My daughter and I had the privilege of meeting my family in Hawaii last week for a week in paradise. Since it was a last minute decision to go, we were on a tight budget and had to take what we could get for air travel. We found a great deal on a ticket round trip from Edmonton, Alberta to Honolulu, Hawaii. It’s true what they say though, “You pay for what you get.” We had a quick connection in Seattle on the way there, but on the way back we had to fly through San Francisco and Seattle, with a total travel time of 20 hours! Ugh! With a toddler or not, that is painful for most. I knew it was going to be a long day, so I tried to pack lots of snacks and activities to entertain my daughter.
Since we haven’t yet ventured into the latest ‘tablet’ technology, I decided to pack my laptop on the plane in case cartoons were an ’emergency.’ This however, turned out to be more of a hassle than anything. We only used the laptop for about an hour during one layover. The rest of the time it was yet another item that had to be removed and inspected at each security check point. Also, the bag that I had to carry on in order to take my laptop, didn’t fit comfortably under the seat in coach. Furthermore, since my daughter is still under two and traveled as a lap infant, there was definitely limited space in coach for a laptop. In fact, I’m not even sure we could put the tray table down on every flight. It was tight quarters!
Snacks were a must. The only thing the flights provide free anymore are a little bag of pretzels. I packed lots of snacks and I’m sure glad that I did. There is a four hour time change between Alberta and Hawaii and so there’s no telling when you’re little one will be hungry while traveling. They can get so off schedule with all the flying, driving, sitting and waiting. So, snacks were a bonus.
Just prior to leaving for vacation I received a handy tip from sister. She heard this suggestion somewhere on the TV or radio and shared it with me. I’m so grateful she did, as it turned out to be the best entertainment package a toddler could ask for. Her suggestion was going out and purchasing a bathroom travel bag to store toys, coloring supplies, snacks, etc. for my daughter on the plane. Not only does it keep everything organized in your bag and it’s easily accessible, your toddler will enjoy finding goodies in it too! Most bags I found had a hook on them too so you could easily hang it on the seat back in front of you. A couple things to keep in mind; a) find one that rolls up and has several compartments. b) make sure the pockets on the inside are clear so you and your child can see what’s inside.
Here are a few pics of the one I used on this trip:
All in all, it was a great trip and my little girl is such a good travel companion. I’m thankful that she is overjoyed to board a plane each and every time we have. A happy toddler makes for a happy flight!