I’ve been asked by several moms- and dads-to-bes the following question, “When did you start traveling with L?” which is also usually followed by “How did you train him to be a good traveller?”
We started traveling with L right after his first birthday. We also chose a short trip, Bermuda, which is only 1.5 hours by plane from NYC. I didn’t want to be that mom; you know, the one with the non-stop crying baby. I’ve been on the receiving end of constant chair kicks, incessant shrieking and crying, non-stop chattering on short and long-haul flights so I know how that goes and I would never want to put anyone else through that.
Prior to our first flight, we packed a whole backpack of goodies, ranging from lollipops to new toys to an iPad filled with various TV shows and games. Now, before you think we are terrible parents, these are things we normally do not let him have. In fact, he didn’t even like watching TV prior to this trip; I have to admit that I had to condition him to watch shows *hangs head in shame* (he still didn’t care for TV shows or anything on the iPad during this trip).
Since the first trip was a mere 1.5 hours flight time, we didn’t even have to pull out any of the goodies we had planned. In fact, once the flight leveled off, he fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we landed. However, on the cab ride over to the hotel, perhaps due to the winding roads or perhaps due to motion sickness, he ended up throwing up. Thankfully the cab driver was extremely understanding and helped us clean up and even told us not to worry about the mess that occurred in his car.
I think that many parents are afraid to travel because it’s a daunting task. Kids, especially babies, have so much gear and needs. I remember our first trip out of the house when L was just 2 months old. Our car was filled with any and everything that we thought we would possibly need. When we made it home in one piece, we thought hey, that wasn’t so bad!
My advice would be this: you know your child the best. Is he/she normally a good natured baby? Do they sleep well on a consistent basis? Have some back-up plans for if/when they become fussy on the plane/car. Knowing what you and your spouse will do beforehand will definitely lessen the stress.
What are some of your tried and true tips for traveling with your kids?