I’ve repressed the memory of my last toddler-toting journey to the States enough to be excited about our upcoming trip. Now I feel much more prepared for the adventure, having one solo trip under my belt. Plus, this time I’m bringing along my husband!
I revisited my toddler-traveling tips from last time to get psyched for the trip, and devised a few additional tips for pre-departure preparation:
RELAX. With an extra adult on hand, my stress level is definitely cut in half. Being relaxed will help the kiddo relax, and… once we get there, the fun begins!
Plan to keep the kiddo busy. Last time I expected the kiddo to sleep. This time I do not. And this means I need to anticipate entertainment for a 2.5 hour car ride, the 2 hours at the airport and 9 hour flight. That’s 6.75 hours per parent.
Do not rely on the iPad. No one can be occupied by a digital device for 13 hours straight.
Travel light. A) There’s Target in America. B) We’re visiting family everywhere we go, and so can reasonably expect to borrow many things. Especially toys.
The tricky thing about the above advice is how to avoid overloading ourselves with things for the toddler to do on the plane. (Because then we wouldn’t be traveling light, now would we?)
Here’s what’s being Tetrissed into my decidedly unfashionable but extremely functional backpack:
- Twistable crayons & notebook
- Three sticker/activity books
- A surprise mini Bob the Builder tool set that came with one of the activity books
- Magic slate-style drawing board (that also came with one of the activity books)
- This mini-book set
- An ABC picture book
- Two small train or truck toys
- Tiny finger puppet
- iPad, loaded with new apps, photos of family, and some videos (a Thomas game pack is downloading as we speak!)
- Not-so-messy snacks: bite-sized crackers, raisins, Cheerios
I’m counting on the plane to provide additional entertainment in the form of take off/landing, meals, kind strangers, seat-back pocket reading materials, in-flight movies, and occasional leg-stretch breaks. And, yes, I’m hoping for a nap that coincides with the Central Time Zone schedule we’re shooting for…but not expecting it.
Of course there’s also an emergency change of clothes for the little guy (in addition to some shorts when we land, where it will be this season called “summer”), twice as many diapers as we could surely need, and snacks for Mom & Dad.
Maybe I’ll go ahead and pack my headphones anyway…