Traveling with Kids: Bracing for A Very Long Trip!
The time is coming for me to put everything about traveling to the test as our family prepares for our biggest trip to date. This will be the longest flight that the kids and I have been on, and you may recall that I am not the best traveler around; I tend to get anxious and irritable when flying, and it only intensifies the longer I am on the plane—I just don’t like being in a confined area for very long, throw in a few airports and layovers, and you might as well knock me out and drag me around in one of our Travelmates or Cruisers. . . Ooh, there’s the next Go-Go Babyz innovation: adult models! Well, I guess that’s what wheelchairs are.
All joking aside, I have gotten better over the years. I still get nervous, anxious and a bit stressed out, but I am not quite as bad as I used to be. Usually it’s just pre-travel anxiety, and once we wake up and start our ventures, it’s all good; well, with the exception of an occasional lapse in reason and a tantrum or two, but otherwise, I’m great! As I mentioned, however, this will be our longest trip yet, about three times as long as our standard vacation travels, even more when you include connections and layovers. Not to mention that this is also our first international flight as a family. So, it will really test my fortitude as a traveler.
As anyone with kids knows, family traveling is more of a process. It takes more planning to make sure the trip is a success and everyone’s sanity is safe and secure and not lost somewhere in flight. My plan is to approach this long trip like I would any other trip; this one just has a few more logistical challenges. I will focus on what I need to do to make the flight smooth for everyone involved. On our regular trips, I focus on what I need to bring to keep the kids, and myself, happy and content (a good book is a must for me). This time it’s even more important I don’t overlook myself; otherwise, Kerry might feel like she is traveling with three kids. My guess is that one book isn’t gonna cut it for this trip. So, I will make sure that I have plenty of options to keep me occupied as well.
One of the most important things for me is organization. I definitely can’t be organized if I have too much stuff, so I have to pack smart and as light as possible; I don’t mean to under-pack mind you, just pack the essentials for a good flight with a couple wild cards—you‘ve gotta have something you can turn to when all else fails. This is key for me because just the simple act of getting something out for the kids can turn into a very stressful ordeal; it can be the act the takes my sanity. I told you I tend to get stressed out when traveling, so if I can complete this next trip keeping my, and the family’s sanity in check, then I think it will be okay—we will just have to wait for my update this summer when we return.
In the meantime, how about all you seasoned travelers out there post some tips, tricks and general advice to help ensure we, and any other family planning a long trip, arrive to our destinations relatively stress free!
– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad