Like my last post about house-hunting, the trip really centered around one person in our family: E. Thankfully she did really well staying with Nana and Gramps while J and I were out looking at houses all day. They were such a big help and we seriously could not have done it without them. Nonetheless, my main stress came from two places- 1. her sleep, and 2. flying.
Anyone who has flown with a toddler can understand my stress level here. If I could have snuck in a couple of liters of Malibu through security, I would have (because Lord knows I’m not paying $15 for a “sample” of rum the size of my pinky nail). E surprised us once again though- she did great! It wasn’t the most relaxing and comfortable of flights but I didn’t die and I didn’t kill anyone so I’m going to chalk that up as a win.
I’m a planner, so the week before we left I planned a ton of different activities to take with us on the plane. And of course snacks because what better way to distract a toddler than with snacks. Here’s the key in all this though- everything was new. The toys were new, some of the snacks were new, and yes- the apps on the iPad were new. New means interesting in Toddler World so new stuff was a must.
The snacks were things I got from the commissary. I probably paid less than $10 for everything. They included: Gerber Preschooler Fruit Snacks, Gerber Toddler D is for Dippers, Gerber Puffs, Gerber Cheese Doodles (those may or may not have been partially/mostly consumed by me…), and a shit ton of those squeeze pouch mashable thingys.
All the new toys I purchased at the Dollar Store so I spent *maybe* $5. Some of the things we already had at home but she had never played with before so they were new. And of course we brought some of her favorite books. Here is what we had: a Disney princess etch-a-sketch (huge hit- she loved to just point at the princesses and ask “isshe?” and hear their names), crayons, a bingo dotter, a notebook for coloring/dotting, window stickers, and play-dough (we didn’t actually use this- I forgot about it).
These are the window stickers. ‘Cept we had St. Paddy’s ones because we’re awesome like that.
Finally, I had everything packed in her carry-on bag to include diapers (I use disposables when we travel), a blanket, and an extra change of clothes. The flight to our destination was perfect. It was a red-eye so I was a little weary going into it because I thought it could go one of two ways- 1. she could sleep the entire time, or 2. she would scream the entire time because OH MY GOD THERE IS SO MUCH TO LOOK AT BUT I’M SO FLIPPING EXHAUSTED. Luckily for us, she slept. We even had the middle seat empty so she was able to have her own little bed which half consisted of kicking daddy and hitting mommy. But whatever, she was quiet. HEAVEN. Here is a little image of the awesome-ness she was rocking at the airport while we waited- she was going for travel chic.
And no, we don’t know who that guy was but he enjoyed watching planes with E.
Once I realized what time our flight home was, I was like, “Crap, we’re screwed.” I knew she wouldn’t nap on the flight because it was during her entire awake time in the morning, so that meant we had to keep her entertained. Or sedated. We went with the former.
E is lucky her mom is so creative and such a great planner. And good at pinning things on Pinterest. Because she had a great flight and she was throughly entertained. She only slept for about a half hour but that was because there was a 1-year old crying behind us like, the entire time. Even E was like, “Dude, its just a plane. Chill out.”
I have to say though, despite my awesomeness in having things for her to play with, a big part of our success on this flight was because of the airline- Virgin America. The people are SO friendly, which really helps to reduce my stress level. The seats are big and comfy, they have tvs on the back of every headrest with music, shows, movies, and games (who needs an iPad?), and you can order food and drinks right from your screen! We were able to get lunch for all of us on the flight, which was a God-send. I love this airline and highly recommend it to anyone!
Ok, back to me though. I bet you’re wondering how all these my extensive planning turned out. Well, I have proof.
She’s starting off this flight right- by taking a RIP IT!!!!! shot.
No, I’m kidding, it was empty. But it did give us some perspective to see what she’ll look like in 18 years at college.
Immediatley after taking said RIP IT!!!!!!!!! shot.
Playing with her window stickers. Perfect for fine motor skills!
The seats aren’t for climbing up and down 503839240 times? No? Oh well, it was fun!
D is for Dippers/M is for freaking MESSY. But distratcting. So I guess it could stay D.
Fischer Price iPAD apps are the best thing I have downloaded from the Internets. Savior.
Look, we’re still a happy family after the flight is over. Winning.
PS- Please excuse my husband’s “leave beard.” He worked 2.5 long weeks on it and we were sad to see it go. RIP beard, RIP.
So it is possible people. You can travel with a toddler and not be kicked off the plane. Do you have any traveling with toddler stories or tips? Leave a comment below!
Are you traveling on a flight with someone a little smaller? Read my post about traveling with an infant here.