Sunday, April 22, 2012

Frantic Mama: Traveling with Toddlers and Babies

We do an annual family beach vacation, and it takes us all year to recover (Ha.  Just kidding.  Mostly).

Here are a few tips for those of you "vacationing" with young kids might consider:

1.  Bring dark trash bags and duct tape to make your child's room darker.  Sounds sketchy, right?  But the less they see, the more they forget they are in a new spot (and we all know that every extra minute of sleep is worth the work).  We now do this every time we travel. 

2.  Bring magazines for your child to look at on the airplane.  My little guy is OBSESSED with cars (remember, "EEEEEEE?!"), so naturally we brought along all kinds of Hot Rod and racing magazines.  Yes, the neighboring passengers heard a lot of "Blue car!" "Purple car!" but that's better than screaming, right?  And needless to say (I assume), preschool Apps are a parents' best friend for any type of travel.  

3.  Assume your kids will get sick.  Ours did last year.  He did again this year.  Airplanes are covered with germs.  Why didn't I just bring the aspirator and "Little Noses" saline squirts to avoid the rushed CVS trip?  Idealism, I suppose...

(The pacifier?  There's nothing wrong with it!  If your kid takes one, bring 10!)

4.  I mentioned this on previous travel posts, but bring PLENTY of snacks for the flight.  Hoping for 3 balanced meals on travel day?  HA!  Cookies, crackers, and fruit snacks will be your best friend when you find your demanding toddler happily munching away rather than having a tantrum about the fact that the portable DVD player has to be shut off for the last 30 (30?! really?) minutes of the flight.  For babies, bring along more formula than you think you need; I love those Similac pre-measured powder packets.  Baby Mum-mums are good distractions for the littlest travelers.  Also, there's no shame in pacifiers.  

5.  Here's what I consider the most invaluable tip:  You know how the airlines always say "those traveling with young kids can board early?"  Are they insane?!  Wait until the very last call to board; the less time sitting in that hot, sticky God-forsaken airplane seat the better.

With all of the work and preparation that goes into traveling with young children, you might wonder, is it worth it?  I mean really worth it?  This Frantic Mama thinks so; after all, the photos only show the good parts :).

Happy travels and vacationing from Frantic Mama!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

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