News.

July 16, 2010

Friends. I have some exciting news to share. (AndnoI'mnotpregnant. Whew. Glad to clear that up.)

In just about two weeks, we are leaving for Italy. For almost a month. With the kids. We are insane. And super duper excited.

My manic list-making self has kicked into high gear. Things to get. Things to pack (which, of course, includes many sub-parts). Things to tell the house sitter. Things to find out before we go. Places to visit while we're there. And more that I won't (further) bore you with.

Truth be told, I have some anxiety about the trip, which I am told, is normal for a mom with three kids under age 5. Most centers around the plane ride. I dunno. Something about entertaining three youngsters in a small space for 18 hours or so that makes me start to hyperventilate, and you? I have taken to picking the brain of my sweet friend Charity who has logged something like a million miles with her two and a half year old. She's the pro. Of course, one of her tips is bring many fun new toys to delight the kiddos.

I'm thinking this cute little travelling family house would be perfect for C-Man....Just a heads up.....I'm sure I'm going to be asking for your tips for travel with little ones over the next couple of weeks.

33 comments:

  1. What a great trip for your family. One thing we've done with long travel time is have a series of gifts for the kids. I wrap EVERYTHING (crayons, etc.) and then slowly reveal them to the kids. We try for activity type gifts (age specific) that will have that novel appeal.
    Fingers crossed for a peaceful journey. Your stay will be great, I am sure of it!

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  2. It'll be wonderful! I'm leaving for Italy in September but I only have one super-active 2 year old so knowing you are taking 3 makes me feel like I can't complain, never ever to anyone! :-) I've heard a DVD player is must for international flights...I also found some cute "airplane" books and one with removable stickers...

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  3. I'm going to go home in a few weeks with my 3 year old daughter, we are currently living in Brazil and I am a anxiety-ball right now. I know that once I get there, things will slow down and I'll definitely enjoy it but the idea of a 23h plane ride and a crying toddler does not excite me in the least bit.

    I hope you enjoy your trip, family trip to Italy sounds dreamy!

    Happy weekend!

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  4. Snacks! Never underestimate the power of lots of snacks when traveling with kids. :-) Good luck with planning!

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  5. We used to travel lots when I was a kid. My mom would always bring a large sachel called "the magic bag". It was dedicated just to us. She filled it with tons of small games/toys/treats. All throughout the trip she would produce amazing things from "the magic bag". The anticipation of what would come out next always kept us excited...and made the long travel hours fly by.

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  6. oh wow!! Italy! You are going to have an amazing trip. Plane rides are never fun. Kids usually act better than you might think--- but truth be told, plane rides are usually one of the only times I find that portable DVD players are appropriate. Coming from a mom who has no TV and never lets her kids watch TV. There is a time and place for everything!

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  7. I've got one word for you...BENEDRYL. I'm willing to lose my Mommy of the Year nomination just to tell you that. It can be very helpful at bedtime on a plane. HOWEVER there is a warning: Please try at home before you go. Apparently it makes some kids hyper, which you would not want to discover somewhere over the Atlantic with irratated passengers giving you the hairy eyeball.

    OK - and another one so all your readers don't think I'm a completely horrible mom, my girls love to listen to books on tape. We loaded their MP3 players and they are content for hours. They are a few years older, but it's worth a shot.

    I'm so excited for you - and SO jealous! I really enjoy your blog but have never commented. Have a great trip!!!

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  8. As an alternative to Benedryl, there's also Sudafed or Dramamine. Both of which can ease other symptoms of flying (ears popping or motion sickness) as well as cause drowsiness. I find it helps alleviate the guilt a little when the meds are actually going towards some purpose other than sleep.

    Also, make sure to research your airline, to see what they have in terms of food, blankets, in flight entertainment, etc (which these days isn't much) so you know what to plan for in that regard.

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  9. Italy... sigh, love Italy. I wish you luck and peace in the air! We're about to hop on a two-hour flight with just one kiddo--which is causing me to plan and prepare, so I take my hat off to you. It'll be SO worth it, though, especially with a glorious month to recuperate :)

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  10. http://www.travelforkids.com/travelforkids-mobile.htm ( from yesterday's post on Ohdeedoh)
    Have a wonderful vacation!

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  11. P.S. I forgot I had actually posted about some of the travel kits. I try to make them specific for each child's interest...Remember Anna's with band aids and nails and beauty items. My goodness she was into lotions and potions then...http://pittsysplace.blogspot.com/2008/08/little-more-do-da-annas-travel-kit.html
    I posted a few other things under the travel tab (like packing lists) that may be helpful for you.
    http://pittsysplace.blogspot.com/search/label/Travel

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  12. What an exciting holiday for you and your family! I'm still thinking about that dreamy spot in France you teased us with a while back! I don't think I have much to add to the kiddo suggestions (sticker books & aqua doodle~ travel version?). Wishing you an amazing time away and I'm hoping you take lots of pics to share upon your return.
    Viaggi sicuri (I think I said that correctly)!

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  13. i'm so excited for you and the fam. enjoy, you all deserve it!

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  14. Jora, we were in Europe for 3 weeks, I picked up a few tips along the way, send me a message if you want to chat. Plus we spent most of it in Italy. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!

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  15. Whole month in Italy, how exciting, you will love it!

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  16. Ahhh... so you got your house in Sicily in the end?! :)

    As you know, we travel abroad every year with the children, not to mention fly up to Alaska a couple of times a year (also a 9-10 hour journey.)

    I do not recommend drugging kids at all. They have to learn how to travel just as they need to learn any other skill. I do however suggest you and B have a glass of wine or champagne to take the edge off! ;)

    I pack a small backpack for each child with a mixture of new and old items; books, art supplies, cuddly toy/blanket, change of clothing, etc. I also agree with Childhood Magic in that this is the one time I allow mine to watch tv/movies when they travel. Most airlines have Digi players now and there's usually a few things age appropriate for the babes.

    I also recommend changing them into pj's at their normal bedtime/nap.

    Yes, it is challenging to travel with young ones, but it can totally be done and I personally think it is 100% worth the effort. Mine are such well-seasoned travellers, half the time they are less affected than me!

    Ciao...

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  17. So exciting, can't wait to hear how the trip goes with kiddies.
    best of luck, I love love love Italy.

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  18. Good luck on your travels. Where are you going in Italy? I live in Sicily near Catania and regularly travel back to the States to visit family a few times a year. I have two kids, ages 4 and 4 months. What saved us this time was the iTouch. It's compact, can be filled with tons of things from videos to dress-up doll apps. Of course you'll also want some hands on things, but this was definitely a life saver for us this time. Hope this helps!

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  19. Oh how lovely! I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

    A travel tip I was given (and have used many times over) is to pack lots of small bags or envelopes with activities and give your children a new one each hour on long plane journeys. The other great tip is to make sure your flight has individual TVs or take your own portable DVD player.

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  20. Brat! I'm very excited for you, and can't wait to see your photos when you return.

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  21. Great news Jora!! We too are seasoned travellers with our little ones (now 3 and 5), as we currently live in Austria and my family is in Washington State. We are leaving next week, in fact, for a 3 week stay there, so I feel your stress ;-). Anyhow, try not to worry about the plane ride. In my experience it is never as bad as I fear. The worst experience we ever had was when we actually tried the Benadryl "trick" and our 2 year old freaked OUT. And we had done a successful trial run at home ;-).

    A great idea is go to the dollar store and find lots of goodies for each child (it's really not all that bad -- read: stickers, small games, etc.) that you can pull out gradually. They even have alphabet stickers which was great for hours of spelling in our always-handy sketch books. I have been on countless overseas flights and I cannot remember one in the last 5 years where they didn't have on-board entertainment units for each seat, which is just great for C-man and Juju, assuming they don't "mind" watching movies???

    Yes to the snacks, too. Remember, you can get up and walk around, which is a great thing.

    Also, I'm assuming you'll be taking at least one car seat with? If so, and you aren't checking it, I highly recommend the GoGo Kidz roller unit. If Little E has a seat of her own, the car seat is ideal for when she will sleep (and she WILL, I promise!).

    I have to say the hardest part about this travel will be the jetlag for the little ones. It is a 9 hour time difference, which is brutal for the tiny ones who cannot take an Ambien and drink some coffee ;-). It's a good idea to start now trying to keep them up at night longer so you can get adjusted a bit quicker (it usually takes our kids at least a week of up-all-nights). I will keep my fingers crossed for you that this part goes smoothly ;-).

    Let me know if I can "help" any more. I look forward to reading more about your trip. We were just in Umbria for a week at a vacation villa (a dream, I tell you!) with my parents who were visiting. Have a blast in bella Italia!!!

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  22. Great news Jora!! We too are seasoned travellers with our little ones (now 3 and 5), as we currently live in Austria and my family is in Washington State. We are leaving next week, in fact, for a 3 week stay there, so I feel your stress ;-). Anyhow, try not to worry about the plane ride. In my experience it is never as bad as I fear. The worst experience we ever had was when we actually tried the Benadryl "trick" and our 2 year old freaked OUT. And we had done a successful trial run at home ;-).

    A great idea is go to the dollar store and find lots of goodies for each child (it's really not all that bad -- read: stickers, small games, etc.) that you can pull out gradually. They even have alphabet stickers which was great for hours of spelling in our always-handy sketch books. I have been on countless overseas flights and I cannot remember one in the last 5 years where they didn't have on-board entertainment units for each seat, which is just great for C-man and Juju, assuming they don't "mind" watching movies???

    Yes to the snacks, too. Remember, you can get up and walk around, which is a great thing.

    Also, I'm assuming you'll be taking at least one car seat with? If so, and you aren't checking it, I highly recommend the GoGo Kidz roller unit. If Little E has a seat of her own, the car seat is ideal for when she will sleep (and she WILL, I promise!).

    I have to say the hardest part about this travel will be the jetlag for the little ones. It is a 9 hour time difference, which is brutal for the tiny ones who cannot take an Ambien and drink some coffee ;-). It's a good idea to start now trying to keep them up at night longer so you can get adjusted a bit quicker (it usually takes our kids at least a week of up-all-nights). I will keep my fingers crossed for you that this part goes smoothly ;-).

    Let me know if I can "help" any more. I look forward to reading more about your trip. We were just in Umbria for a week at a vacation villa (a dream, I tell you!) with my parents who were visiting. Have a blast in bella Italia!!!

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  23. how exciting!!!!!! totally and completely fantastic (and worth the plane ride ;-)

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  24. Loved reading all these tips. I’m nervous about flying with my three-year-old to Sacramento. Going to Italy would have me beyond anxiety-ridden.

    If you’re not technology-averse, consider buying an iPad for C-Man and JuJu to use together (and for mom and dad to use when the kids are on to something else). You can load it with a few games, family photos, music, and children’s books (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31747_7-20002462-243.html). An iPod Touch would serve the same purpose but has a much smaller screen and would be hard for the two of them to use at the same time.

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  25. my mom called them "trip treats!" just like pittsy said, she'd wrap everything and it would be so.much.fun to open little gifts and surprises slowly...

    and there was usually one or 2 "big" gifts...(nothing huge, just fun and unexpected...)

    good luck!!

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  26. I've heard the dollar bins at Michael's are treasure troves.

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  27. I found this on ohdeedoh (jetlagged infants) http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/good-questions/coping-with-infant-jetlaggood-questions-122215

    have a great time!

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  28. We just got back from Italy and had an amazing time. No kids so I don't have any tips there (and looks like you already got tons of great ones) but I just wanted to tell you to have an amazing time. We were only there two weeks so I am jealous of your month. Enjoy!

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  29. Wow...
    Hats off to you for making travel such a priority (especially traveling abroad) in your life, even with young children. So many people live in fear and don't even venture on an airplane! I'd definitely be worried too, but know for a fact that it will be well worth it.

    I'm sending you an e-mail of an assortment of travel gifts that I had pasted onto a document (I had intended to blog about them early in the summer.) for ideas on airplane entertainment!

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  30. Very exciting, very brave. Love the magic bag idea and the DVD.

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