Thursday, November 16, 2017

My family of four just got back from our vacation where we had such a great time. Of course, traveling with two kids is not the easiest task in this world, but totally doable if you prepare yourself for it. We don’t travel too often, but when we do, I try to do my best in planning my kids comfort (which usually means the whole family’s comfort too).
6 am and we are all very excited! Except little Vasilisa... I am not sure about her feelings :)
There are basic recommendations that seem obvious but when we get busy packing and shopping we can easily forget these tips. Here are 10 of my favorites:

  • If possible, let your children rest (nap) more before your flight. There is a high chance of them skipping their regular nap time with all the excitement and traveling fun. For example, if you have an early morning flight, put them to bed earlier. If you’re traveling in the middle of the day, let them rest at noon or maybe on your way to the airport put on quiet music in the car, so they can nap for a little bit. It’s easier with a newborn than a toddler, but still worth a try. My 13 month old Vasilisa peacefully napped during the flight but my three year old excited boy was too curious about everything to fall asleep and miss all the fun.

  • If your destination is not too far, book a nonstop flight. We usually don’t count time at the airport, but with a one or two stops flights, you end up spending the whole day either at the airport or airplane. So, spending a couple hundred bucks more on a nonstop flight is worth it. If you travel to another country and fly over the ocean, keep in mind that most airlines offer bassinets for your kid (about two years ago, my 18 months old son could fit in it, so we didn’t have to hold him for 12 hours). Also, try to fly during night hours, because even a very excited and active kid will eventually get tired and fall asleep when the lights are off.

  • Many parents rush to get into the airplane first. I don’t. If you really think about it, there is a good chunk of time (sometimes up to 30 minutes) before everyone is seated. If you add your three hours flight to it, plus take off and landing time, your trip will add up one extra hour! Mostly sitting in one spot. So, get in the airplane in the last line.
In Mexico, waiting for our flight. Here, Vasilisa seems very excited!

  • Buy a brand new toy for your kid and show it to him when he gets bored. Don’t rush to entertain him right away. There are many things he can look at for the first 30 minutes in the airplane.  For example, watch through the window how we are taking off, talk to him about the signs the pilot has to follow, line of other airplanes waiting for their turns etc. Your child can look through the magazines with you, show him your destination map (if there is a screen in front of your seat). When you noticed, he is done with the things around him, introduce a new toy. Buy something small and what he can do by himself, so you can have some rest too.

  • Coloring sets and sticker books are fun to have, and they don’t take up too much space. Also, there are water coloring activities for little travelers that my kids love. It can be your next trick to occupy your kid.

  • Tasty snacks always do magic for my children. When they want to have a break from all the “brain” work, I offer them a light snack. Buy something that your kids really like. When you travel, it’s not the best time to push your kale chips (even though some kids like it), but go ahead and buy their favorite goldfish or salty nuts. It’s their vacation too! Let it be fun.

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