It’s taken me a while to get back to writing (thanks for understanding) but I wanted to share the experience of traveling with the kids because it was so different compared to the last major trip we took as a family. I’ll cover the flying with kids in this post.
The last time we went to Asia, it was just Ollie and he was 10 months old. The flight was BRUTAL. To be fair, 14 hours on a flight is tough for any adult, much less a child. But the turbulence meant he barely slept on the flight over. This means he was that baby that cried and cried and just wouldn’t stop.
This time around, Ollie was 3.5 years old. And can we just pause for a round of applause? I just can’t say enough how great it is to travel with a preschooler. This is coming from a parent of a “willful” child, but he was SUCH A STAR. Not only was he super stoked about the trip (we told him about it a month before and explained to him where we were going and what we’d be doing), but he was AMAZING on the flight. He sat and watched the movies (Finding Dory was luckily one of the options) with these cool headphones. The flight was at 5:50pm, so by the time we were in the air and dinner service was complete, the kids were more than ready for sleep. Ascher passed out at 9pm. We let Ollie stay up and finish the movie. At 10pm, we told him it’s late and he nodded (didn’t protest at all, can you believe this is my son??), we turned off the screen and he leaned his head onto CS’s arm and fell asleep. It was UNBELIEVABLE.
Surprisingly, the hardest part of the trip wasn’t a crying kid. It was trying to figure out how to get the boys to sleep when you’ve only got one seat for the two of them (Ascher is still < 2 yo, which means he’s FREE, awesome!, but also means he doesn’t get a seat of his own, not so awesome). It was a bit of a tetris challenge. Ascher fell asleep in my arms and I laid him down with his head on my lap and Ollie went on CS’s lap. Unsurprisingly, Ollie moves A LOT when he sleeps and he’d kick his legs constantly, which means I had to stay up. So while the rest of our group were drinking and staying up watching the movies, I was staying up (sober, mind you) to make sure he didn’t land his legs on Ascher’s face. It was a pain in the ass.
After the flight, I was ruminating about how there’s SO MUCH unused space where you put your legs, and how there’s potential to somehow better utilize that space. But before I could figure out a solution on my own, I found this little gem, Fly Tot. It is an inflatable cushion that you use to expand the seating space and kids can lay flat. SO COOL. Too bad someone beat me to this idea. But I’m getting this life saver before our next fight in January. It’s not cheap at $69 for essentially a blow up cushion, but trust me, the added space is worth your sanity.
If you’re unsure about traveling with your kids, I again urge you to reconsider. It’s never as bad as you fear. And even when it’s hard, it’s worth it. And hey, if we can do it with two kids on a 14 hour flight and still enjoy ourselves, you can probably do it on any other flight and have a blast too!