I have two children. O will be turning 3 in 4 weeks and Jake is almost 19 months old. They’re close enough in age that they can share a lot of the same toys but just far enough apart that there’s certain things O has outgrown and that Jake just isn’t old enough to understand. With both kids at home we’re able to cater their activities and play toys to their developmental stages, and of course moods! They actually play really well together for the most part, sans the normal course of “it’s mine!” and “you’re a bad boy, Jakey!” Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often and in fact they love each other very much. It’s not uncommon, in fact, to see them holding hands in the back seat.
All of that is about to be put to the test in just a few short weeks. The entire family is about to embark on a trip across the country (starting out in CA), over the Atlantic, and on to Israel. My sister who decided to take up residency there some 4 years ago is now engaged to be married. So what’s the next craziest thing to getting married? (Just kidding honey!) Well, the answer is taking two kids, 2 years and under on a 10,000 mile trip! We’re going to be on the plane an ungodly amount of time and I haven’t even talked about the fact that there’s a 10-hour time difference once we land!
So how does on prepare for such a journey? Well, I suppose in many ways you don’t. However, we’re getting certain things in order. For starters our plane doesn’t leave until the evening so the hope is that they’ll sleep the majority of the trip. Assuming they can muster 7 or 8 hours of sleep (they’re actually great travel sleepers) they’ll only be awake for 3 or 4 hours. We’re still figuring out what to bring for the plane ride but for now we’re loading up on:
- Paperback coloring books
- Tons of stickers
- A Macbook with Dora and Sesame Street games
- Two iPhones with kids apps/books
- iPad with kids apps and books
I’m actually a little more concerned with Jake since O can keep herself occupied with games, etc. She also LOVES watching TV (we do limit this at home) so I’m not worried about her plopping herself down for several hours of Dora or Diego. Jake on the other hand doesn’t watch movies and won’t sit still for more than a few minutes. I’m thinking he and I will be making our rounds through the plane saying hi to everyone. Once we’re off the plane we’re facing a 10-hour time change. The wife and I can force ourselves awake but the kids? Different story. I think this one we’re going to have to play by ear and just go with the flow. Fortunately, we get there several days before the wedding. So, hopefully we’ll be able to all get acclimated in due time.
O and Jake are used to making 6 to 7 hour car drives to visit family but this is going to be a whole different story. I’ll be chronicling my journey on www.DadStreet.com should you want to share in the craziness! Although, I do have a good amount of experience traveling with them (both have flown cross-country multiple times) I can always use advice.
Have any of you traveled with small children on such a long distance? If so, I’d love to hear what worked for you.
About the blogger:
Josh is an East Coast Transplant currently living in Monterey, California with his 2 adorable children, beautiful wife and their golden retriever. When Josh is not drooling over his adorable little ones, he enjoys drinking wine, taking pictures, playing with my iPhone, listening to an audio book, trying some kind of new food, surfing online, sleeping, watching TV, yappin’ on the phone, and last but not least trying to spend quality time with “The Boss”.
You can find Josh’s take on parenthood on his blog, Dadstreet.com