Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I was up until 2am last night. Do you want to know why? Because my toddler’s 7pm bedtime in England felt like her afternoon nap in New York. Not good. I’m tired.
Nonetheless, Hallie is in good spirits. She’s always been a fantastic traveler, and my husband and I consider ourselves very lucky. An international flight, even with delays, went so well and I couldn’t be more proud. However, we had to follow these basic rules to keep everyone’s sanity.
- So many snacks
Seriously. Don’t even dare travel without a million snacks. Bring something you know that your child will love (for Hallie, that was popcorn), along with a few brand new snacks. Dried fruit or vegetable chips are great choices too, and if you can toss in some protein somehow, definitely do that. We also packed Hallie some chocolate in case we had some desperate moments, but luckily we haven’t had to reach for them yet.
- So many activities
Don’t underestimate how bored a toddler can get in a confined space. Hallie, being under 2, was a lap child for our international flight. How flipping fantastic for me personally. I love having a squirming child on my lap for extended periods of time. To keep our music-loving child busy, we downloaded some of her favorite music videos with some infant headphones. Color books, crayons, stickers, a deck of Moana cards, and some small cars were also crammed into a diaper bag.
- So much running
If you’re spending any time in an airport you need to ditch that no running rule. You definitely want your child or children to get as much energy out as possible. I was even jumping through the airport to keep Hallie entertained while we waited for a delayed flight. It made her laugh, and plenty of other tired travelers laugh too, so screw the few that are too grumpy to enjoy young giggles.
- So little sleep
Unfortunately, this is a reality of traveling. Your child will not get nearly as much sleep as you want them too, even if you’ve opted for the red-eye flight. Your mind will be like “yes, they will sleep the whole way there”, but really they will only sleep a few hours. Encourage them to sleep as much as you can, because even an hour or two nap will keep them fueled to the final destination.
The best thing you can do is to expect nothing from your child other than not screaming and to maintain general politeness. Be flexible and understand that your child is trying their best, and whatever schedule they had has been tossed out the window. Your attitude will influence your child’s response, and if you remain upbeat, you’re more likely to have a happy little traveler.