Travel tip #1: Stay home. At all costs… just don’t do it. Put a self-imposed travel ban on your small, young family and just stay home.
Ok, ok, that’s not realistic- there are people to see, old people who won’t be around forever and cousins to play with. You simply cannot just stay home. So here are some legit travel tips.
Tip #1: Snack attack! Pack tons of snacks, new ones, fun ones, anything to keep your kids from getting hangry on the plane. They can’t wait for the damn stewardesses to come around after 30,000 feet with their damn 8$ fruit and cheese platter and those little biscuits they give out for free aren’t going to cut it. I’ve got a growing boy!!!!!
Tip #2: Entertainment. This means new toys or books they’ve never seen before. For the older kid who can veg out in front of an iPad like a heroin junkie be sure to load up on never before seen movies, episodes of their favorite shows as well as new apps. The coloring book apps are so smart because my little artist can color and paint till the sun comes up with zero mess.
Tip #3: Fly during family friendly times. Don’t be an idiot and book a night flight hoping your kids will snooze right through it- they won’t. They’ll stay awake and scream and kick and fight sleep and ruin the lives of all who surround you. Instead, fly in the mid-morning and afternoon hours with other assholes and their asshole kids, at one point or another someone else’s kid will be a bigger shithead than yours thus making you feel better about your decision to take them to go see Grandma and Grandpa.
Tip #4: Don’t forget a carrier. Sure he’s almost two but he still likes to snuggle and naps are a breeze after a little stand and rock and sway sesh in the aisles. You have your hands free to carry crap and feed your face and drink heavily while he’s out. Which brings me to my final tip…
Tip #5: Drink alcohol. Sure you may get more tired and dehydrated drinking while flying, but damn it you deserve it. 8 hours of air travel with two small kids is basically a full day at the office where you get no breaks and you’re stuck in your cubical even for lunch and you’re forced to listen to a horrible coworker whom you can’t stand talk AT you the whole time.
After arriving to said grandparents house, I have absolutely no travel tips to offer.
My kids were so fucking wired on the excitement of spending time with their cousins and grandparents, that and the never ending Alaskan summer sun had them up hours and hours past their bed times each night. They skipped naps and slept in late and crawled into our bed late at night with diarrhea. It was a literal shit show. My three year old looked like a drug addict nearly every night with pin-point pupils as she screamed for more time with her big cousin insisting she wasn’t ready for bed because she “wasn’t tired”.
My son on the other hand was mild tempered but afraid of nearly all things Alaskan. Boat motors, loud trucks, float planes, kayaks, sprinklers, dogs, he wanted nothing to do with any of it. I basically forced him into a kayak at one point and he cried for a solid 5 minutes before realizing that not only were we not dying but we were actually on a lovely quiet lake surrounded by family and the family dog who was also in the water with us. Eventually he warmed up to the Alaska life mowing down some fresh grilled halibut and managed to stay out of the campfire. Which is more than I can say for myself (yes, alcohol was definitely involved).
Back at home in San Diego it’s taken several days to readjust to night-time and naptime routines, back to preschool and work and regular days filled with the YMCA, the park, and the library instead of parties and BBQs and cousin sleep overs. When you ask Vivi the best part of the trip to Alaska she thinks for just a millisecond and then shouts, “SIENNA!!!!!” (her 5 year old cousin).