Okay Okay, you think this is going to be a story about how terrible and difficult it is to travel with a toddler. You think I am going to tell you that we took one trip and that was that, enough travel until our daughter is 10!
This story is quite different actually, this is a story about a little girl who since birth loved to fly (I know dear Parent friends, I know I am about to jinx something that has been so great!). Her first trip was July 2013 at two months old, I panicked greatly about possible ear infections, a disastrous 2 hour flight of constant crying and I remembered the many times I had traveled and babies and toddlers crying and screaming for 13 hours straight (one of return trips from Dubai) and the horror stories that some parent friends have shared.
But here we were, July 2013 flying east for the first time. I saw the eye rolls, and heard the mumbles “oh here we go again!”. Ten minutes in the air and my daughter was sound a sleep, in fact she slept the entire 2 hours (phewph!).
People came up to me (and my excited Parents) to say how marvellous my little one was on the trip, an incredible baby, so well-travelled… what’s ironic about those comments is that had the trip gone the opposite way people would have made us feel unwelcome to fly.
In my daughter’s life (she is now 22 months old) she has been more places than I could say I visited by the time I was 25. In her first year of life, we flew three times to eastern Canada, California once, Paris (stop over – reminder to self never go to Paris for less than 24 hours with a 8 month old), Dubai, Geneva, and Washington.
What’s our magical secret? IPads, phones or portable electronic games?
Nope, it’s good old stimulation, books, nursery rhymes, “people watching” (she is a nosey girl — of course not at all like her mother). She loves to play peek a boo with other passengers (even if they are not thrilled by the idea) and eventually they engage. She is a persistent girl, with an infectious smile.
On recent trips, we were much more prepared and thanks to close friends they prepared the cutest little emergency airplane kit. She was entertained for hours, opening and closing the kit, removing stickers and pretending to read the small story books the included
The keys to travelling with a toddler:
3. Great walking shoes
4. Change of clothes (trust me!)