We had a whirlwind trip a couple of weeks ago - 10 days, 6 airplanes, 4 states, and LOTS of friends and family!! We loved every sleep-deprived second of it! Our first stop was Colorado, where we got to spend the weekend with my whole family (my parents, all four kids + spouses, and six grandkids!!). It was so fun, and I got to grab some family photos of my sister's family (they have four boys!) while we were there.
Our second stop was Atlanta, where we spent two and a half days seeing as many sweet friends as we possibly could, in between eating as many donuts (from our favorite Atlanta donut shop - Revolution Doughnuts) as we possibly could!
The next stop was New York, where we got to celebrate Ben's little brother, Caleb, and his new wife, Sarah! The wedding was a blast and our sweet girls were the most adorable flower girls. We knew that we'd be exhausted at the end of the wedding weekend, so unlike all the other out-of-town guests, we stayed one extra day in Brooklyn and it ended up being such a fun family day wandering around a new fun city!
We spent one final day (a long layover actually) in Seattle with Ben's parents, and then we headed back home.
Like I said, it was a whirlwind. But the entire trip went off without a hitch, despite me being 27 weeks pregnant and us traveling (on six airplanes, including a red eye!) with a 2 and a 5 year old. Here are some of our tips and tricks for traveling with kiddos ::
My biggest worry was that we would get sick - I know airports/planes are filled with germs, it's the middle of flu season, and Georgia just so happened to be one of the sickest states this year in America. So here's what we did to get our bodies ready for all of those germs --
No, we did not get the flu shot... but we did prepare our immune systems to fight those germs off on their own!
Lots of sleep - we knew it would be hard to sleep well on the trip, although we tried, so leading up to the trip we made sure we were all getting tons of sleep every night!
Vitamin D - Alaska doesn't have much sunlight in winter, so we got our vitamin D from a couple of sources - plain old Vitamin D pills as well as Fermented Cod Liver Butter (high in vitamin D and vitamin A)
Vitamin C - We loaded the girls up on Vitamin C using ascorbic acid (1/4 tsp for every year of their age per day for a couple of weeks) - this also coincided with their vaccine shot so it worked out great (we do this a week before and after every vaccine)
Probiotics - We're lucky in that our girls are OBSESSED with sour kraut, so we got them their probiotics through yogurt, sour kraut, and chewable probiotics
Elderberry syrup - we use Wellness Mama's elderberry syrup recipe every year to make our own batch and drink a little bit each day to keep our immune system's strong!
Eating healthy - we knew we would not eat great on our trip (too much Chick Fil A temptation!) so we were extra careful to eat tons of greens, protein, healthy fats, veggies/fruits, etc before our trip - and most importantly, we ate hardly any sugar leading up to the trip!
Essential Oils - we usually diffuse oils at night in the girls room, and specifically used Plant Therapy's "Germ Fighter" and "Immune Booster" leading up to the trip!
- We all got adjusted at the chiropractor before the big trip - the girls LOVE doing this, and it's something we've done since they were babies!
We bought a cheapo ($20) double stroller off of Craigslist before the trip and kept the girls strapped in there while we were in airports - less chance of touching a million things and picking up germs, less chance of losing a runaway kid, etc etc! It had a huge basket underneath and held both of our carry-on backpacks, we we were hands-free, which was really nice for my pregnant self to not have to lug bags around the airport!
We packed headphones for the girls and downloaded some Netflix shows on the iPad and our phones before going - these headphones from Amazon are a GAME-CHANGER!
We also let each girl pack one toy - neither of which ever left the backpack the entire trip, ha! But Aunt Cara made them some play-dough in Colorado and that became their activity of choice for the rest of the flights - it was tricky to get through security but we learned to take it out of our bag each time and had no problems after that!
We brought heavy-duty Clorox Wipes with us and wiped down the trays/seats when we got on each airplane - this was a fun activity for the girls and made me feel a little better about all those flu germs!
We used some homemade hand sanitizer (it was a mixture of water, white vinegar, and essential oils) and sprayed our hands a LOT throughout the trip - as well as washing with soap and water a LOT!
When we booked tickets, we did most of our seating 2 + 2 one in front of the other, but we learned that we actually preferred 3 + 1 across the aisle from each other - one adult with both kids in a whole row, plus one adult across the aisle. We could talk easier this way, and bother one less stranger than when we did 2 +2!
- We brought essential oils with us for the flights, we used rollers of Germ Fighter and Immune Booster for the girls!
I wore a back support band most of the trip, since I've been having a lot of issues with my back and lower abdomen during this pregnancy - it was so helpful!!
I drank a TON of water - I brought my own empty Nalgene on the planes and filled them as soon as we got through security
Before the trip, I went frequently to the chiropractor and got a couple of prenatal massages - these helped prepare me SO MUCH for all of the travel, and my pain level was better than it's been the entire pregnancy because of it!
For the wedding, I needed a formal maternity dress so I ordered two from Pink Blush and they were affordable and a perfect fit! I highly recommend that site!!
So there's how we survived our crazy trip, and actually enjoyed every moment of it rather than being sick/exhausted/grumpy the whole time! Next time we do a big trip like that, we'll have three kids... and that will be a whole different story!