Lucy, Whit, and I had a day of traveling yesterday to get up to Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. It involved 2 flights then a 2.5-hour drive. Lucy handled it all like a pro! Here is a synopsis of things that worked:
1. Go light on gear. This time we decided to ditch the stroller and high chair. Lucy rode on my back through the airport and when we got to the gate she could run it out down those long airport hallways. I’ve never had an adult with me before while traveling, so it was nice that Whit could stay with the bags and Lu could go blow off some toddler energy. I’ll be solo again on the way home, so we’ll see how that goes! Here’s Lu exploring the Nashville airport.
And speaking of light on gear, Lucy had her own seat (thanks to Oma & Opa!) and we used the CARES harness instead of lugging the big ol’ carseat on the plane. We gate-checked that guy. This was one of Lucy’s birthday gifts from Oma & Opa, and it was awesome!! The whole thing fits in a little drawstring pouch, and Lu could safely be confined to her seat without much fuss. I highly recommend this product!
2. Hype it up. Before we had our big traveling day, we talked about it a lot with Lu. She is at an age where she can actually participate in the convo, and she was pretty pumped about going on an airplane! Through 2 airports, we rode a shuttle, a gazillion escalators, a train, and then 2 planes. Lu was positively giddy about every little experience.
3. Plane activities: make them last, people! I brought an arsenal of the following; travel magnadoodle, 2 new sticker books that Lucy hadn’t seen yet, an airport coloring book, a few small books, and the iPad. I knew I’d need to save some things for the way home, too, so I tried making things last as long as possible. Lu and I perused a People magazine (classy, I know) for a good 20 min. We played with an empty plastic cup by making it a hat, a boat for her beloved stuffed kitty cat, a balancing act (“how long can you balance this on your foot?”), etc. We had fun! The plus about traveling by air is that you get to sit with your child for a set amount of time, just playing. It’s not so bad. 🙂 I even got to read some of my own adult book!
4. Lighten up on the snack rules. We are not the parents who let our kid snack all day. I don’t consider a chocolate chip cookie a snack. Except when we’re traveling! On a plane, you really do need to make sure your kid is eating or drinking (or nursing, for little ones) during take-off and landing. I bought Lucy a yogurt parfait from Starbucks but hid it from her until we started taxiing. She was in heaven! I also stowed a chocolate chip cookie for us to share during landing of the second flight. I have no regrets! We also told Lucy to let her ragged “Raffe” help her ears if they start feeling funny. In this sense I’m glad she still uses a pacifier for sleeping.
After our 2 flights, Aunt Sara met us at the airport with a rental car and the 3 of us plus Lu headed to the mountains! This is when Lu finally conked out for a good nap (along with her daddy)!
And THIS was our reward when we got there. Could this place be more beautiful?
We had a chill evening, walking down to the lake (which Sara and I haven’t seen in 18 years, but we feel like it was just last summer) and enjoying family time with Oma and Opa. Sweet times!