Thursday, April 11, 2013

Brazil-bound

It's official! We are headed to Porto Alegre this summer to visit my parents. Ty will be staying for one week, while T and I will be staying an additional two weeks. We are so excited to see and spend time with my folks, and to meet so many people that they have come to love in such a short time. I'm excited to show Tyler and T "my Brazil," with all its noise and food and beautiful Portuguese (I've started occasionally speaking to T in Portuguese, and the kid can say "agua" like a champ).

Now - here's the hard part. We actually have to travel there. On the way there, at least Ty and I will be able to help each other with T, but on the way back, it's just kiddo and me. I'm reading everything I can get my hands on about how to travel internationally with a toddler (T will be almost 22 months), but, wise people, please impart of any advice you have! What toys, books, tablets/games, snacks, sippy cups, etc are best for looong trips? I think the part I'm most nervous for is the 7 (seven!) hour layover we have in Atlanta on the way back. I'm one of those people who gets a pit in my stomach when I see a kid on a "leash," but the idea of that long in one airport, and me carrying a bunch of stuff while trying to keep track of a boy who most certainly will not spend 7 hours in his stroller makes me think that I might just have to do that. I just got sick to my stomach actually "typing that out loud." But, really? What should I do?

10 comments:

Michelle Collett said...

I have no clue what you should do, but I am sure you will survive it and that the trip (even with a seven- hour layover!) will be totally worth it. I am so excited for you!

Oh, and maybe Linda Haynie has some tips on planes, airports, and youngsters.

Janssen said...

Not that I've ever done anything even close to a seven hour layover, but I will say that I've found an airport is one of the easier places to entertain a toddler - so much room to run around, new things look at, and people to observe.

Good luck!

Kristi said...

Check as much as you can. Whatever extra money you pay to check things will totally be worth not having to carry a bunch of junk all over while chasing a little kid through an airport for hours.

Neither Asher nor Simon was all that interested in a lot of movies before two, but they both did love Winnie the Pooh. We got the really old "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" by Disney, and they also watched another couple of full length Winnie the Pooh movies on youtube once. They were all hits with younger kids.

My boys love to ride the moving sidewalk back and forth. If you can find a less-crowded area that has one, you can just let him go around and around and watch things go by.

I also let my kids go into airport toy stores and play with all of the toys on longer layovers. We don't buy anything. And we don't even feel guilty about it.

Good luck!

Amy Rose said...

BRAZIL!! Hug it for me, ok?

Saskia said...

That sounds like a really great summer!

My mom used to take us three kids on transatlantic flights every other summer. (My dad always seemed to have urgent business both ways that let him fly earlier/later and blessedly alone.) I think we were relatively quiet kids, but I shudder to think of it today...

Anonymous said...

Get an inflatable beach ball, it collapses for easy packing and you can blow it up when it's time to play. Also, bubbles. Your little one might make a few friends in the airport :)

Talyn said...

At the airport: Ride the train. Back and forth. Again and again. Rent a locker for your luggage and teach him to ride the escalator. Visit my Atlanta friends. Eat at the Varsity. Or don't eat there. Just go listen to them take orders. Buy pralines from Savannah Candy Company. Eat them. Buy more. Send them to me. Find the ottomans and take a nap with no arm rests in the way.

I spent 8 hours in the Toronto airport with three littles. Rest assured there are far more boring airports than Atlanta. Also be glad he won't be begging to crawl on airport carpet. I will be glad my husband was with me.

Some airports have free shuttles to downtown. It'd be worth looking into as Atlanta is a great place to explore and 7 hours is absolutely enough time to leave the airport.

On the plane, ask for help. It's in everyone's best interest for the toddlers to be happy. Flight attendants will get you extra snacks. Some really bored people would be happy to entertain little boys for a while. (New face for T). It is totally worth the space to bring a kid sized neck pillow. Also kid friendly headphones are worth the investment.

Bri said...

What a fun adventure for your family! I've been on 11 different planes and had 5 layovers with my babe, all on my own. He was 12 months at the earliest flight and 23 at the most recent flight, so I like to think I've learned a thing or two about flying with a baby.

My longest layover was only 4 hours, so 7 is quite a bit longer. I'd suggest scheduling a nap in there somewhere, no matter where his nap usually fits in the day. It'll give both him and you a break, especially if his nap is supposed to land during flight time. My babe never slept on the plane, so that was playtime and the layover meant I had to find some abandoned corner and walk him to sleep.

A lot of airports will also have a toddler area with play equipment or rides, etc. I'd visit those and never rush from one place to another (especially if you're hauling luggage, car seat, stroller, baby, purse, who-knows-what-else). Take your time and just explore.

As for on the plane, go to the dollar store and buy a few new toys that you know will occupy his attention. Wrap them, then let him open them one at a time when he gets bored. Take plenty of snacks. And don't hesitate to ask the attendants for anything. They can usually accommodate your needs. Oh! If you have a seat preference, make it known at the door where they scan your ticket because they can ofttimes switch your seat to one that doesn't have a passenger next to you or is in the back, etc. Also don't hesitate to let T play in the aisle and let out some energy.

Wow...that's kind of a lot, but hope some of it helps. Good luck! It's really not bad with preparation. But the prep is key to surviving :)

Aubrey said...

In a situation such as this, I think it is totally ok to use a backpack leash. T won't even remember it, and you'll be so much more at ease. The last time we were in an airport, Tommy just stood at the window watching planes come in and out. Perhaps you should push an airplane addiction and then you're all set! :) I really don't have great advice...

Anonymous said...

Surprise him on the plane with a Blank page Art book and tons of cool different, puffy, stickers. Also throw in some other brand new toys and fun snacks. Works like a charm when we frequently travel across country. Good luck!