Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Does Anyone Know a Good Sherpa?

Well, when I asked for your best tips for traveling with wee ones, I was expecting to be inundated with the most creative, unique, effective and tried and true suggestions. Something like, "Organize a talent show among the passengers to entertain Jr. during the flight," or "Buy all the passengers around you a few rounds of drinks so when Jr. freaks out they won't even notice."

But here is what I received:
  • Give Jr. animal tranquilizers (remind me to never let you babysit for me, Melissa).
  • Another confirmation that Benadryl doesn't always knock the kid out (thanks, Nicole)
  • Hire a sherpa (You know I'm going to get seated by someone like you, Rich. Do you think they'll sew me a bear on the trip to soothe Jr?).
  • Good luck. (A comment from a mom who's telling it like it is.)

Hmmm. Either you all don't want to share your brilliant ideas because you're going to write a book on the subject and become famous OR you think traveling by air with a 20-month old is a good way to get booted off the plane or stuffed into the lavatory by revolting passengers and so you've never done it and therefore have no ideas to offer.

Actually, I kind of like the sherpa idea.

1 comment:

C said...

Ok, I feel your pain, so here goes. :) I travel twice a year without dh, usually with a connecting flight and with two children - and it is not that bad. Your positive attitude and refusal to be flapped by what others think is THE most important thing. I have to constantly repeat to myself "my kids have a right to go visit their grandparents!" :)
My best suggestion is to fly Frontier, pray for one of the newer planes with Direct TV, pay the $5, put it on Nickelodean (sp?), and read a book. I actually got to do this once! Read an entire book for the first time in at least 6 months. Assuming you already have your tickets and that is not an option, the DVD player is a great idea, but we have always had battery issues too.

Here are the others that have worked for us:
-snacks, snacks & more snacks. Include lollipops to "suck" on going up and down so his ears won't hurt. I use little ziplocks and pack goldfish, teddy grahams, fruit snacks, raisins, cashews, pretzels, Ritz Bitz w/ peanut butter, M&M, etc.. I dole them out one baggie at time just about anytime the wiggles set in. They don't eat the rest of the day, and that is ok with me. I pack one big bag for each "leg" of the flight, and I pack extras in my checked luggage for the way home.
-notebook and pencil. Since you are sitting with them, this lasts longer than other situations. You keep it going by "draw me a square", "draw me a doggie" etc...
-matchbox cars- only one for each hand or they get dropped easily on the floor.
-Sticker books. My favorite are the Disney ones and we get them at Sams or Costco. Star stickers and blank paper works too.
-A couple of favorite story books that you have put away for a couple of weeks before the trip so they are "new" again.
Tips:
- Crayons or markers are hard because they roll and then you get to try and "fetch" them before they are in the back of the plane. I still take them, but I hold the box and only allow one out at a time.
- If dh is flying with you - one of you go onto the plane when you can with your luggage and get everything situated. The other one stay out in the gate with the kids and board at the last possible minute so that they have to be in the seat, quiet and still, as little as possible.
- Play airplane at home and practice not kicking the seat in front of you, not screeching, and being amazed at the view out the window.
- Go to the bathroom BEFORE you get on the plane. Always. They invariably have to go to the bathroom as the plane is taking off and you are not allowed out of your seat.
- The airline will sometimes try to put you in the very front seat of the cabin, which seems like such a good idea - there is a little bit more room, and there are no seats to kick in front of you. I liked them when I had a nursing baby with me, but now I don't because you cannot have any bags in front of you which means you have no access to your "goody bag" until the fasten seat belts signs are off, and then you have to get up which is hard with a kid in your lap.
- Don't put the kids next to each other if you can help it. Sit in the middle.

Here's a site with some more ideas:
http://www.flyingwithkids.com/