As we set out on our family adventure, I am not sure if I am crazy for thinking we could manage two kids (ages 5 and 18 months) on 3 flights over two days or if I am just hypnotized by the thought of dipping my toes in the Pacific and lounging on the beach. I have come armed however with everything I can think of to make the 6 days together go smoothly.
Here are somes tips for traveling with children:
10. Bring their favorite treats and lots of them.
We have everything from Cheerios to gummy treats (for their ears on the plane) to juice boxes and even a little candy. My thought is anything that will keep our children quiet and busy for the next two hours on this flight.
9. Don't forget to bring along their favorite friend.
In our case, both of our boys have a small stuffed animal and a small blanket. Having some comforts of home not only allows them to relax but even helps when they get sleepy.
8. A movie can entertain for hours (well somtimes)
Movies at our house are special events so as we embark on our adventure to Mexico, I make sure I have a movie to entertain the big kid and a movie with singing and dancing to entertain the little one. Make sure to bring along headphones as well. Ours were a little big for the little one but we managed.
7. Bring a stoller for younger children
While they are a pain to navigate on and off the plane, our stroller has come in handy many times. We usually let our youngest walk in the airports to stretch his legs after the flight but then when he gets tired, it is so nice to have the stroller. It works as purse and back pack carrier, is nice for holding a juice and snacks and even reclines if a nap is needed. This proves to be a life saver when we have to wait in line for 45 minutes in customs. Rather than having our son run all over, he was content to sit and relax with a snack.
6. Break up the trip
I would prefer to just get to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in one day but flight schedules make that impossible. So we take one flight to Denver and overnight and then a flight to Houston and on to Puert Vallarta tomorrow. It was nice today to only have to manage one flight and the kids enjoyed being able to just relax when we got to the hotel. Tomorrow may be a rough day with us having to wake up at 4 AM but I am hopeful the early morning, will help them sleep later on.
5. Something to help them relax will make the flights go much smoother
I have heard about giving kids Benedryl on flights to help them sleep but after speaking with our doctor decided against it. I did find an all natural remedy that helps promote sleep. This did help wonders for our 18 month to ease his stress about having to stay in one place for so long on the flights. Our oldest was fine taking Dramamine and that helped him with motion sickness.
4. Don't try to pack too much into the trip.
Our ususal vacations are filled with adventure after adventure having us running from sun up to sun down. While I really want to explore the rainforest, swim with dolphins and take a boat to a secluded island, I am hesitant to plan too much. For this trip we will mainly be playing in the ocean and lounging by the pool. We have brought along plenty of shovels for the sand and some floaties for the pool.
3. Stay in a place with a kitchenette.
We have rented a condo that has plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms for us to spread out. It will also allow us to make our own meals. It will be nice to have the flexibility to eat when the kids are hungry and run back to the condo for naps and forgotten toys.
2. Bring sunscreen and lots of it.
Coming from Montana in October, we have all lost our summer tans. I make sure we have plenty of sunscreen on hand. While I am sure we can grab extra at the local grocery store, I don't want to not be prepared in the hot sun of Puerto Vallarta.
1. Bring re-enforcements
After deciding to bring the kids on our vacation, I thought it might feel more like a vacation if we had help managing the kids. So we have enlisted Grammie to come along. I don't know who is more excited; us, the kids or the Grammie. She is excited to get out of the cold in Montana and spend a full week with her grandkids.