Monday, January 24, 2011

How We Travel

How we travel…

The quick answer is, as light as possible.  Serenity always hated a stroller, and I hate lugging around a bunch of stuff, so I try to keep things simple.  Here are the must-haves:

For a two year old (where I am now)
1.) Dress her in pajamas (I wish she’d still wear footie ones, but we just do socks and shoes now.)
2.) Dress myself in something with pockets (must be able to quickly access pacifiers.  Although we are getting rid of them tomorrow so I won’t have this crutch much longer!!!)

In a backpack:
1.) Diapers, wipes, powder (or lotion, whatever you need.)
2.) A change of clothes if something icky happens.
3.) A sippy cup with juice (you can carry on liquids for infants and toddlers now I discovered on our last trip.  Plus the flight attendants will refill for you.)
4.) Simple snacks.  I take her favorite, pretzels, plus craisins for an option.  And then I have fruit snacks for emergency distractions. 
5.) Some sort of entertainment.  We have an ipad, which is the coolest thing ever for traveling with a toddler.  She is glued to the thing whenever we give her the chance.  (I don’t reveal it until it’s allowed in flight, or for long layovers.) 
6.) Non-electronic entertainment.  I bring several paperback books (because they’re light), and this trip our biggest success was a set of stickers.  I brought some simple colored circle labels, the kind you use for garage sales, and printed a few of the sticker sheets from this page on Simply Montessori.  She is in love with do a dot pages and this was nearly as good.  It entertained her for a whole hour in Denver, and for take-off!  We’ve also had some fun with word flashcards, and other flat things.  
7.)  Because I’m hopeful like that, I bring her small teddy bear that she sleeps with, and a blankie.  Sometimes she sleeps.  Usually as we’re landing at our destination.  But sometimes she just wants to snuggle so the bear comes in handy. 

And that’s it.  I carry my two-year old, a single backpack, and her car seat, which is more than enough.  If I ever get rich I’ll buy one of those wheeled cart things for her carseat and we’ll breeze through the airports. 

We’ve mostly been very lucky at airports.  People are usually helpful, and when she was an infant, the airport people would put us in our own row sometimes.  And the last trip that I flew alone, five different people offered to help me carry her car seat.  It made me so happy =)

For an infant:
We carried a few different things when she was tiny.  I carried infant Tylenol, which I gave her a dose of half an hour before flights the first few times in case she had ear troubles.  She never has though, so we’ve stopped that.  I carried more diapers and wipes and more like two or three spare outfits, because having to shop for a onesie in the airport because of a blowout sounded like no fun to me.  I carried a nursing shawl for feeding and a fleece blanket that was thick enough to support my arm and pad the airplane wall so I didn’t bump her head.  And then the front carrier, which I dearly miss.  But no toys, so it evened out pretty well. =) 
We have our favorite places in several airports... In Detroit, they have this awesome rainbow tunnel that's hard to leave behind, and an excellent fountain where Serenity completely soaked herself. 

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