Before we left for Ireland I got a lot of “Are you insane?” or “You are seriously going on an international flight with a 7month old & a 2 year old?!”. Traveling is by far my favorite hobby. It was obviously a whole lot easier as a young single lady, but I promised myself that when I had kids I would at least try to continue to travel a little.
When Maggie was 9 months old we took her to Italy. She was an awesome little traveler. She slept through most of the touring (we have pictures of her sound asleep in the Bjorn at the Vatican, The David, Colosseum, etc), and when she was awake we discovered quickly no one loves a “bella bambina” like the Italians.
We discovered on our recent adventure that she is still an awesome traveler & her little sister is following suit. They were better then I could have ever imagined & so was the trip. Don’t get me wrong there was a rough night or 2, plenty of crying (but we have that in our daily life here too), & things we had to sacrifice traveling with 2 kids.
So, since we got back from Ireland, lots of people have been asking “How did you do it!?” To be honest, the main reason we were able to do it & have a fantastic time because we had A LOT of help (4 other adults with us). In addition here are a few travel tips for traveling with babies & toddlers:
– Prepare for the worst: example bring enough clothes in your carry on that if both kids puked all over them selves you & the people next to you everyone would have clean clothes
– Now that Diapers.com is around (& ships free) order your diapers, wipes, take n toss cups, baby food, snacks etc & ship it to the house or hotel you are going to. This is a lot easier & cheaper than checking a giant bag of the stuff. For beach trips this summer you could even add sunscreen, a few sand toys from yoyo.com & other essentials for the house from soap.com
– Have an “anything goes” attitude with things like pacifiers, blankies, snacks, iPads etc. These are all things that are only aloud at bedtime or only for very special rewards at our house……when on an international flight they can have all they want!
– Stickers galore! A sticker book for toddlers & for little hands: stick them on the edge of the tray table & they can grab them off
– Lot’s of “time consuming” snacks. We love fruit snacks, lolly pops, pretzel sticks & mini boxes of raisens
– Individual packs of formula. Slightly more expensive but a whole lot easier.
– This little gadget if you are bringing a car seat
– If you buy your kid a seat & they are under 3 bring the car seat. I don’t know about your toddler but after that family got kicked off the plane because their kid wouldn’t sit down with their seat belt on I had visions of our family being next on the news.
– Flying: have tylonol or motrin on hand in case of ear pain. We did saline in the nose pre flight too(the saline gel on qtip is amazing for little ones).
– If you are flying somewhere Southwest flies – fly with them for sure! They are great with kids.
– You can bring anything you might need for your babies & toddlers on the plane. We had drugs, sippy cups of milk & juice, bottles of formula, etc. Just mention that your diaper bag is packed with “baby liquids” when you are walking through.
– Last but not least, make careful hotel selection. When I was a young single traveler I booked totally based on price. In fact when I think back to a few hostels I stayed in, I am surprised I left in one piece. With kids, spending a little more on a hotel, can go a LONG way. The concierge will be your best friend (I started emailing ours a month before the trip). Trip Advisor is a great place to read tons of reviews on hotels & you can even post questions about hotels & whether or not they are kids friendly. Besides having family on the trip to help us, the other reason our trip was so great, was definitely due to the hotel & their wonderful staff.
Traveling with kids is a favorite topic of mine, so if you ever have questions ask away!