September is National Preparedness Month,
so I'll be posting a six-part series on things you can do to plan ahead
and reduce the impact of disasters, natural or otherwise. Today's post
is on the importance of getting your "important papers" in order while your life is comparatively calm.
Last May, my husband got tapped for a big-deal work thing out in Boston, and the only downside to his big-deal work thing in Boston is that the dates overlapped with a long-planned week in southwestern Florida. So he flew off to Boston and I flew our kid and our stuff out to Florida.
The photo at left depicts everything I schlepped around a long-term parking lot at 6 in the morning. The big duffel bag held all of our family's stuff for the week. The backpack at the right was the sole carry-on bag I elected to schlep; Trixie's insulated lunch box was clipped to the front. The carseat in the middle obviously carried the most precious cargo: Bunny, without whom my daughter would refuse to move. So she sat with him too.
As I was hauling things in and out of the car while keeping up my end of the conversation with Trix, I felt like I was schlepping everything we owned. Looking more objectively at the whole thing now, I see that it was actually a fairly light packing job. And that sums up the key to packing for any trip with the kids: Go light.
After the jump, I'll explain how to pack lightly with a toddler, and toss in the rest of the best practices for flying with the shorties. Spoiler alert: Many of them involve money.
If you ever want to feel bulletproof, I recommend completing a solo cross-country trip with a seven-month-old baby. Or try it with a 19-month-old who looooooooves to walk. I've done both, and enjoyed it.
(At left: the seven-month-old, distinctly unimpressed with the Five Guys at Dulles International Airport.)
Part of the reason is because the occasions gave me an excuse to make checklists and do some advance planning. And part of the reason I enjoyed the trips was because I had planned ahead.
Here are the general steps I take to keep from losing my mind with all the logistics of flying for two.