I recently took my kids from Alaska to Colorado to see my parents for Christmas.
WOW what a trip! First off our plane rides plus layovers totaled about 14 hours of flying. With four kids. Even though we spent the whole of the trip sitting, it was a tiring day. So tiring i was falling asleep in the truck driving from the last airport to where my parents live.
Packing was a nightmare. You would think, oh 4-5 outfits ( plus extra socks and undies for everyone) isnt THAT much right? Times 5… Well more really, considering the baby is almost 6 months old and drools like a leaky faucet. I had one suitcase for me and him, one for my two older boys, and a third for snow gear and my next to youngest sons clothes.
We had backpacks for carry-ons for the kids. One had games, coloring books, v-smiles and games, one had spare clothes, one had snacks. Always bring your own snacks on a plane. Even with TSA requirements, there are very easy ways around it. Especially if you have kids. We brought single serve snacks. Fruit snacks, granola bars, i even went into the junky type kid foods and got fruit roll- ups and gushers, things i dont typically buy for my kids but i wanted single serve stuff they could munch. For drinks i brought each child a 1 liter bottle ( refillable jug) and left it empty through security. Once on the other side, fill those bottles with tap water. I also brought single serve drink packs. The kind you add to your water bottle. 1.5 tabs will flavor their liter bottle, so 3 tabs took care of the 2 bottles. For my 2 year old, i had a bottle with apple juice in it. TSA didn’t say anything about it obviously being bigger then their 3.4 oz limit.
Oh the nice thing about TSA, when i walked up with a luggage cart of carry ons. 3 kids walking and one in my MASSIVE stroller. They put me in the front of the line. No waiting in security lines. Thank goodness, it still took us 20 minutes to get through security. Once through we flew to our gate and loaded first. Another benifit of traveling with kids.
The plane rides themselves were uneventful. A few bumps and scary minutes on takeoff for my kids who have never flown. But Delta has these nifty little back of the chair screens which can play movies. But also have this map. It shows how far you have gone, how cold it is, your speed and altitude. (I saw it get as low as negative 90 degrees f!!!!)
Landing was hard. The poor baby’s ears were popping, and the boys were unhappy, despite having gum. Now we know, we need an extra drink for landing. Only thing that helped was them drinking.
Traveling with 4 kids was an eye opener. My carrier and stroller were lifesavers. They let me use my stroller right to the gate, so always bring one. They also check your car seats for free, so again, bring it! Lots of snacks, drinks and something to keep them busy. Lots of something. Fortunately that screen up there, also plays cartoons and games like bejweled and zuma. So utilize what you can in order to keep them busy. Cameras are fun as they like to look out windows.
One thing we did that was smart. My kids all wore their jammies on the entire flight ( a full day of travel) and i made ponchos out of fleece. I just folded them in half and cut a small hole for their heads. This gave them a wearable blanket, and the back side could be rolled up to put behind their head or neck for a pillow. Small things like that make things alot easier on a stressed out mama.
Well ill be in an out over the next few weeks with little tidbits about our vacation and fun! Next up for us. Our own Christmas tree!