Bright and early tomorrow morning, we are headed out on our next big family adventure! This time to an exciting tropical locale. Though this adventure's packing is quite different from the last (Alaska), our survival tactics for flying with the twins will be the same. To refresh my own memory, and mentally prepare myself for the feat, I jotted down a few tips and tricks for surviving flying with toddlers, and twins no less!
Read on to catch my 10 tips and tricks to flying with toddlers.
Ziplock Bags | One word. Poop. Or even vomit/spit up. Bring a spare set of clothes, for baby/toddler/child and for yourself in ziplock bags. If you need to change the baby's clothes from a blow out or your own clothes from being spit up on, then you'll have a bag to seal in the smell. This also works well for dirty diapers on the plane. I always want to be courteous of others, so it's a nice gesture to slip the dirty diaper into a ziplock bag (and seal) before throwing it in the trash bin. Also, a great idea for your hotel room when you don't have quick access to an outside trash.
Snacks | Keep 'em coming! Pack lots of snacks for the plane ride. Allow the toddler to snack during take off and descent to assist in ears popping. Not to mention snacks keep kids happy!
Books + Small Toys | Allow your little one to pack their own small bag with a book or two and a small toy to keep them occupied during the flight. Ours especially love books, so these were the perfect way to keep them entertained.
Stroller | Don't try lugging a toddler along with your suitcase around the airport. Bring a stroller! You will be required to check it at your plane's gate, but it's free! Note: you will be asked to remove the child to go through security.
Carseats | Most airlines allow you to check carseats for free. Pop them in a travel bag, and you're good to go. I'm a fan of this one since it is padded all around. You can even add in addtional items like diapers. Also, if you are headed outside of the U.S. consider their local laws and driving habits. I.E. Caribbean Islands are going to have interstates and high speed highways, and, therefore, don't likely require carseats. If you're comfortable with it, consider living the carseats behind.
Wings | Ask your flight attendant for wings for your kiddo. Major airlines give wings and log books for kids to keep track of their flights. The captain will even sign off. Such a fun little keepsake.
Run It Out | Allow your tots to run off some energy in the airport. Once you are all through security, let them walk, push/pull a suitcase, and burn off some energy before your flight. This will come in handy later.
Seat Belts | Starting out flying, when not a lap child, it is a good idea to have your little one go ahead and wear the seat belt. 1) They'll be required to for take off and landing. Sometimes attendants are lax on this, but it is the general rule. 2) It will make things easier when they are older and learning that it is a must.
No Nap | Whatever you do, hold off on that nap! Plan your flights to when your littles will nap, or be sure to not let them fall asleep just yet. It is pure heaven when they fall asleep in your arms mid-flight. Plus, they'll be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running once you land.
Be Flexible | Most importantly, be flexible. At the end of the day, toddlers are toddlers. And, as you know, they make their own rules.
We are gearing up for another big cruise this year. This time to the Bahamas, but all the things I wished I had or made sure to pack for our Alaska cruise will still hold true for this one. P.S. Our upcoming cruise is s group trip, and I have space to bring a couple more folks along. You can find all of the details here.
So, in celebration of preparing for that cruise, I put together some of my must have items to pack for a cruise. These are quite a variety of things. Some you might find on other lists, and some you may not have thought of. Read on to find out my must haves for cruising.
Detergent + Portable Clothes Line | Something that was a lifesaver for our cruise, especially traveling with the little ones, was laundry detergent. I found these nifty sink packets that worked great. What I didn't think about was where to hang dry clothes. A portable clothes line like this will definitely be in our bag next go round.
Insulated Cup + Reuseable Straw | Though you can't use them in the buffet restaurants, you can pour your meal drink into your insulated cup and take it to go. Not to mention, it is perfect for your morning hot beverage! Plus, there are water fountains all around the ships, so you can refill as needed. Also, plastic straws on cruise ships, in hotels, and at all-inclusive resorts are becoming a thing of the past. Be sure to throw in a resuable straw with your cup.
Slippers/House shoes | Now that I'm all about that balcony life on cruises (Alaska spoiled me), I know I need slippers for lounging on the baloncy. This is something I wish I would have packed, but I definitely will next go round!
Binoculars | These are a must for any cruise! I never thought about carrying them on a Caribbean cruise, but you'll likely see dolphins, maybe whales, and other marine life. It is definitely worth it to pop these in your bag.
Pashmina/Large Scarf | A thin, larger scarf or cheap throw blanket would be a great addition to a cruise, especially for chilly mornings or evenings on the balcony or walking the ship. Walmart, Target, and Amazon all have great selections.
Dramamine | This is a must for any cruise. Whether you typically get seasick or not, it is a great idea to pack as you never know what weather you may encounter. Ginger essential oil or ginger candies can also do the trick.
Travel Pouch | I'm all about that handsfree life, and I've grown to hate a crossbody. So, I've decided fo furture trips, that I'll be taking advantage of the "belt purse" trend. BUT, I'm also a fan of these travel pouches that lay flat under your clothes.
Portable Fan | Plug in metal fans are a no no on cruise ships, but a portable fan often passes go. I'm a fan of fans at night, ha. So I was missing mine last trip. I'll be adding this one to our packing list next go round.
Hand Sanitizer | This is a must for any vacation. Norovirus (basically a stomach bug) can spread like wildfire in a contained area with lots of people, so you can never be too cautious. Wash your hands often and stock up on hand sanitizer just to be safe.
Magnetic Hooks | These are great for keeping your cabin organized. I didn't bring these on our last trip, but they would have been a life saver for keeping things handy. I'm loving this heavy duty option.
Any additional items you'd add to the list? Tell me in the comments.
Discovereighng with Dana celebrates 5 years in 2020, and I couldn’t be more proud of the life and business I’ve built for myself, my family, and my clients.
But, something was lacking—a refined logo that truly depicted my business and dedication to it. A “grown up” look that portrayed how serious I am about my work. A logo that was not only Discovereighng with Dana, but “me” as well.
I needed something similar yet so different from my existing logo. Protea flowers have been in my logo for a couple of years now, but the artwork wasn’t quite right. Proteas symbolize change and transformation, and that is what travel and this business have done for me. Keeping that in my logo was a given, but I had the hardest time envisioning it.
I bootstrapped up, hired a real graphic designer, who is incredibly talented and, bonus, knows me personally, and was able to bring to life the perfect logo that encompasses Discovereighng with Dana Travel & Destination Weddings.
So, after over 4 years in business, I am proud to reveal my refreshed and refined logo! I cannot wait to see how my life continues to be transformed with travel and this business, and this is a great place to start!
After sharing our Alaskan cruise adventure over the past few weeks, I realized that I have valuable information and tidbits that I couldn't keep all to myself. I realized several items that really enhanced our vacation, and a few that I wished we would have had. So, today I'm sharing 10 items to add to your Alaskan cruise packing list.
Binoculars | Binoculars definitely added to the awe of your trip. Not the cheap kind either. Invest in (or borrow from a family member or friend) a great pair of binoculars for wildlife & scenery viewing. I was blown away by how much more we could take in by keeping a pair handy while on deck or our balcony.
Robe/Blanket | A robe would have been great for mornings & evenings relaxing on our balcony. I'm sure we could have requested one from our steward, but I always prefer my own. A blanket would have been even better! We did use our bed's comforter for cozying up on the balcony, but it was much too big to lug out. A throw blanket would have been perfect, and could double up for use on the plane.
Flowers | No, don't run to the grocery store before leaving home. I'm talking about popping by Pike Place Market, if you're sailing from Seattle. Stop by the morning before you sail away to pick up a bouquet of flowers for as little as 10 bucks! Bring a plastic cup for a vase or ask your cabin steward for one.
All Weather Shoes | Rain, snow, glaciers, you need shoes that covers it all! We loved wearing duck boots for the rubber, skid resistent soles for rain, snow, and wet decks. They also gave added warmth on cold days. We were also sure to get duck boots that were comfortable for walking on port days.
Light Jacket | Not all day, everyday will be cold enough for a heavy coat. A light jacket will come in handy for warmer days.
House Shoes/Slippers | This is something I really wish I would have taken—slippers. We loved hanging out on our balcony in the early mornings before heading out and in the evenings after showers. Instead of putting on socks and shoes to keep my tootsies warm, house shoes would have been the perfect fix. Bonus—they don't take up much space in luggage.
Stamps | We enjoyed mailing postcards back home from our ports, but I didn't bring enough to send from each port or to everyone I would have liked. So pack some stamps (you can buy postcard stamps for a little cheaper than regular stamps) and a pen to treat someone back home to a taste of your trip.
Sunscreen | Believe it or not, the sunshines bright in Alaska! We spent many days on deck overlooking the ocean and onboard pools, suncreen would have definitely been appreciated!
Small Bills | Our service was so impecable, we wanted to show our appreciation even more than just the cruise line's gratuity rates. We carryed on a stack of 1s and 5s for additional tipping. Having the cash kept our final bill at bay when checking out on the last day.
Hearty Appetite | So much good food! Onboard, in port, great food options everywhere!
Hopefully this list adds to the enjoyment of your Alaskan cruise! If you're still waiting to book your adventure, contact me, and let's start planning!
Our Alaskan cruise has been our best vacation to date and it’s not all because of the amazing itinerary. Our experience was immensely heightened by the cruise line, ship, and cabin we chose! Norwegian Cruise Line packed a punch with one of their new ships sailing Alaskan—Norwegian Joy! Read out for my thoughts, notes, and things to know about this beautiful ship.
Ship Shape | This is a very large ship! It takes a day or two to get used to where things are and get a jest of the lay of the “land.” However, with it being so large, I felt like this helped alleviate crowds during busy times as the ship boasts a spread-out deck plan. That being said, be prepared for walking, but know the ship is fully accessible. With our stroller, we never had any issues getting around. With elevators at every turn, wide doors, and minimal “step ups,” ease was added to our vacation. If you need accessibility, this ship is a wonderful option!
Waterslide + Pools | Yes, you can utilize the waterslides and pools on an Alaskan cruise itinerary! These babies are heated! There’s even a small water park for the little ones. Just be prepared for when you exit the water—a plush, long robe would come in handy. Note about the epic waterslide that juts out over the ocean: it is not as easy to slide down as it looks. It was common for attempters to get stuck midways, left waiting in the tube with the ocean below them, if they didn’t gain enough momentum. A trap door awaits to “rescue” you, but just admire the bravery of others if you are afraid of heights.
Shows & Entertainment | The ship has some great entertainment, including two complimentary show, for guests to enjoy. Experience a comedy club, video arcade, casino, and much more! We also took advantage of the kids’ club (drop off available for 3 and up) for free play with toys for our little ones. This was a great way to allow them to run off energy, especially since they couldn’t use the pools/waterpark as they are still in diapers.
Deck Notes | Deck 8 happened to be our favorite, as you could walk nearly the entire perimeter of the ship, excluding the immediate forward section. We spent many hours just hanging out outside on the couches of deck 8 and were even given blankets for keeping warm on chilly days/nights. However, it would have been nice to have blankets (though our cabin steward would have provided us with a few) handy while on our own balcony. Keep that in mind when packing—throw in a plush robe or a warm blanket. Let it double as help keeping you comfy on your flight.
Fish Carpet | Notice my photograph of the carpet below—there are schools of fish swimming in one direction. These little fishies are swimming towards the front of the ship. This way, you know which direction you are walking—brilliant!
Laundry | Yes, laundry! Towards the end of our 7 day sailing, we were offered a full bag of laundry service for only $19.95. Let me tell you—best 20 bucks I've ever spent! Every piece of our clothing, including socks, came back perfectly laundered and folded. It was great to head home without so much laundry waiting for me at home.
Dining | The restaurants aboard Norwegian Joy afforded us some of the best dining we’ve had on any vacation, ever! We were absolutely blown away with our meals, all of them, and are still raving about the food even 6 months later! Our favorites were the Garden Café (buffet), Teppanyaki, and Cagney’s Steakhouse. We frequented these 3 many times during our cruise.
Ready to book your Alaskan, or even Caribbean, cruise aboard Norwegian Joy? Contact me to plan your vacation on this beautiful ship!