Travel with toddler

Ah... the joy of travelling... not much thought goes into it, really, when you're travelling sans children, right? I mean, it's been a couple of years since I've boarded a plane, but basically what I do is pack way too many shoes, of which 3 get worn, and the rest just take up space, and pack way too many clothes, of which only some get worn, and the rest get cursed since they're taking up space from all my new purchases. My purse carries my make-up, wallet, passport, gum, sunglasses. My carry-on? Some form of music, a book, several magazines, maybe a change of clothes, a bikini (in case my luggage is lost, at least I can still swim!)

Unlike most people I know, I totally enjoy spending endless hours in the airports. I love to people watch, I love the excitement, I like talking to new people (sometimes), I like eating in the overpriced restaurants and I love to shop for unnecessary things before even arriving to my destination. Hey - some of my best vacation shoppings takes place at Duty Free!

I know now that going to the airport with my son will be a totally new adventure. He loves airplanes, so we're off to a good start. I think we'll do okay in the airport, walking around, eating, people watching and boarding the plane. It's actually being on the plane for 3 hours that is kind of making me nervous. Thankfully, I've spoken to several moms who have had positive travel experiences. So that helps. However... until we're there, I just don't know what to think or what to expect. After much research and reading and thinking, I've decided not to bring his car seat on the plane with us, and rent a car that comes equipped with a car seat. I know my boy and he would much rather sit in the airplane seat as opposed to sitting in his car seat on the plane. And I trust the car rental companies will have safe car seats. From what I've heard from trusted friends, the car seats are changed every 6 months and right away if they've been in an accident. So that's good to know.

My son will be a few days shy of turning two years old when we travel to Florida. What, oh what, do I bring with me? If I go over-board with my things, imagine how much I'll pack for my son! The good thing is, I am pregnant, and therefore, the vast majority of my clothes will stay in Ottawa. I'll bring a few tops, and a few bottoms, and that's it. So there will be ample room in the suitcase for all his clothes, his 3 pairs of crocs and other sandals, his full-sized adult pillow, diapers, wipes, bath toys (how many of those do I bring?) books, regular toys, his diggers, dump trucks, cement mixers and bulldozers, his portable DVD player with HI-5, Blue's Clues, Mighty Machines and Cars DVD's.. and I think we're good to go! Also, I'm shopping for suprise toys for him (and so is my mom!) that we'll surprise him with on the plane. And, of course, I'm loading up on snacks for him - oh yes, lollipops, Reese's Pieces, other types of chocolate, Pringle's chips... all the good stuff! Don't worry, I'll also bring grapes, cheese, crackers, raisins - the healthy stuff!

The hotel room... ahh... we are staying at the Westin and I know they have amazing, heavenly beds - hopefully my son won't be too bothered by being somewher different and he'll be able to easily fall asleep beside me. After all, he will have his pillow and blankie from home with him! What an adventure! I'm so looking forward to this. I know he'll love the ocean... and I know I will love being at one of my favourite places on earth with him, seeing his joy and happiness splashing in the water, building sandcastles, swimming in the ocean and just enjoying the breeze and the palm trees. Hooray! The countdown is officially on!
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Anonymous said...

I used to work for a rental car company. Although our website boasted of providing car seats, the only one we had kicking around looked like it was from the 80's. Unless you've confirmed with the exact location from whom you are renting your car, I wouldn't assume that the car seat will be acceptable. I'd hate for your trip to be ruined if you had to rush out to buy a suitable car seat for your boy.

Loukia said...

Thanks for the heads up - I plan on calling all the car rental companies and making sure the car seats they have are new and I'll ask for the year, make, model, etc. My friend who just travelled with her child said the car seat they had when they rented a car on their recent U.S. trip was in excellent condition, and even better then the one they own! So hopefully I'll encounter the same experience.

Catwoman said...

Little Man does fantastic on the plane, I've found that as long as he gets to look out the window, is offered lots and lots of snacks through the whole flight and has different toys to play with, he's happy as a clam!

It sounds like you are very well prepared too, so I'm sure Christos will love it! Little Man threw a tantrum last time we flew, because when the plane landed and he signed "more! More!" at me, and I told him that it was done, and we had to get off the plane. He was ready to go again!!!

twinmomplusone said...

we've traveled a lot with the 3 kids (Florida, Europe)and NEVER brought the car seats on the plane but ALWAYS checked them in (they are not considered luggage)so they could use their very own car seats once in a rental vehicle. Its not that much trouble really.

depending on the plane company your re flying with, they may have those individual screens and he may be content with that for a while as well as some crayons and small cooling book, his portable DVD, eating, looking at the online magazine or books you've brought looking around, listening to music, eating little snacks (make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself and him in your carry-on, spillage can happen ;)and nothing with little parts that can easily be lost

don't bring too many of his toys, you'll get new things along the way, just a few favorite things although there's always the risk of loosing things which can be traumatic :(

you sound excited and rightly so, you'll all have a blast :)