I like to think I’ve been a good traveler thus far with my kids. When my son was just 9 months old – we took our first 2 hour solo flight – just me and my little dude. People were looking at me like I was crazy as we went through JFK airport security (quite swiftly might I add – I despise being the bottleneck in the security line). They were possibly searching for my husband or some travel companion to help me with this little human that was just getting comfortable with his ability to bounce up and down on his chubby little legs.
I believe our flight was a success – with the exception of my son deciding he wanted to drop his bottle in the aisle the exact moment the plane began its ascent! A very kind flight attendant found it and sanitized it for us. The key to our success and successful trips since boils down to a few key things:
Being prepared: I LOVE packing! I can’t decide if it’s a hobby or talent, haha. I get it from my mom. I start plotting out how I’m going to pack (in my mind) weeks ahead of a trip. I try to pack as efficiently as I can (#nocheckedbags). I also make sure to pack activities for the kiddies. The key is to bring them out in tiers – don’t show all your cards at once – little humans are smart! Start with the books, then perhaps the blocks, and then the crayons and paper. I pace activities based on the length of the flight/travel time.
Being aware: Everyone has been on a flight with the kid kicking their seat or been behind the person in security that apparently didn’t know you can’t take a gallon of water in a carry-on. Be aware of what your kid is doing. If they are kicking a seat – acknowledge it and get them to stop. Know what you can and cannot have in your checked bags (I double-checked about my breast pump the first time I ever had to fly with it).
NOT being afraid: What I’ve learned the most since becoming a parent is that we (parents) bring most of the hectic, stressful, and unpleasant events on ourselves by worrying it into existence. For example, if I’m thinking the whole time I’m planning for a trip that the kids are going to be flipping out, crying, and having a meltdown – chances are – I will have kids on my hands flipping out, crying, and having a meltdown. We get what we put out into the universe. I try my best not to be afraid of what could happen but stay positive about all the great things that will happen!
Happy travels to you and your little ones – enjoy it!!!