Our family is one of avid travelers and adventurers; near and far, from roughing it out in the woods to relaxing in resort hotels, before kids and now with kids. Our kiddos are professional travelers. They get excited when they are about to go on a trip, they love the airport vibe, strut through security screenings, take pleasure in setting up their cozy zone on the plane and they long for stepping out of routine when they do not travel for a while. Okay, I’m going to state the obvious, they love the countless hours of screen time they get on the plane. That’s just a fact and I’m perfectly fine with that … watch until your brains fry my love, it’s my trip too and I want to start and end on a good note. And of course, so not to give you the impression that they are fine with just circling around on an airplane, nothing beats getting to the other side of the journey. Whether it's exploring new cities, states or countries or visiting Grandma at her house, we embrace and look forward to our family travels. We make sure to talk about all the fun adventures that they will be having on the trip and at the end, we recap with what everyone’s favorite moments were on the trip. I promise I don’t make them do a book report, but they could, they really could!
We have had the great privilege of showing our kids the world and make many memories on our many adventures. There is so much value in showing the kids that there is more to the world than just the bubble that we live in, that the world is a shared community and as big as the world seems, it is actually smaller than we think and we all need to cherish and protect it in the same way. Whether you are flying internationally or within the US , just know that these experiences and times spent with your loved ones are memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. I’ve been meaning to write a post about traveling for a while now but this whole COVID thing threw me for a loop. We recently had the privilege of going to and not just going, but FLYING to Florida for our school’s Fall Break. Now, we have not been on a flight since March, which may not seem like a big deal, but considering we canceled three flights in between March and now, it was special for us to be able to fly again and the kids were very over the moon. It was at this time that I realized that they fully grasped the concept of sarcasm when they were proclaiming to each other at the airport “What iiiiiis this place?! It’s like we've have neeeeeever been here before!”. Cute. I also have to give a shout-out to Delta Airlines which provided a wonderfully safe, comfortable and professional "Covid experience".
Goofing off at the airport
When it comes to getting ready for a trip, I try to be prepared but minimalist at the same time. For instance, I always have a little first aid kit packed in my suitcase but I don’t stress if I forget to pack extra clothes especially if I know I can do laundry on the trip or make a run to Target. We try to check in as much as possible so we do not have all of these unnecessary carry on bags with us on the airplane (controversial I know, there is a school of thought that everyone should travel with an extra set of clothes in their carryon bag). That being said, the Notebooks & Honey tote is the perfect bag to help sherpa everyone's must have items ... This makes it the perfect travel bag! If you are traveling with a laptop, there is the laptop compartment that can also hold an iPad and book and the other compartment can be for your other items including snacks, headphones, airline cocktail kit, etc. If you are traveling sans kids AND do not need to carry a laptop, the large side pocket can be used to carry an extra garment or emergency toiletry kit and you will still have plenty of room for all of your other personal everyday items. Bonus, the Notebooks & Honey bag fits nicely underneath the seat in front of you so it’s super easily accessible. Score!
What are some of my fave necessities to bring on the plane? Well, glad you asked. These are few items that I always try to have in my Notebooks & Honey bag when traveling with kids:
Headsets : I love these foldable headphones for kids, they have good sound quality and because these are foldable, it does save a significant amount of room in the bag.
Large water bottle: I like to carry one big water bottle when we travel because it makes sense for us to all share one water bottle (doesn’t sound safe these days, right?) and this is a large size bottle that fits nicely in the bag's bottle holder.
Travel friendly toys and/or simple art stuff: When the kids are taking a break from screen time ( it happens sometimes), I like to have some paper and markers/color pencils for them to get creative or have a travel friendly puzzle or toy that will entertain them. I try to find something that all three kids will enjoy so they can share and there is less for me to carry.
Snacks : Snacks on the plane are sporadic, but snacking is a constant. So bring a few of your own, plus it’s good to have some bars or crackers handy in case of delays.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite mom phenomenons that I’m sure all moms can relate to.
Mommy Sherpas = the carriers of all things, from extra layers of clothes and sunscreen to semi-chewed gum folded in its wrapper because it “still has flavor” and that glittery pink pebble that your child gives you to keep for them until they get home (and forgets about, oh great).