International travel with a 2 year old - advice? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-10-2010, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I will be traveling overseas with our 2 year old. I think we've decided to not bring the carseat so DS can use his seat as a play area. But DH doesn't want to bring the umbrella stroller either. I don't want to worry about carrying a toddler while running through three different airports.

I have a list of snacks and toys that I've started. Any suggestions to make this easier? Any experience with taking vs no taking a stroller?

TIA

I'm Aicha . In love with my DH, and my Adam (4/23/08) . boobie monster.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Since you get to gate check the umbrella stroller, I think that's a no-lose option. Even if kiddo won't ride, he might like to push it, and you can always put your carry-on in it.

For a domestic flight with my son at 23 months (no comparison, I know!) all the usual airplane moments were plenty great. Ice from the flight attendants is lots of fun, bubbly water is a treat.

To facilitate these moments, I brought a sturdy crazy straw and some kids' Emergen-C which makes great sweet fizzy fun when combined with seltzer.

I think someone else on MDC said that she arrived with her toddler in India after so many lollipops that the child looked dipped in shellac, but happy. Lollipops are great. Also fruit leather.

Small soft finger puppets can entertain for a long time as you make up stories, especially about airplane travel. An aquadoodle serves to illustrate your stories on the go, over and over again, likewise those little magnet drawing boards.

Be sure to pack extra outfits for your son in your carry-on, and perhaps an extra something for yourself too - spills will happen.

Otherwise, carry-on as little as possible other than your treats and entertainments.

I wouldn't hesitate to indulge in age-appropriate movies either, if you can find a way to make it audible for him.

Earplugs for your neighbors will probably be refused, but are a nice good-will gesture.

HAVE FUN! It will, eventually, come to an end. More great advice on some previous thread this past year.

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Old 07-10-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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OMG TAKE THE STROLLER. Your DH is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks you can get through the airport without it. How else are you going to carry all your stuff? And if your DS decides to have a meltdown and you need to change planes, well. I would also say take the carseat, it's so much more comfortable for them, and for you--it's not that much fun to hold a sleeping toddler for several hours.

When you get to where you're going, try to get on local time as quickly as you can. Wake your DS up by 9am no matter when he went to sleep and try to do naps at the right time.

Don't worry, it's never as bad as you think it's going to be. I've travelled quite a bit, in the US and internationally and it's very stressful to plan for, but once you're on the plane, it's over. Don't worry about other passengers, they give out earplugs on international flights!
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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I'm the one who took my 18 month old to India and he had so many lollipops he looked like he was shellaced, but it worked!

We actually didn't bring a stroller when we went since we knew it would be pointless to have at our destination. We did use a carrier, a Calyx, but any carrier would work. We also only had to change planes once and that was at the very beginning of the trip there, and very end of the trip back, since it was a direct 15 hour flight from JFK.

An extra outfit for everyone in the carry one plus at least one more for the toddler is always a good plan. If you don't have a huge problem with your child watching videos, we found our ipod priceless, it let DS watch, he didn't even want the headphone, just to watch the videos, and kept him quiet and happy.

I brought some window clings to play with on the airplane windows, since we had a window seat, some crayons and paper for drawing and stickers as well. I also brought some toy cars since DS likes cars. That being said, the ipod and lollipops are what kept him entertained the longest, and since he slept around two hours total on the flight there, we had to keep him entertained for quite awhile.

We also brought other snacks then lollipops, he had a bunch of freeze dried fruit which he enjoyed and he liked things like pretzels and such as well.

Looking back it wasn't as bad as we had anticipated, and it went by faster then expected, in the moment though we basically let DS do what he wanted to keep him calm and not annoy the other passengers on the plane.

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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We've only done one trans-Atlantic round trip since DD turned 2, but we went back and forth about 50 million times in her first 2 years (at least that's what it felt like). Our trip is: about 3-4 hours to the airport, usually with 2 transport changes, airport waiting, 6-ish hour flight, 1.5 hour drive or bus ride on the other end. It's about 12-18 hours door-to-door, depending on connections.

Anyway, we never used a stroller for the trip. I try to pack light, and find it easier to maneuver with DD in an ergo, which is what we used 90% of the time at home. I also wouldn't bring the car seat on the plane, but it's a matter of personal preference and how much your LO likes his car seat (ours doesn't like hers much). I can see how the stroller might be handy, but only you know how much you rely on your stroller day-to-day. IME, travel is the time for your most-commonly-used mode of transport, not for introducing new things.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aikigypsy View Post
IME, travel is the time for your most-commonly-used mode of transport, not for introducing new things.
In principle I agree, but I must say that we can't use an umbrella stroller here at home because of road conditions, so I introduced it in the living room right before our domestic flight at 23 months. He was enchanted with the new toy. Two days later, he thought it was a special treat to ride in and push through airports, and it was a great asset. Really helped us MOVE through terminals instead of stopping to pull leaves off of plastic plants.

So there's that, just to keep you thinking.

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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We took our twins when they were 2.5 years old and didn't take a stroller. It worked out fine for us, I didn't miss it. We didn't bring it because we didn't want to have to deal with a stroller when we got to our destination, plus I didn't want to take a chance with wrecking my good stroller from being handled by the airplane crew, and didn't want to buy a crappy but cheap umbrella stroller just for the trip (I knew it would bug me to push a stroller with small wheels and bad construction).

I did bring a carrier (a beco) but didn't use it in the airport. But I knew DD was a good walker and that DS was not and that we tended to have them walk at home rather than be pushed in a stroller. Also that I was used to CARRYING my children at home, especially DS and I can carry him a long way without tiring if needed. So I tend to agree with do what you do at home.

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:45 AM
 
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Stroller, well if you dont take one then one parent needs to be prepared to carry your toddler everywhere. While the other one is responsible for the carry on bag or bags. Airports are big and scarry for little ones. Strollers are great to use in situations like these. You can check it on at the gate and it's very easy to keep up with. I use mine to hold the bags and all the stuff I fly with, when my ds doesnt want to ride. It's been a life savor.

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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Take the stroller. (A) it carries your child, and (b) you can hang purses, diaper bags, backpacks, or whatever on it to lessen your load. Which, depending on the airports you're dealing with, can be ugly to juggle without help.

We just did two kids, just under two and just under three, and while the elder was mostly good for walking the whole way, the younger ... yeah. A stroller would have been a godsend. Particularly when she decided she hated the sling while in the (loooooong) line to have passports checked. At worst it's wheels to haul your stuff while one of you carries your son.

Otherwise ... we packed a lot of entertainment, but frankly the kids found being on a plane novel enough to be entertaining, and when that stopped being entertaining there was nothing that they were going to be entertained by. Honestly the best voice of experience I can give is just to say be prepared for a more physically tiring and uncomfortable trip than usual.

Non-sticky snacks are also in the realm of godsends.

Oh, and I know a lot of people have strong feelings about "baby leashes," but if your son is willing to / wants to walk some, the Eddie Bauer monkey backpack was some of the best money I've ever spent. My son fell in love with it, and knowing he couldn't wander off due to any distraction at check-in or security or whatever was fantastic. Plus it made a good plane snuggly.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much everyone!!

Liquesce (Salaam)- Funny you should mention it. I don't like the "leashes", but I jokingly mentioned that this would be a good situation for one. So I'm seriously considering it. We are going to Morocco, the streets are ridiculously crowded. If you take your hand off of your kid for one second, they're gone (atleast that's what my paranoid brain keeps envisioning). If not for any other reason, it would give me peace of mind to use over there.

I'm Aicha . In love with my DH, and my Adam (4/23/08) . boobie monster.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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Wa salam~ Well if you do decide it's a better practicality than a joke, the ones I mentioned really are more like just having a stuffed animal along. None of that kind of ... I don't know, cold utilitarian vibe? That such things can sometimes have.

I had also packed a small stuffed animal for my daughter, which once there my son decided he could not let go of for anything. If Yasin doesn't already have a lovey you might consider packing something that would make a good one, just in case the change of environment leaves him wanting one.

I hope you all enjoy your trip.
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