Traveling with Kids…not as easy as you think!

Happy New Years!  I hope you had an amazing break filled with love, presents, good food, and plenty of family time!  Now that my vacation is over, Kids are From Pluto is back, up and running!  My family just got back from Taiwan and are suffering from jetlag, loads of dirty laundry, and babies with lack of sleep!  I can talk about all the activities and good times we had on our vacation, but instead, I’m going to tell you the things I’ve learned about traveling with kids.  Oh boy, it was not as easy as I thought (even with a family of 7 helping).    The chaos started as we were getting ready to leave for the airport (Think of it as if we were the McCallisters in the movie Home Alone, scrambling to get to the airport, except we didn’t forget anyone!)  Running around like headless chickens, making sure 13 suitcases got into the cars, getting 9 passports and boarding passes in hand, and ensuring George (Curious George) wasn’t forgotten, we somehow made it onto the plane on time.  And all the while, Riley was getting passed around more than a football at a USC Tailgate.  I knew this was going to be an interesting trip…

This was the first time my family traveled overseas with 2 kids — a 10 month year old baby and a 2 and a half year old toddler.  By the end of the trip, my sisters and I took the role of substitute parents to our nephew and niece.  From feeding the kids, changing Riley’s diaper (even if it had to be on the bus), disciplining Jackson, carrying them when they got tired, putting them down for a nap(even if they didn’t want to), dressing (and undressing) them, and dealing with their fussiness, we got the the behind the scenes look at parenthood.

And it doesn’t stop with the kids… oh no.  Not that easy.  Let’s not forget the extra supplies:

Diaper bag…baby food bag…blankets bag…stroller…baby bjorn…travel crib, it all had to be there!

These are the top 5 essential items when traveling with kids:

1.  THE BABY BJORN – While we were always on the move and walking around a lot, the Baby Bjorn was our best friend when arms got sore from holding Riley or when she was being fussy.  If you don’t know, the Baby Bjorn is the bluetooth of baby holding, hands free!  Whoever was wearing Riley was able to use their hands to do other things as well.  Convenient, efficient, and it kept the belly warm!

2.  TRAVEL CRIB – Never assume hotels will provide you with a crib during your stay.  One hotel did provide us with one crib but Riley did not like it…AT ALL.  Babies prefer their own crib that they are used to.  If you’re traveling with kids and you want a good nights sleep in the hotel room, you should bring your own baby crib!

3.  TRAVEL STROLLER – Wherever we went, Jackson complained about any walk that lasted for more than 5 minutes.  None of the girls in my family could last long holding him, his dad would rather have him walk, and grandpa’s shoulders got tired from carrying him around, so the stroller was very dependent!  Not only was it easy to maneuver through the crowds, but it was also another way to help hold the bags and purses!

4.  BABY BLANKETS/GEORGE – Security baby blankets and George was a must!  No matter where he is, Jackson needed his blankets and George to hold onto.  If it wasn’t visible, he would be constantly asking about it and will not take no for an answer.  He doesn’t have one, or two, but THREE blankets he always needs with him.  George is just like another family member, we couldn’t travel anywhere without him!

5.  ALCOHOL-FREE FOAMNG HAND SANITZER – I learned to always, always, ALWAYS carry hand sanitizer with me at all times because you never know when the kids will get dirty!  After Jackson fed the rabbits at a petting zoo, he was about to put his hands in his mouth before I stopped him.  I had to chase him down to sanitize his hands or I would’ve had an anxiety attack.  Remember to sanitize after every activity!  What’s perfect about this hand sanitizer is kids won’t complain about the alcohol smell and stickiness.  It’s safe and effective without being harsh on the hands– the bio-degradable, non-toxic formula means that it’s safe to use on kids of all ages, plus it adds moisture to the skin while battling all of life’s messy germs!

Despite the frustration when traveling with kids, it was worth every bag we had to carry, every less minute of sleep due to early morning crying sessions, every activity we had to PASS because it was not kid friendly, every random diaper change…  Seeing the smiles on Jackson’s and Riley’s faces was priceless.  Something as simple as teaching Jackson how to eat a snail with a toothpick (brave kid) or seeing Riley sit on a plane for the first time showed me how easily excited kids can get.  It didn’t matter where we were, what we were doing, or what we ate, Jackson and Riley took every experience they encountered at its best.  At the end of the day, the stress of traveling with them does not compare to the happiness and excitement of being on vacation with my family.

Taiwan was the perfect ending to a new beginning.  Cheers to 2012!  This year will be filled with new beginnings, new memories, and hopefully a new baby from my sister! (hint hint… just kidding.. not yet)  Enjoy the pictures I was able to capture (yay Iphone!)

love,
auntie k

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Comments

  1. Seems like you had a great time! Keep up the posts auntie K

  2. annie chen says:

    i love your family pictures of taiwan! and your blog is soo cutee!! you have a beautiful family! bests!

  3. Wow Karen!! Sounds like you might be ready for a family yourself sometime soon!! Love your blog and pictures. 🙂 Liz

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  1. […] this look familiar from an earlier post?  The Baby Bjorn is a lifesaver!  Strollers get in the way at crowded hotels, so by attaching […]

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