03 June 2008

Traveling Tips... Children

I think all children have some fear of abandonment… at least kids who see their parents packing as often as we do…

For days before the trip they aren’t sleeping and begin showing their stress… through tantrums, tummy aches and testing the boundaries… it’s exhausting enough traveling with kids but add in 3 days of unrest before and after the trip its enough to send any parent over the edge and on their way to the wack shack…

So here’s what we have learned so far…

Before the trip…

1) Don’t watch Toy Story… the last thing you need to do is to fill their head with stories of favorite toys being left behind…let the kids help pack their things so they know that they are coming with you…
2) Stay consistent with discipline… when mom and dad slack off it’s a sure sign that there is trouble ahead… its tempting to give in and spoil… but as our friend Abby reminded us today kids know something is up when mom and dad start giving in to every demand
3) Count down the days and go over the itinerary… ever since Noah was 2.5 he has been able to remind us where we are going and which airlines… it helps to have another responsible human who knows where they are going…

During the trip…

Ethiopian Airlines had about 4 movies for the entire 16-hour flight… all rated PG-13 or R… which didn’t matter because they weren’t working in our section … but we were prepared…

1) There is a reason Starbucks is in every terminal… I bought my usual iced grande soy latte in DC… downed it… looked at the fire in Noah and Kadin’s eyes at 6:30 AM… then walked right back up to the counter and ordered the venti… good to go…
2) Strategically pack your carry-on… new toys (wrapped is even better to build excitement)… Noah opened a new toy every hour of the flight… crayons, coloring paper, books, cars, and my favorite… the 500 Lightening McQueen stickers which are now covering all of row 32 on Ethiopian Airways 787…
3) Favorite snacks always help… especially something chewy like Starburst to help their ears pop on take-off and landing… Kadin calls them Starbucks… which is great hearing a 3 year old yelling “I need Starbucks” on an international flight… the entire adult population nods their heads and shouts back “Amen!”… also pack a bundle of wet wipes… at least until your kid is 13…
4) Terminals are big so children can run laps… a child should run 1 mile for each year of life in between each flight… parents should search for caffeine…

After the trip…

1) Have a responsible adult around to remind you to look before you cross the street and drive you safely home and to wipe the drool from your face… 36-48 hours of no sleep makes any parent unfit to care for their children or even themselves…
2) Don’t make plans for 2 days… unpacking and resettling children is full-time work for a good 48-72 hours… and you deserve the break… you survived!

2 comments:

Jen said...

speaking as a used to be worried that i would be left behind child...your before the trip ideas are stellar!

SinlessTouch said...

you're right about not letting the kids watch toy story but the problem is when we moved, i left some of my adult toys collection. So i was really depressed when my G.I. Joes were incomplete :(