“True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well being of one’s companion”
-President Hinckley

Friday, August 31, 2012

planes, trains, and automobiles

These last two months have been a whirlwind of traveling for Evie and I. We flew to and from Kansas, as well as Utah, and drove down to Dallas twice. Evie Lou, bless her heart, was such a trooper for all of it too. She loved being in new places and having people all around her to play with, and I think she's really missing that now that we're home. She gets quite bored of me. So, after all of this traveling, I think I can safely say that I am experienced in flying with a toddler. Let me pass on some knowledge, in case you ever need it.

  1. Spend some money on a scale so that you can weigh your suitcase BEFORE you get to the airport. This is a big one people, because on my way from Virginia to Kansas, my bag was over 50 lbs and they charge you $100 if you don't fix it. So, I was all alone with Evie, trying to reorganize all my stuff so my stupid bag wouldn't weigh so much. The whole process took me 30 min and that, plus security, almost made me miss my flight. 
  2. Invest in an umbrella stroller. However, I do have an addendum to this one. I took just my regular stroller this time because I don't own an umbrella one, and it was heaven. There's a basket to put things in, cup holders, and all other kinds of happiness. The only problem is, some airports (lookin' at you SLC) won't let you take those kinds of strollers with you and instead make you check them. So, get an umbrella stroller with a basket. Trust me.
  3. Don't bring an enormous carry-on full of toys. I brought one every single time and Evie didn't play with a gosh darn thing. She was way more interested in all the people around and playing on the seats. My last trip from KS to VA I finally got smart and checked that bag and only brought a few essentials things with me in my purse; namely a DVD player, snacks, and a ball. If she wasn't sleeping, she was watching a movie. Which brings me to my next one:
  4. Invest in a portable DVD player if you will be traveling a lot. The cheap ones are only $50. This was a serious life saver. I know a lot of parents are real sticklers on TV and movies with their little ones, and I have nothing but respect for them, but when you're in an airplane, you have to consider everyone else on the plane, not just you and your toddler. And, if a movie is going to keep them quiet and happy for 2-3 hrs, I don't see anything wrong with it.
  5. If you ever happen to fly through Dallas and are a member of the military, stop in at the USO center. It will change your life. Free food, movie theater thing, sleep room, and children's play area. I mean, they gave me a whole box of girl scout cookies. It just doesn't get any better.
  6. Don't let your toddler make it to the gate to get on the plane before you get there. It's a hairy situation. 
  7. Don't use the airplane bathrooms if you can help it because those toilets are really scary to tiny little humans, like Evie. 
  8. Try your hardest to get early flights. From my experience, the later the flight, the more ornery Evie got. She slept for most of all our flights except for the one that was late at night and late in the afternoon. Brutal. 
  9. Let them eat cake. And by that I mean, let them eat whatever they feel like eating, when they feel like eating it. Trying to keep a schedule and force it on your toddler while traveling all day will most likely only make you more anxious and irritable and your toddler more grumpy. I kept a plethora of snacks on hand in my purse and just had her eat meals when she was hungry. Traveling and flying does weird things to their appetites, I think. 
  10. Make sure, above all else, that they are either sucking or chewing on something during take off and landing. If they're not, their little ears will hurt and you will all be miserable. Evie had a binky and that worked great, but just go with whatever your baby likes. 

And that is what I have learned. Hopefully we won't be doing anymore traveling for a while because we are both completely fried. 
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