Good morning from Alabama! Hadley and I got back to my parent’s house last night after a whirlwind six days in Austin, Texas visiting my in-laws for the holidays. We caught a flight bright and early (3:30 a.m. wake-up!) Wednesday morning and lucked out with a direct flight. This made round-trip flight #7 for our two-year-old pro-traveler!
Four out of seven trips have just been Hadley and me, and traveling with her without Jamie continues getting much easier the older she gets. She’s able to hold my hand and walk around the airport, in bathrooms (“Hadley, don’t touch ANYTHING!”), on and off the plane, etc., and we managed to squeak by with only one massive meltdown just as we headed to baggage claim to finish up our trip. There had to be one. DUH.
Now that she’s two, she gets her own seat! She flew for free with my Southwest Companion Pass that we very, very sadly used for the last time before it expires next week. Note: The beginning of January is the best time to start working towards your own Companion Pass because you have to earn 110,000 points between January and December. Obviously starting in January is your best bet! Check out this post and this post for more information about how we’ve enjoyed zipping around the country completely free for 18 months and how I can help you achieve this pass too!
She watched movies during every flight on her Kindle Fire. She’s currently loaded up with Frozen, Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure, and Aladdin.
Our time together consisted of driving around and eating in Wimberley, shopping and dining out around Austin, feeding the ducks at a neighborhood pond, exploring a children’s museum (The Thinkery was great!), and attending an early Christmas Eve church service. We were busy!
Because she’s sleeping in a big girl bed normally now, she was allowed to sleep with me in my bed during this trip! I absolutely loved falling asleep and waking up next to my girl. I’d love to let her continue sleeping in my bed until Jamie gets home, but that’s definitely not going to work when the baby comes in a few months. So, we’re back to sleeping solo. I’m very thankful for how well she just goes with the flow and adjusts in so many different situations.
One afternoon we were able to eat lunch with one of my most precious Army wife friends from Fort Campbell! Michele and her husband are out of the Army now and living in Austin, and Hadley and I were so so so incredibly happy to see her!
I finally (finally finally) got myself a Vera Bradley book bag to use as a diaper bag for day trips and traveling. I knew I’d be traveling home with more than I came with, so I picked this trip as the perfect excuse to snag this bag! I’ve been wanting one forever and love it!
I am far from any kind of expert when it comes to traveling with babies and toddlers, but because we’ve done quite a bit of flying with Hadley throughout the last couple of years, here are a few of my biggest personal tips/sanity savers!
1.) This may be obvious, but it’s so important! Look into seeing what items the family you’re visiting can borrow from their friends and have on hand before your arrival. Items such as pack-n-plays, high chairs that strap onto seats, bed rails, and toys are extremely helpful.
2.) Keep your carry-on super light and check as much as you can at the check-in counter. I typically only prefer to carry around Hadley’s Kindle, one change of clothes, a sippy cup, a few diapers, wipes, and a snack or two. I hate bringing toys, so I don’t do it! The less that you have to haul through the airport, in bathrooms, and on the plane, the better! We’ve had Hadley’s checked baggage lost twice, but we’ve still always been able to make it work until it arrives.
3.) Stick with a baby carrier or super lightweight umbrella stroller and leave the big stroller at home.
4.) Use electronic boarding passes so that you have less documents to fiddle with. I always screenshot ours so that they’re ready to go in my photos.
1.) Have you been to Austin? What are your favorite things to do while you’re there?
2.) What travel tips would you add to my personal list?