Sadly, I have just returned from bright, sunny Florida with my Vitamin D fortified toddler to gray Chicago. But the important thing is that I now know, after a week ALONE with a toddler – that travel CAN BE EASY!!!
As you may know, I travelled with one 10 pound stroller, one diaper bag and one overhead carry on. That was all. Not only did we have enough clothes and toys, I had enough room to bring back presents for the wee one in my belly. 6 outfits, to be exact.
What I learned:
1) I took too much (heavy) food. A few fruits would of sufficed. 1 avocado, 1 kiwi and 1 banana would of been more than enough with no more than 3 organic packaged meals.
2) I didn’t take any laundry soap and was forced to use shampoo to wash out clothes.
3) Linen dries 3x quicker than cotton. Bring linen shirts, rather than thicker cotton ones, when visiting warm climes.
4) A carry on duffel is all very fine and well, but I am going to buy an equally small one with rollers. A 5 month pregnant woman can only manage a diaper bag.
5) No need to go to Whole Foods at your destination, the local grocery store will have enough organic produce choices.
6) Don’t wear a skirt or maxi dress. The bathrooms on planes are too, too vile.
7) Bring little diaper bags to throw away those nappys. It seems that there is some sort of regulation against throwing away dirty nappys on the plane.
8 For mums that don’t allow videos/technology – bring a new book that is long enough – or several new books – for the hours you’ll be on the plane. Also, crayons that you can easily wipe off the seat, tray, person sitting next to you.
9) Book as far to the front as you can. We were in the second seat that allowed us to get off the plane quickly.
10) Don’t fly pregnant, so that you can drink.
Basically, it was painless. Alden loved all of the new sights and sounds of the airport (though I was annoyed at all the bloody televisions that were blaring from every corner) – and fell asleep for an hour before each flight. Everyone was so lovely at the hotel and terribly accommodating. And there were always car services that already had car seats, so I had no reason to have sent one ahead.
Most hotels now have organic choices on their menus, so inventing little meals was easy. However, I supplemented with my own stash.
Traveling with children does not have to be the nightmare that so many mums make it. I’m actually looking forward to our next trip, as being away with my son was actually the most relaxing and enjoyable time I’ve had in years. The nights were early, but at my age, they should be. That’s what good books are for.
Hopefully a Europe trip is in the cards for next year. Seven hours on a plane may cure me….
-"The Green Stork" Claire Douglass is a first time Chicago mom, concerned with ever increasing data connecting childhood health issues from asthma to autism to exposure to common household toxins, chemicals and air quality – seeks to detoxify her nest, and create as green a nursery and playroom as possible.Without driving herself, or her husband, crazy. The former is going far better than the latter.