HOW TO TRAVEL WITH KIDS, WITHOUT DIVORCING YOUR HUSBAND
It's almost Christmas (less than 40 days away) and we're all scrambling. I've had tons of readers ask about traveling tips with littles this holiday season and since we are about to travel next week, I put together a few tips....including how to not divorce your husband in the process! No really, it's not easy, but it's worth it.
I don't mind chaos. My husband, not so much. Traveling chaos? Well it's a shit show. But, it doesn't have to be, and after making about 10 plus flights in my first year as a mother and several road trips, I figured out a few tricks. Now with twins, I'm a little braver, a little wiser and here's a few ways you can travel his holiday season with your babies and without divorcing your husband!
But first, why do we all cringe at the thought of holiday travel and loading the children on a plane or in the car? Why is it so frightening?
Well, because it is. It’s not easy. And if you’re a mother and you feel this way, you are not alone. In fact, I’m right there with you. Currently I am hyperventilating at the thought of traveling next summer to Hawaii (maybe) with 6 people in tow, 2 kiddos being under 2. Still haven’t bought tickets. I’m terrified.
But here’s the good news. It’s just travel. People have been doing it for years and there will always be people who stare at you, who complain, who say “wow, you have your hands full!” Yes I know I have my hands full you little shit! But it’s ok. He’ll be fine for the 4 hour flight. He has to. He has nowhere to go. Nowhere. And neither do you. So while you may be dreading the thought of dragging your family across the country by plane, or automobile, here’s a list of things that might make it less painful. Also, it will totally be worth it. See below.
1.Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if people offer, say yes. You’ll be surprised at the amount of empathy people have for traveling families with babies and toddlers. There are people who get annoyed, but there are plenty of people who understand and want to help. P.S. When I had to use the bathroom really bad on a flight and I had my 10 week old with me, I couldn’t leave her in her seat alone (DUH), so when I attempted to take her in with me, the flight attendant kindly offered to hold her. If I didn’t say yes, I might have peed myself. Say yes.
2.Travel during nap time. It may be the fullest flight of the day, or the most traffic on the road, but do it. They will sleep, and even if it’s only a 1/3 of the trip, let me tell you, it makes it a whole lot better. Also, if you are willing to pay for seats for the babies, bring on the carseats and let them nap in their seats. Mine napped well in their Britax Carseat. If you are holding the baby, just have patience, he or she may sleep a while (or nurse to sleep), or in my case with twins, mine slept, while the other twin my husband held, cried most of the way. Sorry honey.
3. Bring snacks. Lots of snacks. Cheerios, grapes, apples, anything new and exciting that your kiddo will be pleased with, bring it. And don't worry if you make a mess, trust me you will and there's nothing you can do about it. Just let it go. Also, coloring books, crayons, ipads, a new toy the babies haven't seen yet, that always is a good distraction in-flight or in car and will help the time go.
4. Dress comfortably and invest in a good stroller. When I had just one baby, I chose the City Mini stroller because it was the easiest to fold up in one hand. I traveled alone frequently the first year and I could strap my daughter to me in an Ergo Carrier (which is a must have for any momma) and fold up the stroller with one hand and go through security. So easy. Favorite stroller period. Which is why I purchased the double stroller for the twins. It's the best. Dress lightly, you will be sweating. It's not cute, so wear light makeup, some leggings, a t-shirt, jacket, some Nike sneakers and be done with it.
5. Pack lightly. Only pack what you need. This isn't the old days heading off to Nyc for the weekend with the girls and packing all your favorites. (Insert sad face). Pack necessities, leave the rest. I pack my twins and daughter in one suitcase. Yep. And don't bother with bringing your laptop or book or even a latte. There is no "me" time on a flight, it's all work with the kiddos. For sleeping, I pack the Graco Pack and Play. It's easy, it works, end of story. All moms should have one. And if you're traveling by plane and don't want to pack, ask to borrow and bring your own sheets. So worth it. Also, pack you (yes you Momma) snacks, so you stay nourished and hydrated and pack only these necessities as well as diapers and bottles etc in a backpack, a cute one like this. Don't bring a handbag. Just don't, you'll either lose it, hurt your shoulder from all the weight, or your toddler will pour milk on it. (If you're traveling by car, the same rules apply, except bring a book or a latte because you're riding shotgun and hopefully they will all sleep.) I'm praying our road trip next week goes smoothly and I can get into a new book. Praying.
6. Have a sense of humor. Traveling with kids is for the birds. We all need a vacation from the vacation. It's hard. It can be nerve wrecking and stress you and the husband out. Be nice, offer a neck rub, smile, be kind. Eventually you will get to your destination and get to relax. Or you might be off to Disney World and not have a moment to relax at all. But it's memories you're building and I promise it's all worth it. Our parent's aren't getting any younger and the cousins keep growing at the speed of light. Book that ticket, pack that SUV and go for it. I'm still married and we're leaving next week for Thanksgiving. Take a deep breath and Enjoy it! Happy traveling!