Guys! We did it!
I know we recently published “Tips for Flying with a Toddler” and we’ve flown approximately one zillion times with Emma, but I have to admit that I was VERY nervous about flying with two children.
But it went SO well! We were flying to my parents’ home on the Jersey Shore, btw. The whole family is coming, and I’m so excited. If you missed it, this is my post from last year’s trip. Feeling incredibly grateful to be in my happy place with the entire Sheehan Crew! (But yes, because of the two young children and the general insanity that’s going on here, I shall be posting at weird times. The blog will live on, though! Just check back later in the day if my post isn’t up yet and bear with me. 😉)
Okay, so here are a few things that helped make for an almost-seamless flying experience:
- We flew at night: I have always been super opposed to this idea, assuming my children would have meltdowns from exhaustion. But it honestly couldn’t have gone better because of this timing. Emma took her usual afternoon nap, which she normally skips on flying days since there’s simply not enough time. And because she was well-rested, she was SO happy throughout the entire experience! Yes, she passed out in the car almost immediately on the way to OC, and yes, she took a very long nap the following day because she was tired. But a 7 p.m. departure just might be perfect for the Larkins. (Also, I should note that we left for the airport early so we didn’t have to deal with the stress of rush hour traffic. We were at the airport longer because of this, but so nice to not have to worry!)
- We checked everything we possibly could: Like, EVERYTHING, and we did it via curbside check-in. The only things we had with us were the baby bag, the backpack (which had our laptops and camera in it), and the baby carrier. Complete game-changer. Of course, I’m not sure that giving up the stroller is possible if you’re flying with multiple children and don’t have another adult with you to help. (I definitely couldn’t have done it if I had been flying solo!) But if you do have help, consider it! And while I know that strollers are typically handled with more care when they’re gate-checked, man. Was it lovely not to be hauling tons and tons of crap through an airport. It made a huge difference in our physical and mental states. My body didn’t ache and my mind wasn’t racing!
- I used a baby carrier: This $18 wonder, though, is what I really credit our success to! We had a baby carrier for Emma but I don’t know; we just never got comfortable using it. I think we both felt nervous using it and worried that she might fall out. (Crazy. I know. But we were new parents and nervous about everything.) I think the problem, though, was that our baby carrier was just a bit too clunky. Have you ever felt that sometimes the most affordable option for products is best because it’s the simplest? That’s totally what happened here. We went with a baby carrier that was literally $18 but had stellar reviews, and it was PERFECT. So easy to use… Lucy was comfy and happy in it… and it was self-explanatory. I really recommend it over the pricier ones. And as a whole, baby carriers are fantastic when you’re traveling with two or more children because they allow you functionality of both hands!
- We really thought out what we packed in the carry-on bag: See the above graphic for some of the stuff we brought along with us. We utilized Walmart’s NextDay Delivery service and it was phenomenal. Because let’s be serious: everything I do in life at the moment is last-minute. I’m just owning it. 😎 It’s free, no membership is required, and it’s easy. All you have to do is enter “NextDay Mode,” and everything available pops right up. Also, your entire order arrives in just one box which is both environmentally friendly and saves you time and the hassle of unboxing so many packages! Oh, and over 100,000 items ship “NextDay.” Do it!
- We bought dinner and ate it in-flight: This is amazing because it eats up a huge chunk of the flight. It’s an activity!
- I dressed comfortably: I always try to dress nicely when we fly. Mostly because I want to look somewhat respectable for whomever is picking us up on the other end, I suppose. ;) This time, though, I wore athleisure and just didn’t care. And let me tell you: it was fabulous. I was comfortable. And I dressed the part of a warrior mom and therefore *felt* like a warrior mom. 😂 And when Lucy threw up down my shirt? Totes didn’t care. WARRIOR MOM.
- We packed changes of clothing: I packed two extra outfits each for the girls since their clothing is so tiny and takes up little real estate. (And three pairs of undies for Emma since we’re potty training. But no accidents! Woo!) And then Mitch and I decided to risk it and go without, simply because we didn’t have the space in the baby bag. Lucy puked on both of us, but since we were wearing total parenting clothing, we didn’t care at all. I suppose I would have been pretty upset if there’d been a poop explosion, though. Would admittedly be singing a different tune if that had happened, haha!
- We brought all the activities: I talk about this in my “Tips for Flying with a Toddler” post (which is far more thorough), but this has the power to change everything. Embrace what your child is obsessed with. Does he love dumptrucks? Get dumptrunk books, dumptruck crafts, (small) dumptruck toys–anything that’ll keep his attention. And then hand them over slowly throughout the flight. It’ll cost approximately $20. Worth. Every. Penny.
- A laid-back mentality: While I’m laid back in a lot of areas of my life, I’m not when it comes to traveling. Mitch loves traveling… and while I really like it, it does stress me out. This time, though, I took a bunch of deep breaths as I walked out the front door and vowed to be chill. And that mentality served me SO well throughout the entire day. Because I was upbeat and positive, I swear my kids were upbeat and positive. (For the most part, of course. There was that one time when a giant spider crawled across Emma’s airplane window. THAT was fun.)
Since I’m no expert and this isn’t the most thorough post, I’d love to hear what your tips are for traveling with two kids! (Or one! Honestly, any and all advice is welcomed.) Thanks, Friends!
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