My husband and I have always loved to travel, and we promised ourselves that having kids would not leave us stuck at home. With our first baby, we somehow managed to keep our vow, toting our little boy from place to place. As self-proclaimed super travelers, we thought adding a second kid into the mix would be no problem, so we went ahead and booked a slew of trips before our baby girl was even born.
Oh, ignorance is such bliss, isn’t it?
All of a sudden, our first trip was just days away and the reality hit. How were we going to get two kids, two strollers, two car seats, two pack n plays, plus 3 suitcases full of clothes, toiletries, shoes, and our own things to the airport? Oh, and did I mention we don’t have a car?
I felt like I had been hit by a ton of diapers. (Shoot! We needed to bring those, too – size 2, size 6, and overnights.) What were we thinking? My husband and I were on the verge of retiring our super traveler status.
That’s when talking things out really helps. And talk we did. Thank goodness it was a slow TV night.
We spent hours sitting at the dinner table, first figuring out what we really needed and what we could borrow, buy, or simply do without. Then, we mapped out every possible mode of transport to the airport. Taxi, train, subway, car service, rickshaw… all were equally considered. We felt like pioneers about to embark on an adventure to the unknown western frontier, except that the original American pioneers weren’t forced to put their kids in huge, cumbersome car seats.
We discussed, debated, even role-played — and by the end of the night, we had a packing list and a travel plan. We definitely have a way to go before we can get back to super traveler status, but here are some tips we learned from our first go at it:
• Do a mental play by play of the trip. Role-playing is encouraged.
• Don’t pack at the last minute.
• Bring less clothes for you; more clothes for the kids. Spit-ups, blow-outs, food spills are likely.
• If it’s not essential, leave it. If you can buy or rent it at your destination, take it off the packing list.
• If people offer help, take it. If they don’t, look pathetic and hope for pity.
• Keep your hands as free as possible. Use backpacks, shoulder bags, heck, even fanny packs so you can use your hands for your kids and hailing cabs.
About Sabrina Clark.