How to travel (for real) with kids!
Not photography related, however, we travel a TON for weddings and photoshoots!
Here's a few things I've learned from traveling with kids over the last 12 months! We've been all over the U.S. and we've also flown to Paris with an 18 month old!
Here are my top 5 suggestions for traveling with littles!
I was really worried about giving my kids any sugar before a flight. Mainly, I didn't want them to have more energy than they already do. However, I learned in the last few flights, the best things to have on hand are cereal (lucky charms are awesome), raisins, and dum-dum's (like you get at the bank). When we were taking off, cereal was the best by far! Gave Ella and Maddie something to snack on while waiting for the plane to get air. I usually save the dum-dum's for an emergency. because they can get sticky and super messy! However, a SCREAMING child on a flight over the Atlantic is way worse than a sticky, happy mess!
tip: Go to the dollar tree and stock up on suckers and candy necklaces! You'd be amazed at how long a candy necklace will keep them occupied!
2. Coloring books, crayons (or pencils, no markers because lids fall off everywhere) and stickers!
I kid you not, stickers were a lifesaver for us flying to Paris and Fort Lauderdale! I bought the super cheap packets with a 1000+ stickers from the dollar tree and target. I also bought colored construction paper (let's be real, white paper is super boring). Also, I really like those little crayola crayons that twist up! Super awesome!
tip: I would get those magic color markers from crayola. Perfect for a little bit older kids, like Maddie (6), and they don't make a mess!
3. Pillows and Blankets!
This seems like second nature, however, I NEVER brought full size pillows and blankets before! We had a late night flight, around midnight, and it was going to take about 4 hours. Both girls were semi-tired, in pajamas, and had a few snacks! The plane we were on dimmed the lights (thank goodness) and that helped a ton! What made the biggest difference with this flight? The pillows. Instantly, Ella and Maddie both snuggled up to their pillows and covered up with blankets. The lights off, the white noise, and the (somewhat) comfort of their own beds, made for an amazing and easy 4 hour flight.
4. Don't hate me for this, but tylenol and dramamine.
The reason I say these, is because you'll want tylenol for when you land (especially for jet-legged littles). Ella did pretty well going to Paris, but the second day there, she really felt awful. Whiny, crabby, clingy, you name it. She almost acted as though her head was aching. I gave her a small dose of tylenol, and she was 100% better. My next staple, dramamine. Make sure you buy the juniors kind and only give half a dose if you can. Staring at the back of a seat with a tv attached to it can actually cause a little motion sickness. Add that to any turbulence, and you've got the perfect cocktail for a puking baby.
tip: the chewable tabs are the best. Break in half and save the other half!
5. THE BEST THING EVER!!!! A cheap, folding umbrella stroller without the umbrella).
So I have traveled about 10 times with my girls. Having three kids means LOTS OF CRAP! No joke, stuffed animals, pillows (still worth it) and backpacks. I say the cheap stroller because it fits everywhere. It's easy enough to just flip shut when getting on shuttles and slide under seats. We took a huge jogging stroller to Paris with us. With all the public transit, it was a flipping nightmare! We were constantly carrying it up and down stairs, trying to fit in subways, and having to unload all our crap every time we folded it up. STAY AWAY FROM THEM! My favorite thing about these cheap strollers: extra hands. I would have Ella sit in the stroller (about 30 lbs of booty girl) and then hang her backpack, neck rest, and Maddie's backpack on the handles. I was also able to hang the pillow cases on the curved handles (brilliant). Then Ella would hold her blanket and I would have my backpack on. It was seriously the easiest stroller situation I've encountered!
tip: Don't get a super fancy stroller. The cheaper the better. It will go in and out of everything, get drug thru Lord knows what, and probably have juice spilled, candy melted, and poop explosion on it.....
Finally, we are at the end!
Hopefully this helps at least one other mom travel with ease through subways, airports, security, and pretty much anywhere you can think of! Good luck with your travels and feel free to share and comment on this blog! I would love to hear how my tips helped you get thru a vacation with littles!