Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tips for packing it up!

We'll be heading to the great state of Texas to visit SH's family this week so blogging for the next week will be sporadic.

In the meantime, I thought I'd leave you with some tips of what makes our lives easier when we travel. We travel several times a year as our families for the most part, live in other states. Most of our travel is by airplane so we've experienced the stress of delays, cancellations and other airline-related ill fates! The boys do rather well I think and I've learned how to make the trip as painless as possible. Here are a few of our tricks:

--Both boys have their own backpacks with their names embroidered on them. I spend a little extra on a great pack. It is worth it to know the handles and zippers will not break!
--They have great pride in their "packpacks"! They are expected to take one change of clothing. Then they get to pick 2-3 small toys of their choice. Then I pack at least 1-2 small books.
--I read this great little tip on how to transport crayons....in a small travel soap dish! It is the perfect size for crayons and I've purchased two cheapies from the dollar store for each of them. In goes a small coloring book. That's about it. The boys honestly, are very entertained by the activities in the airport and on the runway so they really don't even bother to get into their bags until they are well into the flight.
--I always hit Dollar Tree before a trip and get several new little trinkets. I always have something in my bag to entertain them....not expensive but new and almost always entertaining.
--If we are experiencing a long layover or delay, I try to find a child friendly area or play area for them to run around in. I'll find a quiet(er) hallway or corner and play red light/green light with them. It helps to burn off the energy! We'll play "I spy" a lot! And if we find a play area (Atlanta has a great play area for kids!), we'll go over there and kill time.
--Each flight really has to be two hours or less. We've only traveled further than that one time, when Big Boy was one year old and Little Guy was still in utero! That time, we went on a 30-hour flight to another country. I honestly can't recall how we survived! I remember being exhausted and have not yet done it again! Two hours or less, I say!
--Pack snacks! I make sure I pack granola/cereal bars, nuts, small treats. I don't like to have to wait for the cart and I'm not willing to pay for these items either.
--Everything I need goes into one tote bag. A small bag of hygiene/make-up items, small purse, snacks, book, Tide pen, an extra blouse and camera.
--One suitcase for boys and I. SH travels a lot so he has his own bag. I use an large suitcase and fit in all the boys stuff and mine. We pack enough for a few days and anything beyond that, we do laundry somewhere. I check the suitcase in--it is just too much otherwise.
--My IPod for myself, if I'm so lucky that the boys sleep on the plane and I can "zone". If not, the games for Big Boy! SH always takes a few movies on his computer for whoever is sitting next to him.

Hopefully we'll have lots of great little pictures of our travels. I'll do my best! Gotta get the housesitter set up, pack up the bags and get on the jet plane.....See you soon!!

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