Monday, July 9, 2012

Toddler Travel Tips

I was pretty nervous about taking our extra squirmy, very active 15 month-old on a 4 hour flight. Two four hour flights, really.

Things went really well. She napped on each flight, she played with the toys, read books, took walks up and down the aisle with us.

So with that, I'd like to give some travel tips that I've learned or implemented.

  • Exercise that babe. Get there early enough that you can walk her around, or, as in my case, run her up and down the people movers 8 times until you are out of breath and needing a reliever. 
  • Snacks. Snacks snacks snacks. Bring snacks.
  • Schedule your flight around bedtimes and nap times. Maximize the chance that she will sleep. If your baby - like mine - won't fall asleep just sitting on your lap, bring a carrier (Ergo, for me) that she will sleep in.
  • Airline magazines have a lot of interesting pictures in them. "Do you see the puppy?" "Can you point to the man-version of Spanx?"
  • Don't get annoyed if not everyone is thrilled to be seated next to a child. One woman changed seats after we sat down in the row in front of her. It's hard not to take it personally but it's a them-issue and they're welcome to want a kid-free flight. Just like you're welcome to feel a bit smug when you hear a baby crying from her area of the plane while yours sleeps silently in an Ergo while you watch Casino on your husband's tablet. 
  • Bulkhead it up. This is personal preference obviously, but I wanted a bulkhead and we got it on our flight home. No, you can't keep your bags under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing, but the extra legroom is awesome. When June was extra active, she was able to play with toys, climb around our outstretched legs and generally hang out in the extra 3 feet of space we had. 
  • Pray like hell no one sits in your row. Our flight home was the perfect situation: bulkhead with no one next to us. 

Why must airport carpet be so airporty?

I'm not sure how it could have gone any better. I guess June could have napped more on the ride home, but she was awake and mostly happy. We were able to keep her entertained with a combination of toys I made and also crackers. Always crackers. More crackers.  

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