Our Years of Travel, Part Three

Over in my Basket Wives section, I have a page on traveling with children that links to some posts I have written on traveling with kids on airplanes overseas (interestingly enough, I have never done only a domestic flight with children unless it was connecting to an international one, so when that day comes I think the domestic flight might feel like a breeze). To date I have traveled internationally now 17 times with children (before that I traveled internationally 6 times without, 1 time with Joe and 5 times on my own or with another group). And of those 17 times, I have done it on my own 6 times (with 1 child twice, with 2 children once and with 3 children 3 times). I have written on our travels with children through August 2008 in a part one and part two post, so I figured since another 2.5 years has passed, it is time for part 3 of that series.

May 2009
Joe and I took the 3 kids home (Abby age 5, Elijah age 3 and Naomi age 13 months) at the end of his season in Turkey. The trip from Bandirma was always bit more involved because it included a ferry ride to get from Istanbul, which meant staying over in Istanbul the night before. But this trip was pretty uneventful, save for a diaper explosion by Naomi. You can read more about that trip here.

August 2009
This was my first trip alone with the three kids on our way to Brindisi, Italy. Abby was 5, Elijah was 3 and Naomi was 16 months. It involved a flight from Philadelphia to Rome, a 4 hour layover and then the flight from Rome to Brindisi. I did have another basketball wife on the flight with me from Philadelphia to Rome, which was helpful, but the kids didn’t know her so it wasn’t like having a relative or close friend travel specifically with you. This was my first real encounter with people who were really rude about the kids on the flight. Naomi did some crying and Abby had a freak out about having to go to the bathroom as we landed, but overall they did really good and it was sad to see people who were so grumpy taking it out on a mother with three children. When I found out I was pregnant a few weeks later it made sense as to why I was so hormonal and emotional with the comments directed at us.

December 2009
In order to get home for a month over the holidays, I went at it again and flew alone with the kids. Abby was 5.5, Elijah was 3.5 and Naomi was 20 months. This flight went pretty well I have found with the kids that the day time flights tend to be easier than the night ones. Although some people think it is easy at night because the kids will sleep, ours sleep so much that when they get less sleep on the plane, they are much crankier. I was 4 months pregnant at this time and in my second trimester energy burst, so I fared pretty well.

January 2010
This was the trip of all trips so far. The flight back after our month home over the holidays which included an 11 hour delay in the Philadelphia airport. I have to say that one of the greatest things about this trip was that now all other trip look like peaches in comparison. You can read more about that trip here.

April 2010
I flew one more time by myself back from Brindisi at 8 months pregnant to go back to the U.S. to give birth to Isaiah. Abby was 6, Elijah was almost 4 and Naomi was almost 2 at the time. Abby was very excited to get home during this trip, but rested for me, Elijah took a two hour nap and Naomi, although she refused to sleep, did stay relatively calm. The best part of this trip were the fabulous flight attendants we had who were so gracious with the kids. Plus we had bulk head seating, which always makes life a little more enjoyable on those long flights.

August 2010
With 4 children at ages 6, 4, 2 and 3 months, I wasn’t ready to try it out on my own yet, so this year coming to Barcellona, my father-in-law traveled with me. We flew from Philadelphia to Rome and then had a 4 hour layover before our flight to Catania. After that it was a 1.5 hour drive her to Barcellona. That trip was tough because Isaiah was so young and needed to be with me pretty much the whole time, yet Naomi really struggled to settle herself and wanted me as well. She was the toughest she had ever been on a flight. Abby and Elijah did relatively well though and logged in a couple hours of sleep on the plane. Letting them know ahead of time that they would only have a set time to watch movies helped.

So now we are getting ready to embark on our return trip from Barcellona. Joe is coming with us and as you can see, it has been 2 years since we have traveled together, so part of me is excited just to journey with him once again. We have become a better team in two years, so I am looking forward to going on another adventure with my best friend. And even though I have done this numerous times now, there is still always more to learn about traveling with children. Tomorrow I will share an interview that taught me a few new tips I hope to incorporate on this next international travel to add to my resume.