Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Gearing up to travel

Traveling with a little one requires more pre-planning than when it was just me or me and my husband. We can't just wake up and decide to go to Timbuktu (Tombouctou, Mali), we have to think about the logistics beforehand. My husband travels quite often, and is the king of last minute preparations. He will wait to go shopping, pack, sometimes even purchase his tickets until hours before he is going to leave. I prefer a little more preparation than that, but as a single woman I often hoped on a plane with a moments notice. Although we both know that it we are "supposed" to do things differently now that we are parents, old habits die hard. We do put a little more thought into our journeys, but we still have nomadic spirits and wanderlust leading the way. Maybe when our children are in school we will plan trips a year in advance. Maybe not.

Although we might not plan for months to take a trip, we will give ourselves at least a week. And there is a lot to do during that week. I have packing down to a science. I have a checklist that I keep on hand, and I'm organized enough that I can pack in my mind for a few days before I physically put items in suitcases. This way when I actually pack it's pretty straightforward. We also have to make sure that passports, visas, vaccinations and exemption letters are in order and up to date. I call the airline to reserve seats and check on any relevant policies. Language refresher courses or basic phrase lessons are always on my to-do list. Additionally, if it's a long trip, then there are goodbye's to say, automatic payments to arrange, people to visit, stuff to box up and shopping to be done.

Food allergies add another layer of preparation. I also have make sure I have enough food and drinks for my son to eat on the plane and for a few days once we arrive, just in case we have any difficulty finding things for him. Drinks sometimes cause a problem and I always check the allowable liquid amounts for the duration of the trip. I triple check the epi-pens and clean and shine the medical alert bracelet. We visit the doctor and make sure that applicable letters are up to date.

And as I prepare for our next trip, I'm trying to order customized silicone allergy alert wristbands in other languages, as an added layer of protection. This is going to be our first international trip with my son post-weaning, so it is going to be a learning experience for me. No more nursing to ease the discomfort, calm him down or put him to sleep. I'm still researching and trying to figure out other ways to make traveling as simple as possible. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes, and I'll definitely share my experience.

1 comment:

Krissy said...

I love the idea of getting the allergy wrist bracelet in other languages. You really should consider writing a blog/book for globe trotting parents who have children with food allergies. You have a ton of knowledge about this stuff!