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Monday, July 9, 2012

Travel Anxiety

I've never really had problems with flying. In fact, I used to love it - being able to just sit and relax, read, sleep, stare out the window, knit - having time to do whatever I wanted. Now, with Evan in tow, I'm a bundle of nerves days before our plane takes off. 

On Wednesday, we're heading out West to visit our families - first DH's in Vancouver, then mine in Calgary. It's about 5 hours to Vancouver, then it'll be 4 from Calgary back home.

Last year, Evan and I flew by ourselves to visit my grandmothers in Saskatchewan and my family in Calgary. I had a lot of anxiety about it, but Evan did really well and the trip went pretty smoothly.

Even so, I'm anxious again for this trip. I just don't want to be "that parent" of "the screaming toddler/the loud toddler/the toddler kicking the seat" on the plane. Evan can hardly sit still for 5 minutes, let alone on a 5-hour flight in a very confined space. He's just constantly on the go, and if we try to stop him he can get very upset.

We tried to plan the times of the longer flights close to his bedtime, so he might be up and about for the first hour or so, but then go to sleep. The problem with this plan is if it doesn't work, then we're totally screwed and will have an extremely cranky little boy on our hands.

We're banking on the fact that - so far - Evan is a really great sleeper. He falls asleep really quickly and can sleep through pretty much anything. He's not the type to force himself to stay awake past his bedtime. So, fingers and toes are all crossed that this will be a benefit to us during our travels.

That being said, we need to be prepared in case that doesn't happen. We plan to arrive at the airport a bit earlier than usual so he can run around a bit. We're bringing everything we need for his bedtime routine. I'm bringing my laptop and Thomas the Train DVDs, and we'll put a few games on our iPhones (any suggestions?). 

For those of you who have flown with young children, what kinds of things do you bring with you to keep them entertained? Any other tips?