What is your best piece of advice to anyone trying to start their own blog?
Have a plan and do it for more than just the money.What is your favorite social media and why?
Facebook because it’s a great way to communicate and keep in touch with family and friends who don’t live near me. Plus, there are groups and pages that allow us to pick and choose what we want to learn more about.
What’s your biggest kitchen fail?
Does keeping it clean count? I’m terrible at keeping up with dishes, but I’m getting better. Cooking meat is a struggle for me, so I pawn that task off to my husband whenever I can.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Fruit, which is technically a food group, but it’s hard to pick a favorite, so we’ll go with fruit in general. 🙂
Would you rather live in your dream home in a city that you hate or a small rundown shack in your favorite city in the world?
Tips for Traveling with Toddlers
Traveling with toddlers can be a lot of fun, but if we’re being honest (which we always are), it’s a LOT of work. So, how do I travel with two toddlers and not want to tear my hair out? Wine, lots of wine. Kidding! Lots of preparation. Being prepared is the key to success for travelling with toddlers.
Before you leave…
What to Pack
– Pack enough for the trip there, plus a little extra in case of delays. If you’re travelling by car, think of how you’ll get stuff to the little ones. “Stuff” = snacks, toys, and other entertainment.
– Bring activities and games that your little one doesn’t normally play with so that it’s new and exciting. Nothing complicated or fancy is needed! Pushing pom poms through a slot, stringing beads on chenille stems, and tracing are all activities toddlers enjoy. Learn how to make 60 activities for your toddler or preschooler using $12 worth of items from a dollar store in this post.
– Make sure you have diapering stuff and a change of clothes for everyone easily accessible because ya never know what could happen when you’re travelling with toddlers and babies, and it’s always better to be prepared than try to wash a blowout off of your shirt. Eeek!
– Snacks. Bring lots of snacks, preferably new-ish snacks so that they’re also more entertaining and appealing to your little one.
– Unless you’re going on a super short trip, pay the $25 checked baggage fee and check everything that you don’t need with you on the plane. Travelling with toddlers is a lot of work, so it’ll be well worth it to not lug extra clothes around, plus your toddler’s stuff, and possibly a car seat, stroller, your purse or laptop bag, etc. Trust me! LESS is more when thinking about getting on and off the plane.
– Think about the bags you’ll need on the plane. Do you have “just in case” stuff (like that extra shirt) that can go above you in the overhead compartment? This will free up space under the seat for activities for your toddler and all the snacks you’re bringing. Don’t forget to consider how you’ll get on the plane! Do you have enough arms to carry/roll all your stuff AND keep track of your toddler?
– Take a book or something simple for you to do to pass the time in case your toddler sleeps.
How to Prepare
– If you’re flying, check AND print the TSA’s guidelines as well as the airline’s policy for travelling with small children. I’ve only needed the printed TSA guidelines once, but it was super handy when I did need them.
– Take a copy of your child’s birth certificate if you’re not taking a passport. I’ve never needed it, but some airlines supposedly check, especially for the “lap child” ticket, and it’s alway better to have some sort of “ID” for your child just in case. Again, I’ve never needed it and have flown on airlines that say it’s required, but I’d hate to miss my flight because I didn’t take a copy of the birth certificate.
– Explain to your toddler what will happen when you arrive at the airport. Practice waiting in line, taking turns, and explain that you’ll need to put your bags on the conveyor belt to get checked, but that you’ll get them back (might as well avoid a meltdown from a toddler in the “mine!” stage if we can, right? Not that I speak from personal experience or anything… :)).
– Check out a book or two about flying or going on an airplane from your local library so that your toddler is more familiar with planes. My First Airplane Ride by Two Lions is one of our favorites. Being familiar with the process will make travelling with your toddler easier and more enjoyable for both of you. It might even help to take a small model plane (like a Matchbox car, but a plane) with you so that your little one can “see” the plane.
At the airport…
– While you’re waiting in line at security, talk about what other people are doing. “See, she’s putting her bag on the conveyor belt. He’s taking off his shoes…” This helps your toddler remember what’s expected and to see what’s going on and why. It’s not everyday we go through airport security, so while the waiting in line part isn’t new, the rest is!
– After you get through security, let your toddler walk as much as possible. It’s a good idea for them to be nice and tired, especially if you’re taking a long flight. Sitting is hard when you’re little and have tons of energy!
– At the gate, play a game of “Red light, green light” or “Simon Says,” or some other movement game to get all the wiggles out before boarding the flight. Yes, other passengers might look at you like you’re crazy, but after sitting on the same flight as them, odds are you’ll never see them again, so who cares. I was the crazy mom running around playing “chase” in an empty section of the terminal before our flight, and, surprisingly, all the comments I heard were positive, and people thought it was a great idea. Plus, who can resist toddlers laughing and having a grand ole time?
– Go to the bathroom about 45 minutes before your scheduled takeoff because they typically start boarding the plane about 30 minutes prior to takeoff. My daughter has been potty trained for her last two flights, but she still travels in “pull-ups,” just in case we can’t get to the bathroom in time. I explain to her that we know she’s a big girl and doesn’t need the pull-ups, but that there’s only a few bathrooms on the plane for a LOT of people, and that she might have to go during a time when it’s not safe to get up and use the bathroom (i.e., takeoff and landing, turbulance), so we’re using them just in case. This usually works, especially if we remind her that there might be a reward when we get there (we’ve always forgotten about it with the excitement of reaching our destination).
A few final thoughts
Remember that this trip is about you, your toddler, and your family. It’s not about anyone else around you, so focus on remaining calm, as travelling can be stressful, and travelling with toddlers is even MORE stressful.
Don’t worry about anyone else or what they think. You do you. Take care of yourself and your little ones. And, unless someone is offering to help you, ignore everyone else.
We know that no one wants to sit near the small child on the plane, but someone has to. Your child deserves to fly just as much as the next person, so don’t take anyone’s rude comments or glares personally.
The calmer you are, the better your flight will be, as it’ll rub off on your child too. And, if you need that drink, by all means, have an adult beverage when they come around with the drink cart! Just make sure your credit card is easily accessible. 🙂
Want to guest post on For the Love of Blank? Send us an email Fortheloveofblank@gmail.com
Check out our last guest poster Mariah and Her post about Disneyland Tips! Be sure to check out her blog as well!