5 Tips for Travel With Tinies
Our children have been on their share of flights, 10 hour car rides, hikes on and off the beaten path, and more. I would by no means call us traveling experts, but I would use the word experienced. Long flights with a potty trainee? Been there. Forgotten snacks? Oh yah. Last set of clothing ruined? Definitely. Time change fiascoes? For sure. Visa/language/passport/security issues? It's happened. Lost or broken luggage? Yup. The list goes on.
Most people I know avoid travel with their tinies. They put big trips on hold until their kids are a little bit older, which is totally fine! But some of us are not that patient. So here are some tips for those of you who just cannot wait to get on the road or in the air.
Remember to pack your kids - ahem - bring your kids
1. Don't worry about other people
You have your hands full as it is. Taking kids on the go is no joke, and while you want to be aware and respectful of other people (in restaurants, on planes, etc.), don't worry about whether or not your 4 month old is having a hard time with the altitude change, crying their eyes out. Most people won't mind and people who have a problem with it while you're doing your best? Suck. Ignore them. Besides, did your son just lick that public bathroom door?!
2. Toys & Entertainment
Bring one favorite toy (the smaller the better) and one activity per kiddo. Yah, ONE. The favorite toy obviously is specific to your household. For my son it is a hot wheels motorcycle and my daughter adores a specific book called "I Love You Stinky Face" and a stuffed ninja turtle. The activity can be anything from crayons and paper to an iPad, depending on you and your kiddos. I promise they will get joy out of the inflight magazine, what's happening out the window, their juice cup, and gum on the bottom of the seat in front of them - as you gape at them in horror.
3. Food & Drink
Make sure you have one empty water bottle/sippy cup per child. They won't share, don't ask them to. Even if they have shared one hundred times before this moment? They won't while you're traveling. In terms of food? My trick is to pick containers that are difficult to get food out of. Long skinny tupperware they have to reach into and are only able to pull out 4 pieces of overpriced organic peanut butter cereal at a time. And I get ridiculous about it. Fruit snacks? Put those suckers in a ziplock bag and let them get as squished as possible. Preferably melty too.
You need appropriate clothing, easy to throw on and take off. You need headache medication, pick up a Costco size of your favorite and throw it in your purse. You need your own water bottle, like I say, your kids won't share. You need extra patience, lots. You need your phone/kindle/iPad + charger, because your babies might nap sweetly for 30 minutes and if they do? You probably won't be able to close your eyes. Embrace it, do something restorative for you.
Restoration is important for us parentals
Have extras. Extra sets of clothing (for your kiddos and for yourself), extra snacks, extra layers, extra diapers, and lots of extra wet wipes (even if your kids aren't in diapers). Bring a blanket and something to use for a pillow for each person. It seems excessive, but probably worth it. Now, don't take this to mean you should bring your entire household - just remember that when you are traveling with kids? You always need way more of the basics than you would think.
Sleeping in LAX
6. Relax! Have fun!
Obviously after you have screamed at your kids for jumping over the sleeping Pilot in the waiting area or you have had your third meltdown in front of the same TSA agent or there has been no where to pull off the highway in the last 100 miles... but if you want to travel badly enough that you're willing to take tiny demons with you? It'll be worth it. It will maybe even be better than you can imagine! Just maybe reevaluate your idea of sitting on the beach looks like ;)
Learning to pee on the side of the road