Traveling with toddlers is just plain hard. It makes sense, they want to be doing this:
Instead, they are stuck in compact area for multiple hours. NOT ideal.
This last week my side of the family got together for a family reunion. We call them “Blasts”, because then when we return and people ask what we did over the weekend, we can say “I had a Blast with my family!” Catchy, right?
As a result of our family Blast, we got the awesome opportunity of traveling with Mr. P. I feel I learned a lot this time traveling, because P was in a whole new stage. Toddlerhood. Another reason why I learned a lot? We were supposed to travel home in 3 hours, but we got home in just under 11 HOURS. Let’s be honest, we missed our flight. The unexpectedness taught me quite a lot. Some things that were counter intuitive. Here are some things I learned from our unexpectedly long adventure traveling.
It’s a field trip!!!! When we got to the airport to go home, we realized we had JUST missed our flight, due to a mix up with our online calendar changing timezones on us. I realized that instead of getting home in 3 hours, we were not even going to board a flight in 3 hours, let alone be home in 9. I was going to be miserable if I had a “I’m stuck here, this is horrible” attitude. So, I decided we were going to have a field trip at the airport today. P loves planes, cars, and new experiences, so I just decided we were going to soak up all the airport had to offer. I actually made a huge difference! This can apply to lots of other traveling experiences. They can be absolutely awful simply because the travel feels like a means to the end, not actually part of the exciting trip. But, in reality, airports are pretty cool. Full of hussle and bussle, interesting gadgets, and different sounds. I wanted to take advantage of being in the terminals. I usually can’t get back there without paying a couple hundred, and that is way more than the zoo.
Layovers are lovely. Typically, I avoid layovers. But this trip, we had layovers or touched down in a different airport when we were traveling both ways. Surprisingly, it was a blessing! With a long flight, P gets SO restless. The short layovers were a great way to stretch those little legs, have some diversion, and then reset for the next leg of the flight.
Confidence pays off. Due to missing our flight, we were on standby for 2 planes. By the time we got on the last plane, practically every single seat was taken. I was seated in between two old people. But, then the sweet lady next to me offered to switch me seats so I could be on the aisle. I was about to turn down the offer, but then decided I might as well switch. All of a sudden it was a chain reaction. other people offered to switch and before I knew it, Sam and I were sitting together again! I realized, that most people don’t love sitting next to babies they don’t know. And most people aren’t extremely attached to their seat. It seems to be in everyone’s best interest to let babies be with their family.
Treat yourself. Sam and I are relatively frugal people. So spending money at the airport is not our specialty, it costs so much! But, since we were going to be traveling all day unexpectedly, we decided that we should try to have fun in other ways. Sam got a sandwich he loved and I did as well. I totally am all for being frugal, but sometimes, its a balance. And being happy and not hungry, was my first priority.
Help a momma out! What are some of your tips for traveling well with your littles? I would love to hear what has worked for you!