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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Question of the Week


This week's question on the Multiples and More blog is all about travel.

What are your best tips for traveling with multiples?

Hm...a good question. And not one I'm sure I can answer easily. We did a cross country trip (from Maryland to Utah) in a car last summer. Butterfly was 4 and the boys were 15 months old. You can read a little part of that trip here. Basically we had the 3 kids, my dad, me, and the dog on the way out. It took us 3 days to get to Utah on the way out. There was screaming. There were messy diapers. There was a lot of Kung Fu Panda. On the way back to Maryland, we had my dad, the dog, the 3 kids, me, and my 15 year old niece Flower. It took us 4 days this time and it was a lot harder. I'm not sure why 3 days was better but it was.

We've flown a lot to Utah to visit our families who live there. We've gone on a few over night trips to Pennsylvania. Butterfly is such a great traveler because she's done it so much. She loves sleeping at hotels. I bribe her with tv and cartoons (which we don't have at our house) if she sleeps well. She will sometime ask when we are going to sleep in a hotel again. That girl is born to move!

We don't travel as much now because it's logistically harder. Plus, I really don't think (at this point) I can deal with all the boys and Butterfly by myself. Juice is not a big traveler.

Last month we flew to Utah for a funeral. Juice was able to come with me and that was a big help. Because of the shortness of our visit, I decided we were NOT going to check any bags. That was hard because we had to get all of our stuff, plus all of our trip stuff, into 3 small duffel bags. We made it. Juice really doesn't ever want to do it again though. But we will because we love and miss our family.

  • Did you find it helpful to travel at night?
No, I didn't think traveling at night was more helpful. Mostly because we got tired driving. There were a few times when the kids did not transfer to their beds after sleeping in the car. My good friend Lolli swears by driving 24 hours straight to get to Utah so I guess it works for some people.
  • Did you bring a pack'n'play for each child? What were the sleeping arrangements?
For our big road trip, we took one pack and play. The boys started out the night in them but ended up the night in bed with me. Then Butterfly too. It was cute but I got no sleep. At my mom's house, she has a pack and play of her own. Last summer I had my own. The summer before that I borrowed my best friend Mink's pack and play. In January, I borrowed it again. Butterfly sleeps in my old bed. They are growing out of their pack and plays, though so I'm not sure what to do for the future.
  • Did you try to preserve your kids' schedules as much as possible?
Yes and no. I loosen up quite a bit on vacation with bed times. But I still am pretty militant with their naps because it brings everyone some sanity. There are days when they don't get them on vacation and sleep on the fly. It works out.
  • Any tricks for getting your kids to sleep in a new environment?
If they have a lovie, bring it! My boys love their blankets made by their Auntie Lisa so we bring those every time. When Butterfly was little, she had a night light that she loved. My mom bought it for her house so we wouldn't have to lug it around.
  • Do you have any "special" toys that you brought with you to avoid a meltdown?
I would let Butterfly pick out her few toys and take the toys the boys are most interested in at the time. Sometimes I would get new toys from the store, but I find that a little unnecessary. They will play with what you have.
  • Are you more lenient with your kids on trips than you are at home?
No. They still get in trouble for the same things. Our rules follow our family no matter where we go. There is still no hitting, biting, whining, or running away from me.
  • What items do you find indispensable for travelling?
I love my wraps (see last post), a good bag, and a helper. Also, lots of diapers! A stroller is nice but we have worked around not having it...even in the airport. I have those baby leash backpacks and those are very handy to let them get some wiggles out while walking around. Also, my backpack that holds the diaper stuff, my computer, my camera, and tons of toys is a huge help.

What has also been super helpful is friends and family that are willing to loan us things while we are visiting them. We've borrowed car seats, strollers, pack and plays, etc. My mom has a lot of stuff for us now so when we go to see her, I know that I have things I need.

In the end, it can be done. Take your patience and your reserves. Don't be afraid to say no, ignore a screaming child, or ask for help. Hope everyone enjoys their travels!


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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. --Helen Keller