Well, in less than 24 hours we will be embarking on a trip to India to visit with Jeneson's family. Let's just say that I have many filled in lines on my TO DO list, but here I am blogging. I am a last minute packer. I do have the majority of clothes packed, but will wait until tomorrow morning to pack the finishing touches. Just not that motivated to pack right now. So instead I will offer a little insight as to what international travel is like with a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 17 month old.
In an effort to save a little money on tickets we are flying a Middle Eastern Airline. I have flown ME airlines before and lets just say that they take good care of their passengers. Much better than any US based carrier that I have flown. However, the downside is the flight times. Usually when we fly to India we use European based carriers. This makes for a great split in flight times, generally 8ish hours to some place in Europe, then another 8ish hours to Mumbai. With this carrier, our first flight is 14 hours long!!! I am praying for lots of sleep time for the kids and us and lots of grace from the flight attendants and fellow passengers.
I think the key to flying with kids is to not over pack. Yes you read me right, I am not the mother that you will see trudging through the airport with 10 checked bags and 5 carry ons (technically our allowances on this flight). We will have 4 checked bags (all under the 50 pound weight allowance) and one of them is the box with the pack and play for our youngest, so really only 3 bags. We will have 2 real carry ons plus the older kids will have their little backpacks with their essentials.
I highly recommend a household with no TV or electronic type games, this makes the novelty of the in flight entertainment much more entrancing. The biggest struggle is keeping their earphones on their heads.
We do bring some toys and coloring books on the flight, but not a million small toys that easily get lost between and under seat. Snacks, however, are a must, but drinks not (there is plenty to drink during the flight).
Thankfully, our 14 hour flight starts at 8pm, so after the take off and initial round by the flight attendants we will put the kids in their PJs and snuggle them in for the long flight and hopefully a good night's sleep. If that doesn't happen, there is always the Benadryl back up...