayers and good vibes your way as you conquer the feat of traveling with two little ones. you can do it momma! 

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