We’ve flown to Colorado twice and Houston once since Z was born. The first time we went to Colorado, Z was only 10 weeks old. She slept on the plane and didn’t make a peep the entire time. The people around us were surprised when we deplaned with an infant because she was so quiet. The second time we went to Colorado, Z was 9 ½ months old and mobile. She still did really well on the plane and stayed occupied by playing, reading, and eating snacks. I was afraid she’d want to get down and crawl around, but she didn’t. Our Houston trip was the weekend after that Colorado trip, and it was pretty much the same scenario on that plane ride.
Two weekends ago, we decided to take an impromptu trip to Chicago to get away for the weekend. Even though Z’s a laid back kid, I was a little nervous for the 4 ½ hour car ride. She did really well though! I made sure to bring a lot of toys, books, and snacks. We stopped a couple of times on the way up for pit stops. As a last resort against boredom, we turned on Ratatouille and Z zoned out.
This was our first family vacation with just the three of us. It was such a blast! We went to the Field Museum to see the Lascaux cave painting exhibit. I’ve written about this exhibit and the cave’s importance to art history before. It was an amazing exhibit, very well done, and R really liked the fact that the signage was written in both French and English; he felt it was respectful to the Lascaux cave heritage. We walked around Chicago a lot, visited Navy Pier, ate Chicago-style pizza, walked up and down Michigan Avenue, and walked along Lake Michigan.
My bottom line for writing this post: it is possible to travel with kids. From my experience, traveling with kiddos requires flexibility. Each age has its perks and its downsides: nursing on a plane sucks, as does worrying about nursing schedules while you’re in the middle of traveling. Having a toddler in a museum isn’t as easy as having a non-mobile infant. BUT, the important thing is to roll with it. If you’re calm, your kid will be calm, and everyone will have a lot more fun. So here are some tips I’ve compiled:
Travel Tips with Tot:
Think your kid’s favorite toy or book will be enough? WRONG. Bring 4 times the stuff you think you’ll need, especially if you’re traveling by car and can’t get up and walk around. Kids get bored really fast.
· Bring a variety of snacks or treats. Having something that you normally don’t buy will be fun and special; however, don’t introduce anything that could cause an allergic reaction (IE: nuts, shellfish—don’t know why you’d do this anyway—exotic fruits, etc.). You don’t want to ruin your trip by spending time in the ER.
· Always keep a roll of toilet paper or a pack of baby wipes in the car (regardless of whether you have kids or not). You can thank me in advance.
· Bring extra clothes. For everyone.
· Buy a stroller with a collapsible seat in case your little one wants to take a snooze.
· Remember to have fun and go with the flow!