Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Traveling with Toddlers
Remember the days when "packing" meant throwing some underwear, toothbrush, and a change of clothes into a bag?
Yea, me neither.
The moment your child is born, traveling will never be the same.
Last weekend we went to New York to visit Dennis' family for Memorial Day. As I was scurrying around packing and triple-checking my lists, Dennis says, "no need to stress, we're only going for two days." Sure, easy for him to say. He's a guy, and his packing IS just a five-minute ordeal of throwing underwear, toothbrush, and a change of clothes into the bag. For me, it's not so simple. I have to pack all my junk but also everything that Olive needs. While this is getting a bit easier in some respects (at least she can eat real food vs. baby food, no bottles, etc.), there is still a lot to be considered. I did downsize dramatically from the "luxuries of home" but there were still some essentials that I had to pack. For example, some things that HAD to come: Pack 'n Play (I ain't sharin' the bed), Pack 'n Play sheet, "the guys" (her assortment of stuffed animals that she sleeps with), a blanket, a pillow, sippy cups, books, toys, DVD player and movies, etc. (It was a 7 hr car ride - those items are essential). Some things that stayed at home that would have been useful: sound machine, monitors, booster seat, little utensils, baby gates. As I am faced with traveling solo with little Olive next week to visit my family, I will have to pick and choose again what items are essential. However, the flavor changes a bit because this time we are traveling my plane and JetBlue (and probably the others too) have changed the policy to one checked bag. (ONE CHECKED BAG - ARE YOU KIDDING ME????) I won't pay the extra $20 for another bag simply out of principle because I don't think I should have to. SO, therefore, I have to pack 10 days worth of stuff for 2 people into 1 bag. YIKES. Luckily, my parents have a washer and dryer. They have also stocked up on lots of kid essentials (like a carseat, bed, toys, etc.) because it's so difficult to fly with these things. So next week's challenge is less about packing and more about how to entertain an energetic toddler through the airport and airplane, all while carrying the largest carry-on bags I can find. HELP!