Traveling for the Holidays

Traveling with a child can be rough: some do really well with sleeping on-the-go, entertaining themselves in airports and getting up at 4AM to catch the earliest flight of the day alas, my child, my 2 year old, is not one of those kids; she needs the comfort of her routine and her own bed so, we have to take extra measures to keep her calm, happy and entertained so that she's not thinking about all the changes around her.

And after flying for the 13th time since birth just three months ago, I think I've finally perfected the art of traveling with my kid and it all starts with my Carry-On bag full of entertainment for Emily!

The photo above is what I am taking in Emily's carry-on bag (it appears larger in this picture but this will all fit compactly in tote bag, smaller than my diaper bag) for our 3 1/2 hour flight from CA to TX tomorrow, which includes:
  • A play-doh kit with 8 different colors (all in 1oz containers and all fit into 1 ziploc bag, per TSA regulations!), rolling pin, shapped cutters and stamps
  • A Candy memory game (little cardboard flashcards)
  • Two new DVDs she's never seen (Go Diego, Go and The Backyardigan's) as well as her DVD player
  • A $5 Doctor's Kit with a stethescope, syringe and all kinds of other cute things
  • A Carebear
  • Wubbzy action figures
  • A View-Finder
  • A spiral-bound sketchbook, which is the best because the pages stay in one place
  • A Tigger & Pooh coloring book
  • 700 WonderPets stickers
  • Triange-shaped Crayons
  • Tape (in case she wants a page torn out of the book we can tape it to the airline tray)
  • Apple-shaped Post-Its
  • NOT PICTURED: her lovies and her favorite Lift-the-Flap books
Taking flights before her nap time has also proven most effective although it usually requires we wake up at the crack of dawn (blah!) but it sure is worth it to get to Texas at Noon (two hour time difference) and, although our bodies think it's only 10AM, we've been up since 4AM and we are all ready for lunch and naptime! Traveling from CA to TX is the best part of the trip, for sure!

We always purchase Emily her own seat and put her next to the window for 2 reasons:
1) She can look out and we can hopefully amaze her with; "Look at the clouds!" and "Do you see anything down there like a cow or the ocean?".
2) She can sit, stand, get down in the floor but can't get lose into the isle as she has both of us to get past. hahaha! :)

We also have mastered the Security Checkpoint with David going first to take off all our shoes & jackets and put them in a bin, place the diaper bag and carry-on bags in bins, collapse and put the stroller and car seat on the belt (although we haven't taken either for a trip in a long time... my mom has these things for us at her house) and then, walk through to catch our stuff at the other end. Then, all I have to do is walk through, carrying Emily. Easy! In the past, we have used our GoGoKidz car seat attachment to turn Emily's car seat into a stroller and I have worn her through the airport in the Baby Bjorn... we have since outgrown these things but still rate them as "must haves" (or at least "must borrows") for all travelers with infants!!!

Another trick I use is to overpack Emily's diaper bag and insulated lunch bag with all her favorite snacks & juice as The Oakland Airport (and most others!) allows over 3oz of anything for children, as long as it's not excessive (like 32oz of yogurt!) and you don't need to put it in a quart-size Ziploc bag, just "claim it" (tell them you have it in your diaper bag and they may ask you to show it to them, although that's never happened to me).

Things we are taking on this trip include:
  • Granola bars
  • Cheese sticks
  • Pretzels & peanut butter
  • Apple slices and a banana
  • Organic cheese crackers
  • Marshmallow fluff on Graham crackers
  • Cottage cheese with raspberry puree
  • Applesauce
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Dried blueberries
Also, on this trip, we are dressing Emily in the clothes she's going to wear on the trip, the night before and letting her sleep in them. That way, we can get her up at the last possible minute, throw on her clothes and worry about changing her diaper and cleaning her up when we get to the Airport.

For travel at The Oakland Airport, driving your own car (so that your child can travel safely in his/her car seat) to the Park 'n Travel site on Doolittle Road has been our absolute #1 best travel find to date! You can park your car for only $6.95/day (the cheapest around, trust me... I've checked!) and once you arrive, they load your things into their 16-passanger vans and drive you less than 1 mile right into the terminal! Best part: you can make your reservation online at:

Safe & Happy Holiday Travels!!!


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