The Lewis family have just returned from a holiday in Chicago and I can safely say it was our best holiday yet! A four hour trip up the motorway from South Wales to London gave us the opportunity to stop by my parents house in North London and spend some time before our mid morning flight the following day. Then the 8+ hours on the flight direct from Heathrow to Chicago gave us the opportunity to play as well as rest knowing that we would gain 6 hours with the time zone difference and be in Chicago early afternoon time on the same day.
If you are ever considering medium-haul trips (I guess that’s what they call these type of trips these days) with your children, don’t hesitate as there are ways to keep it fun and limit any anxiety. I’m not the most organised person in the world but when it comes to Pumpkinella, I make it my mission to be ready and help her to feel comfortable no matter where she is. This is a short and sweet post listing just a few of the things I found most useful to bring along with us during this holiday. Pumpkinella had so much fun during the journey and while on holiday too. She was largely un-phased by all the coming and goings of mummy and daddy. As my husband and I share a passion for travelling , it’s been a relief for us not to have a constantly screaming baby but rather one who claps when the plane takes off and when it lands, and who smiles and says hello to people on the plane constantly. I don’t feel like she’s and exception to the rule. I firmly believe that all parents can enjoy lovely trips around the world with their children so long as they remember to keep calm, have fun, and finally to be ready.
Here is a short breakdown of the things I found that really helped us keep Pumpkinella’s spirits up while travelling and soaking in her new environment.
During the flights and road trips:-
- A cuddly toy or two that Pumpkinella could hold on to and play with while we were busy running around at the airport and on the flight.
- 4 building blocks which she loves to dismantle and put together. Though we have hundreds of them, she’s rarely ever interested in playing with them all at once and always sets a couple aside
- A couple of her favourite snacks (Ella’s Kitchen rice puffs and now Plum rice puffs). Pumpkinella could eat these all the time though I couldn’t say why from trying them out myself.
- Fruit and yoghurt pouches as it kept her energy levels up and was good sustenance when she didn’t like the food available
- At least one each of her favourite food pouches. Organic food in pouches with no nasty bits made us feel like she was still eating well even though we couldn’t make her fresh meals. However when out she ate restaurant food with us.
- 3 sets of clothes for the flight and I can say confidently that every one of them came in handy being that Pumpkinella mostly feeds herself these days.
- Books that Pumpkinella loves, I’d say possibly more than toys. There were a mix of story books, words and picture books, all small and lightweight.
For the holiday itself we packed a variety of winter and summer wear as the weather forecasts were quite varied over the week we were travelling. This came in handy but next time I would consider packing a little less as there were so many cute clothes in the shops to buy her but I had packed so much that space was limited in the suitcases.
Some essential items I brought to use during the holiday:-
- A blanket – for naps, impromptu picnics, and the unpredictable weather
- A new set of bath toys as Pumpkinella adores baths and it made her feel right at home
- More books but specifically for bedtime as she was has certain books she loves and this helped us to keep to a similar bedtime routine.
- Cuddly toys that could be thrown around the apartment, limiting the potential destruction of other items.
- Downloads of a few of Pumpkinella’s favourite cartoons to watch during the times when she was restless or bored. They came in handy on the flight to Chicago where everything appeared new and she wasn’t sure whether to be excited or scared.
I’ll be writing a few more posts about our holiday so I hope you find some of this useful for you in the meantime.