How is everyone’s Monday going? I don’t know about you but after a vacation you almost need another vacation at home to recuperate. We have started referring to trips as ‘family adventures’ because often times when you are traveling with kids it’s not entirely relaxing 😉 Overall, we had an amazing time and I am so thankful we were able to sneak away for a bit of sunshine and a new view.
I received lots of questions on how traveling felt, if we had any advice and how we decided to give it a go. A few things first: everyone and every situation is so different but I am happy to share our perspective.
How we decided:
All of us (the adults) are vaccinated and felt safe traveling again after 2 years! I couldn’t believe it had been that long but our most recent planned trip was last March when Covid began which we cancelled. As far as the kids are concerned we felt comfortable flying with them with a few considerations after speaking with our pediatrician. Our kids are very young and I’m not sure when they will be vaccinated. Trials have begun for children their age but we believe they will be the last in line so we weighed the idea of waiting another year or seeing if we felt comfortable now. We ultimately decided that the type of trip we wanted to plan felt safe for us personally.
How we planned:
We planned a few very deliberate things. We drove to the airport and parked our car to avoid Uber’s. We chose to travel during an off travel week, no spring break of any kind and a week we hoped most people would be working. We flew during mid-morning on weekdays since those tend to be low traffic times and we chose to fly Delta because they are still limiting capacity on flights and keeping middle seats empty.
We also rented an Airbnb that we planned on staying at all week much like when we were in Charleston. No sightseeing or eating out but honestly that stuff is tough with kids this little anyhow and Zain loves staying in the pool all day. We ordered grocery pick up for our arrival day and after we landed and rented our car we picked it up on the way to the house which was perfect!
How we felt:
Overall, we felt very safe. I have always been a germaphobe so wiping down the seats/plane/armrests was no new experience. Zain is very good about keeping his mask on and being independant on a flight and I decided to wear Zahra facing in towards me.
Louisville’s airport is tiny so we had no issue there and I was surprised that the Ft.Lauderdale airport was so uncrowded and easy to get through. I truthfully felt that I was no closer or around any more people while traveling than while in the grocery store. That may be due to the timing of our trip but I am very thankful my anxiety didn’t go into overdrive. After not seeing more than 5 humans for a long period of time I was concerned, ha.
Now that we’ve returned my kids were also able to stay home and get tested if needed since they aren’t in full time school.
What I packed:
As far as packing for the kids when it comes to travel I try to keep it as simple as possible. Zain is finally at the age where you can relax and not worry about him but now we have Zahra in the peak of baby mode. Having the middle seat open was great so she could crawl back and forth and get some exercise.
I packed lots of snack for Zahra and the iPad for Zain which we had downloaded a few shows on. He doesn’t get a lot of TV at home so I knew he would be ecstatic to watch on the flight and it kept him busy most of the time. I think browsing the $1 section at Target for a few new goodies is always a good idea just to keep some surprises on hand.
As far as what to pack for a baby specifically, I wrote this post a little while back when Zain was younger and still stand by it. This time around I just took the basics: snacks, wipes, diapers, pacifier, pacifier clip, a sensory ball and a muslin. Babies don’t need much and she napped on both flights and loved looking out the window.
A few things we have owned for a while and swear by:
Travel Car Seat: This $50 seat only weighs 10 pounds and we bought it specifically for travel. Trevor uses it as the seat in his car but we always take it with us when we fly.
Infant Car Seat: Our baby jogger infant seat can just be strapped into cars and ubers which is such a great perk.
Car Seat Travel Bag: We like that this can fit both of our car seats and has straps to carry it as a backpack.
Stasher Bags: We use these non-toxic bags all the time for snacks and they are great for travel. They are dishwasher safe but I tend to hand wash mine most of the time!
Toddler Headphones: We bought these a couple of years ago and they still work great for him!
Masks: We made sure to carry plenty! I love the Old Navy adult and toddler and that’s all Zain wears. They fit great and don’t bother him! I also used these masks I snagged at Nordstrom that fit great over an N95.
iPad Case: We have tried a few cases and I like this one the best! It’s nice and foamy to protect it during falls and the little stands that kick out are great.
Baby Carrier: I always take this along on trips, even more so than a stroller. It’s lightweight and easily packable and comes in very handy while traveling!
We did not pack a stroller this time or on our last trip to Charleston! I knew we wouldn’t be leaving the rental much and had the baby carrier if needed. It worked out great but in the future if we were traveling with one I would hands down take my Baby Jogger double stroller!
I rounded up most of our travel needs above but if I missed anything you are curious about just let me know and my Amazon Storefront always has most things saved as well!