Ive been consumed by the strategy of packing for our annual Christmas trip home. It’s a 3 hour flight, so shorter than the 8+ flight I used to have before our recent move to the States, but still. With a 4 year old with a short attention span with immediate gratification syndrome and a one year old that’s moving like a tiny ADHD drunk, it’ll be one Hell of a ballet. Even with my husband on this journey to help carry the safety gear required nowadays to keep our boys safe and healthy,it’s enough to hibernate under the duvet for the winter. But alas, the thought of the joy on my children and their grandparent’s faces as they share the traditions of the season, the sparkle of new fallen snow and the laughter of friends keep me motivated.
The packing begins.
See how I suggest you travel with your tots this season.
I’ve been on many long flights with my son domestic and international, from the time he was 6 weeks old until present day (he’s 4).
I try to think of things that are cheap, easy to pack and replaceable.
I’ll try and add to the list if I discover more.
- Balloons – they are cheap, packable, easy to pick up at stores no matter what country or town you’re in. You can blow them up and let them fly around, discover new sounds by pulling the lip of the balloon and there is always bouncing the balloon in the air. This is my favorite pre-boarding gate activity. It’s fun, people think it’s cute, it isn’t loud, and expels a lot of energy. Be careful on flight that it doesn’t become a “spring break” beach ball balloon or that the screech or pop of the balloon doesn’t scare the hell out of passengers – nuff said.
- Wiki-Stix – discovered as a freebie in the kids activity kit at Grand Lux Cafe & PF Changs-Bonus. This is like a pipe cleaner but instead of fuzz, it’s covered in wax. They are cheap, even free if you save them up on restaurant visits. They are quiet and easy to pack. They are flexible to make any shape or figure including jewlry. My son made us all eyeglasses.
They stick to anything. This is a bonus because they stick to windows, bags, tray tables, ect. and are removable. I will tell you this, I have had them stuck to my carpet and stepped on. It’s removable with a little effort and little damage. I’ve had them melted on the patio and they are scrapable with the back of a kitchen knife.
- Activity books – There are TONS in the airport and some at most toy stores. They are usually under the travel section or under books. I prefer the ones with magnets just because stickers can be hard to remove. Be aware that when packing magnets DO NOT store near your electronics, such as a laptop or cell phone. It will hurt the screens at the minimum. My favorite is the bob the buildre typ of books. Ours has a screwdriver. It keeps my son busy fixing things from the taxi ride, to the gate, to the flight. Once on the flight the white noise helps quiet the clicking noise of the screw being turned.
- Games – games like Simon Says (minus the big physical movements) can be great. They are quiet, free and weightless to pack.
Although I’m not an independent traveler – anymore since my kiddos came around I’ve become a big fan of a e-newsletter that gets dropped to my inbox. It’s called Independent Traveler.
It has travel tips, trip planning and some discounts. They also have a section specifically for families.
Must-Have Items for Beaching with Kids
It’s hot, you have baby gear to tote, but you need a day at the beach nonetheless. How long until naptime? What to bring for lunch that won’t spoil? Will the kids be entertained and safe? How do I keep the baby from eating sand?
I liked this article since I’ve been living near the beach, I’ve been adjusting my beach plan since I’ve had kids.
What do you bring, do and live without when you take kids to the beach? Please leave a comment and let us know.
travel accessories, luggage tags, tsa locks, security belts, converters
Travel Activity Kit
$16.95 on www.Psychobaby.com
Are you setting off for your own rendition of Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Snag this handy travel pack to save the day! Including a book with 52 travel games, 6 markers, 10 postcards for when you’re on the go, a ruler, and 48 stickers that’ll give you a little R and R on your vacay!
Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Some Plane Advice for Your Laptop
This article may help some of you that feel stranded while traveling in more ways than one!
When my husband travels with me there is always the juggle between keep the kids safe and keep the laptop from getting stolen. This can give some tips on keeping both safe at the same time.
Also, having a laptop can let you surf if the kids are napping and can entertain the kiddos when there’s a delay. Tips on how to do this successfully too.
Any ideas for us moms out there? Please comment below.