Friday, July 8, 2011

summer vacationing

So I know it's only the beginning of July, but it since we just got back from our vacation, it seems like summer is already over. Here's hoping for some lovely summer weather (lovely, not hot) to bring me back around. Anyhow, being gone for two weeks and then needing at least a week to recover, here I am having posted nothing for three weeks! Crazy. Well, while I have been enjoying some crafting while I was visiting, my thoughts today were more on the traveling in general. This is the third time we've flown my little man coast to coast and back, but only the first time since he started walking. Fortunately, both my husband and I were traveling together, and the airlines and other travelers were really nice. On the way there, the guy next to us was letting Bugaboo play with his blackberry playbook (nice, but not too wise) and on the way back, another man switched seats so we'd have three in a row so we could have extra space. Thanks again!

(Apparently planes make him silly; he insisted I should take a picture of his tummy, which he found hilarious)

However, other than the good luck and the 2:1 adult-child ratio, we did have a few tricks up our sleeves, which was a good thing because the airlines only had one episode of the Backyardigans and while we did watch it three times, it wasn't cutting the mustard. Again, nothing revolutionary, but man, did these make life easier:

Travelling with Toddlers Trick #1: Toy Travel Pack

Basically, this was a lunchbox filled with toys, some of which were brand new. We'd only take two out at a time (one for each hand) and kept switching things up when he got bored. Here's some of the things we used, and the ones that worked best are asterisked.

  1. Stamp set (not necessarily with any ink, depending on your child. Bugaboo=no ink)

  2. *Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Train (we just found Thomas and Toby together on sale for $9, woot)

  3. Puzzles (the little wooden ones without too many pieces are best)

  4. *Cars (Hotwheels, Matchbox, etc.)

  5. Little People (Fisher Price toys)

  6. Books

  7. Twistables & Colouring Book (or just a pad of paper)

  8. Finger Puppets

  9. Rubber Duckie

  10. *Pez Dispenser (we don't give him the candy, but he really loves the toy part)

  11. *Oh and don't forget any soothers or bottles or any other must haves. Bugaboo has recently started putting things in his mouth when he gets tired, so we give him chewy soothers to chew on.

Pretty much any smallish favourite toy that doesn't have parts that you can lose and that doesn't make noise (especially if you are on a plane for a few hours) works well. And our other trick...

Travelling with Toddlers Trick #2: Snacks (duh)

(note: that was my V8, he wouldn't have anything to do with the stuff; the bottle however...)

Well, it's not as obvious as it sounds because I know that they sell stuff on the planes, and there's all sorts of things you can buy in the airports if you have time, but it's hard to get something healthy so your little one isn't feeling all gross and junky for the next leg of the trip. Conversely, especially if your toddler has trouble with their ears on take off and landings, you need something to either chew/suck on or that's just so yummy they don't notice their discomfort. We ended up feeding Bugaboo a mix of carrots, cheese and crackers during the flight, and then gummy treats as we landed. We goofed for the first flight and had nothing on hand, and while he's normally fine he woke up during descent so cranky+ouchy ears=upset little boy. However, the promise of chocolate (the end all be all as far as treats are concerned) was enough to calm him until we touched down.

Oh, also, we got to actually use his Trunki, which we got for him just after Christmas. I guess that counts as Trick #3. Our opinion: ride on luggage=awesome. It doesn't turn well and it's not for rushing (not until he gets some better balance at least) but he didn't mind as we trekked up and down the terminal in search of a food vendor that preggo-mommy would actually be able to eat at. It was really nice being able to pull him along instead of trying to carry him or worse, get him to walk (he was exhausted; we all were). Plus, as an added bonus, watching him enjoy himself made mommy and daddy feel better too.

So we ended up with a decent (if exhausting) trip and a marvelous vacation. What a wonderful way to kick start our summer. Now, what to do next?

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