Friday, November 20, 2015

Game On, Airport

As the holiday season approaches, so, for many of us, does TRAVEL.  I've written before about the joys of traveling with a toddler, and now we are about to embark on this adventure with TWO kids (how any of you travel with more than two is beyond me, but we all have our superpowers). 

It seems appropriate to consider a few top tips for getting through these heady, heavy days of travel (and in this case, it REALLY is about the journey).

Be prepared for the delays. (I'm pretty sure we've been delayed more than five hours and more than's going to happen, ready yourself).  My best tip for that? Don't over pack.  Yeah, you're going to need ALL OF THE THINGS from toys to puffs to books to every diaper you can possibly imagine. But do not, under any circumstances, over pack your carry-on. There are two things that can go wrong. In the worst case scenario, they TAKE YOUR BAG on your first flight and check it to your destination (this has not happened to me...yet).  In the slightly less horrifying scenario, you are stuck carrying your MASSIVE BACKPACK THROUGH THE AIRPORT FOR HOURS. Oh, just sit down, you say? Yeah, you aren't sitting down with tiny humans during your endless layover.  No, you'll be traipsing up and down and up and down, possibly while carrying said tiny humans.  So, trust me, don't over pack.

Remember that it's not about you.  I took a business trip two weeks ago, and while on the plane, I read a book, flipped through magazines, ate snacks, and watched movies. Alone.  That picture is completely different when traveling with tiny humans.  It took me far too long to learn this.  As we begin our travel season, I have downgraded the size of my travel bag, will leave my books in the suitcase (on the off-chance that I get some grandparent-sponsored downtime to myself), and will have the iPad fully charged and ready for emergency use of Lego games.

Snacks. Yes, that's a complete sentence.  Don't judge me.  Kid-friendly snacks, whether the little puffs that will melt in their (almost) toothless mouths, or baggies of pretzels, or raisins, must accompany us.  Ideally, I have several, tiny bags of snacks to tide us over.  Each bag is new! Exciting! And each back offers the chance for ten to fifteen minutes of bliss.

Think in Units of TimeIf a snack, toy, or other activity keeps those charmers occupied for fifteen minutes or longer, consider it a win.  Think dollar bins, birthday aisle (lots of bang for your buck in party favors), sticker packs, crayons, and any other items you don't mind losing.  Because I don't know about you, but I can only fit my head so far up the seat in front of me to chase down a wandering crayon.

Caffeinate.   Yes, that's another full sentence for you. If you don't go for coffee, go for whatever it is that will keep you functional. True story, I've seen parents with up to five kids in the airport functioning at a high level.  Why? Because those parents followed the guidelines. They had no entertainment for themselves. They had venti Starbucks drinks in their hands, and they had their ish together.  It's game on in the airport. We can dream of an airplane snooze, but on your feet? In the airport? Chew that gum. Chug that water. Sip that chai. Do whatever it takes to keep your brain active and engaged.

With those few things in mind, you will get through this with all children present and accounted for and all parents (mostly sane). And tell your kids running through the airport to catch your connection because your first leg was delayed for two hours is an adventure. Because kids love adventures.


  1. Hope you enjoy your days of travel as it seems you are far more equipped to do so now! I don't have children quite yet but glad to know these tips anyways! Safe travels!

  2. Hope your travels are as stress free as possible!

    1. The three-year-old colored for the ENTIRE second flight. Winning.


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