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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Traveling Abroad with Little Kids Part 1

As many of you know, we used to live in England, and now live in Virginia.  We have traveled back and forth from the UK to the US several times, but I feel like I learn something new with every experience.  We went back to the UK for a  visit this December, and I thought I would share a few tips with you:)

For this trip, we were going straight to Bath from London, with 2 little kids in tow.  We also would be shlepping our own luggage with us from the plane to the tube to the train to the taxi, to finally arrive at our friends' home.  Our luggage configuration was:

  • One 29" bag for most of our clothes for all 4 of us. (We used Space/Travel Bags within the big bag to save space and to keep things easy for everyone to find their things.)
  • One small rolly bag, able to be pulled by 8 year old.  (This brought gifts and returned home with things we bought while we were there.)
  • Two LARGE backpacks, the kind you use for hiking
  • One backpack, the biggest that an 8 year old could handle
  • Pack and play
  • Stroller/Buggy
Paul carried the large bag, the pack and play, and the biggest backpack.
I had Soleil in the stroller and a backpack.
Tate had the smallest backpack and the rolly and a stuffed penguin. (LOL)

As far as WHAT we packed, I have a few tips.  

  • Extra clothes in the bag you bring on the airplane.  ALWAYS BRING THESE. There is a funny story about this, but I don't want to embarrass Tate.  Let's just say he now owns some British Airways First Class PJs, and knows NOT to eat lots of pizza before a flight when you are lactose intolerant.  

  • Snacks.  Lots of them.  Instant Oatmeal weighs nothing and is perfect when you child doesn't like the chicken curry he is served.  All you need in a little hot water, and his belly is full!  PB crackers, nuts & dried fruit, dry cereal, goldfish crackers, fruit, carrots, a little chocolate, pretzels. 

  • A small DVD player or computer and extra kids movies.  We have had 2 different flights in which someone's TV on the airplane was not working, and that TV is ESSENTIAL to making it through 8 hour flights.  Also, many times the movies on the flight are not appropriate for preschool aged kids, so it is nice to bring those movies with you.   

  • About the above list:  The mask is perfect for getting the little one to sleep in the plane.  The natural oil is great for refreshing without disturbing someone who might have allergies to perfume nearby, baby wipes are essential for any travel, as is the hair tie.   
  • Makeup:  The brands I listed above are great.  They flake off instead of rub off, so you can wear makeup and not look like a raccoon when you have rubbed your eyes 7.5 hours later.  The mascara is the "tubes on the lashes" kind, and the eyeliner is the same.  I recommend mineral foundation as well, which you can sleep in.  Yes, I am vain, I wear makeup in every situation.  ....Even at the gym and whilst in labor. 
  • Good instant coffee:  If you aren't at an espresso bar in England, you will get really nasty instant coffee.  I think this starbucks instant is a pretty good, and with the jetlag, you will need coffee!
  • Water Bottles:  Fill after security.  Drink a lot.  This really helps with jetlag, even if you have to pee 5 times during the flight. 
  • Small blanket that rolls tightly to fit in backpack.  It makes your kiddo feel extra snuggly.
  • Many small little inexpensive toys, wrapped in tissue.  When Tate was little, I used to pack 8 of these, one for every hour.  This time, I had a few for each kid, and they came in handy on the train.  
Please message me if you have any questions or want any more tips on traveling with little kids.  catpchin (at) hotmail (dot) com.  

Also, here is a past post about traveling in London with kids
This one is about small travel activities.
And lastly, Funfact: in America it is "traveling" and in the UK it is "travelling". 

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