Traveling with Toddlers

The last time we traveled as a family was in the summer to California. It was a long haul flight but the kiddos did great and that is making our next journey to Florida in two days feel like a piece of cake! We can do anything for three hours, right? Whether or not we have a smooth in-flight experience with our two toddlers is up in the air (hahaha) BUT I cannot wait to board that plane after a long first term at work and making my way through piles of grading, comment-writing, and lesson planning. Also, traveling with the family to Disney World is just so exciting. Not only do we get to see the wonder and magic in Owen's and Henry's eyes but we also get to go with our entire family. My parents are traveling down with us from Boston, my brother is flying in from SoCal with his family, and my brother-in-law is driving north to meet us from the Palm Beach area. It will be the first time that all of the cousins are all together since Owen joined the team. I might be more excited to hug and hold everyone than to get on a single ride in Disney, although I do want to ride on that "it's a small world" boat on repeat.

Tonight in preparation for the big adventure, we are going to start packing and I am noticing that for the first time we are "traveling light." As the boys are getting older, we are getting better at streamlining our packing gear and also shedding gear we no longer need in general. Obviously the days of David and I fitting into one carry-on and each wearing our one personal item are long gone but this feels like the first trip where I am not anxious about making sure we remember all the gear and little baby things and figuring out how to carry all of it from the taxi to the ticket counter to our destination!

What are we bringing?

  • The MaClaren Double Umbrella Stroller: for easy travel through the airport, through the Disney parks, and in case someone decides to take a little snooze.
  • The Lotus backpack pack-n-play: yes, Disney has cribs, but we are also spending most of our time north by David's family and will need a bed there for Owen so we might as well use it at Disney too. Plus it is so compact and lightweight (it's seriously a little backpack!) and we check it at the ticket counter.
  • Owen's Travel Carseat  (that we borrow from a dear friend who has let us hijack it since our California trip!) and Henry's Carseat (Chicco booster with back) packed up in a single backpack which we will check at the ticket counter and which will help us to get from Orlando to David's Dad's place and back.
  • 1 checked bag for Me & Owen & Henry: with things from bathing suits to winter coats (because even though Orlando will be warm and we can probably swim everyday, up by David's dad will be COLD at night and the kids are going to want to romp around the woods and be cozy for the annual hayride!)
  • 1 carry-on bag for David
  • 1 Backpack for the plane with some snacks, a few toys, and diapers

I know what you are thinking: WHOA, that is a lot of stuff. And you are right! But, remember this is air travel to multiple locations via multiple transportations (taxi, buses, planes, rental car) for over 10 days with two kids. Maybe I am delusional but I am pretty pumped for how "light weight" it feels this time!

What I am not bringing: Baby food, bottles, a breast pump, heavy toddler car seats (that weigh as much as me!), carseat travel wheels to roll heavy carseat through terminal, baby wraps/carrier, pacifiers, baby utensils, multiple extra pairs of clothes because someone is always pooping through an outfit, tons of cow milk for sippy cups, burp clothes, swaddle blankets, nursing cover, bibs, etc. etc.

While most days I  carry my sadness over not adding another little peanut into our clan, when it comes to a travel day there is a silver-lining to being a more mobile team toddlers and out of our itty, bitty babyhood. Safe travels where ever you may be going this Holiday!