Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Travel Tips?

Will and I made it home to SoCal from New Jersey. 4 flights and 15+ travel hours later, I am grasping at my sanity, but made it in one piece. Traveling alone with a 1 year old is definitely not for the weak of heart or mind. I'm one tough chick with an obscene amount of patience, but even I have my breaking point. I took the advice of a few other moms who have traveled with youngin's and packed lots of stuff I thought would be helpful to both Will and I. Since I'm allowed 2 carry-on bags, I packed my diaper bag and another small bag.

Diaper Bag Contents:
- Lots of diapers. I had a packed 8.
- Lots of wipes. I packed a fresh 80 ct. wipe pack.
- Baby Tylenol
- Baby Benadryl
- Changing pad
- Change of clothes
- 2 sippy cups with water and juice
- Snacks galore! - an apple, fruit snacks, Teddy Grahams, applesauce, raisins, goldfish crackers, Mini Nutter Butters, fruit roll ups
- Arm & Hammer Diaper bags
- Kleenex
- Tweezers & nail clippers (they never took them away and I keep them in my bag at all times anyways)
- extra woobie
Aquaphor Healing Ointment 1.75 oz (50 g)- extra binky
- Camera
- Cell phone charger (regular plug in & car charger so I could plug it in when we got our rental car)
- Travel-size Baby Aquaphor

Contents of Extra Carry-on Bag:
- Mini DVD Player (That I charged for the whole day prior to us leaving)
- 3 movies (Toy Story 1 & 2, and Finding Nemo)
- Headphones
- New small toys - We shopped in the $1 section at Target and got a couple board books, a beanie snake, and in the clearance toy section a small Chuck truck, stuffed Spongebob, Hot Wheels, etc.
- another change of clothes
- jacket
crocs Women's Malindi Flat Slingback,Black,8 M- larger baby blanket - I used it to cover Will up when he fell asleep on my lap on the plane. Plus it was nice to have in the crib he slept in at Lani's house since it's a familiar piece of home.

I should've brought Will's Glow-Worm Seahorse. I didn't even think about it, but we push it's belly every night when Will goes to bed and it plays music softly for him for 5 minutes while he falls asleep. Thank God Lani had one in Jagger's room already that we could use. I think that helped make the sleeping transition a tad smoother (although it was not very smooth...). Things that remind him of home and even smell like home help.

A few helpful things to keep in mind for your airborne travels:
- Wear slip on and off shoes & put your kid(s) in some too. This makes going through security much easier.
- Wear something with pockets. This way you can stick a binky in one pocket, your boarding passes & ID in another, and grab things as they get "dropped" by a little stinker along the way. "Uh Oh!" is my least favorite game right now...
- LEGGINGS! Hubby made the fantastic suggestion that I wear something comfy for the plane ride and was like "Hey, how about your leggings?". I am so glad that I took his advice on this. I also wore my Malindi Crocs. Super comfy & still looked somewhat put together after a long day of traveling.
- Hubby also suggested to take along & put Will in some Overnight Diapers for the plane rides. (He's a smart guy, I tell ya!) I think this helped prevent 9 out of 10 leaks. We did have a leak (of just pee, thank God!) on the 1st leg of our flight home from Philly to Chicago. He was in an overnight diaper, but he had also been drinking like crazy since it was so hot.
- I joke that now that I'm a mom, I am a girl scout. I am always prepared for the worst. I packed 3 extra sets of clothes for Will for the plane rides. I had a ton of extra diapers and a full pack of wipes with me. I had an obscene amount of snacks on hand. If you think you might need it, but could probably go without it, pack it anyway! It could come in handy and even if it keeps him occupied for 5 minutes, that's 5 less minutes you have to worry about a meltdown.
- When all else fails, a medicated nap is not a bad thing. Baby Benadryl probably saved my sanity when I was on the verge & had my own little meltdown.

All things considered, Will did very well on all of the flights. He had a little Benadryl for the almost 4 hour long flights from LAX to Chicago, and slept the whole way. The flight from Chicago to Philly was not so bad, except for the 45 minutes we sat on the Philly tarmac waiting for a plane to get out of our gate. Thank goodness we sat next to a dad and his 6 year old daughter that were very understanding & the little girl even helped entertain Will with her giant fluffy bunny. On the flight home from Philly to Chicago, it got a little hairy for a bit, but the poor guy was going through Hunter withdrawals. He was cooped up in a 2' x 2' space in a 100% packed flight and was not very happy about it. At most, he would have 30 second fits and then we'd go back to reading a book, playing with a car, or having a snack.

A special thank you to the awesome flight attendant that let me have the ONLY open seat on our long flight from Chicago to LAX next to me. I'm sure the lady in the aisle seat was also very appreciative. Having a tiny bit of elbow and breathing room on a long flight with a 16 month old made all the difference! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!

A note to all of my fellow child-less travelers: Have a little bit of patience. I do not appreciate the nasty looks of disdain for my child who is having a minor meltdown. He's just saying on the outside the same frustration we are all feeling on the inside for our lack of personal space at the moment. Someday, when you have kids, you will understand. It's not like I'm forcing him to scream at the top of his lungs on purpose.

My last bit of advice: Take your patient pill before you get on the plane, and try your darnedest to stay calm for your child's sake. No one wants to sit in a plane on the tarmac for 45 minutes waiting for another plane to move so you can get out and stretch your legs. The more frustration you show, the crazier your child will get.

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