Our trip to and from California was about 12 hours total between car and plane. Travelling with two small children is by no means impossible, but there were definitely tricks that helped us along the way that I thought I would share!
-Give them as much non-held time as possible in between flights. We kept Gracie out of her car seat whenever we werent in the car so that it would make being held for the durations of the flight a little easier.
-Have tylenol on hand!
-Take the window seat. It gives you more room to nurse or hold a sleeping baby without fear of the beverage cart smucking your arm.
-Believe in the kindness of strangers: Gracelyn cried HARD on half of our flights. As much as it sucked, there was nothing I could do. I was approached following both of these flights by people who told me that they were glad she was feeling better after landing, and telling me how cute she was. It was a relief not to be given the stink eye! I just tried to focus on the fact that no matter how bad it was for other passengers, it was way worse for me!
-Make a special backpack. Before the trip, I bought a new backpack for Abby and let her pick a few toys, things to color, and books. Before we left, I bought a few new inexpensive items and snacks and snuck them in different places. Whenever she got bored, I would pull out something new and she was so excited!
-Relax the ruies: For me, this involved snacks. I let her have juice on every flight, candy at 10 pm and french fries. Flying was really exciting for her, so I wanted to make it into a special day.
-Embrace the excitement. Abby was so wired about flying, that she loudly announced that she was ready to fly as all the other passengers were boarding our first flight. We just let her go about her manic rambling and everyone else seemed to think it was cute.
-Pack as little as possible! I knew I had laundry available, so I packed only five outfits for each girl. It is tempting to do more, but it is a lot to lug around!
-Buy whatever you can when you get there. Things like diapers, sunscreen, etc that I would need more of I bought when I was there so that I could pack lighter. I use this stuff anyway, so I may as well save myself squeezing it in a suitcase. I also always buy a cheap highchair or booster when I am there for $25-40 to save lugging things.
-KNOW WHERE YOUR BAGGAGE CARTS ARE! We packed lightly, and still had one big suitcase, golf clubs, a pack and play, two small suitcases, a stroller, 3 carry ons and 2 carseats to take into each airport. To try to carry this any distance was crazy!
We had such a fantastic trip, but the travelling was definitely a little taxing and made for long days. I would do it again and again though!