I looked over towards the right at that empty suitcase and then glanced towards the left where the crapload of clean laundry was still in the basket. Then behind the laundry was the toys and toiletries scattered all over the floor.
I rolled my eyes and had a sudden feeling of dread come over me.
How the hell was I going to stuff the laundry, the toys, and the toiletries into that tiny suitcase?
I had thought while feeling anxious. Though it wasn’t exactly small. The suitcase held a lot more than it appeared to just by looking at it from the outside.
I would not have looked at this as an insurmountable task if I was not pregnant. Being 5 months pregnant in this heat, and being 30 lbs heavier makes one small chore comparable to running a marathon. That said, can you imagine how it felt for me knowing that I have to pack up?
Alright, I am rolling up my sleeves… because mama has to run 20 marathons!
In other words, it’s time to stuff that crap into the suitcase because it just needs to get done and it won’t pack itself.
While I waddled over towards the suitcase so I could start getting to work, I was hearing my toddler laugh with joy while playing with his grandma. He loved these visits, as we were vacationing with my parents and staying with my mom for 3 weeks.
As I managed to throw in a few T-shirts and underwear into the suitcase, I had another feeling of dread come over me. In fact, I felt really panicky for a moment. This thought went through my head!
How the frick am I going to be able to travel overseas with a rambunctious toddler and so heavily pregnant?
Traveling with military kinds – how to make it happen?
After that momentary panic attack, I was able to calm down, and remembered what my yoga teacher from back in the day said.- while feeling stressed, take deep breaths, in and out, in and out!
I took that advice that I had remembered, stepped away from the overwhelming task of packing for a moment and thought about how to make traveling with military kids a piece of cake!
1. Bring Something that Makes The Toddler Know that Dad is right There!
One thing that adds fear and anxiety to both mom and the little one is the toddler crying for daddy. Why not get creative and bring a doll that represents daddy, or an object that serves the same purpose?
If the role was reversed for any reason, have dad bring a mommy doll or something that reassures the child that mom is there. This will calm the child down immensely.
2. Surprises for the Kids Pays Off!
However, whenever travel is in the picture, I know I will have to do some shopping before the dreaded event occurs – which is that long trek!
Therefore I buy stickers, markers, toys, and anything that will keep the toddler occupied and less anxious. It helps and makes me less anxious as well!
3. Government Vacation Rewards Always Comes in Handy!
Before doing any kind of traveling, I always check the Government Vacation Rewards to see if we can get some nice discounts. This applies to military families whether they are active, retired, as well as for dependants.
The fact of the matter is, when you have kids, you need to save up as much as you can. Kids are expensive and money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s really crucial to look for the best savings as much as you can.
4. Remember that there is no Time Like the Present!
They are able to travel all around the world. They will not remember their journeys so be sure to take pictures. This way they will remember where they have been, or if they don’t, they can say down the road that they were somewhere cool.
Not to mention, if they become fussy on the plane, show them pictures of their previous travels. That will fascinate them.
5. Be Sure to Flash that Military ID!
I will let you in on a little secret. If people know that you are a military family traveling with kids, they are happy to help you out. You have their respect immediately.
That being said, instead of showing your driver’s license when in situations where you must show your identification, flash that military ID instead! You may even get some crazy meal discounts!
The trip finally ends…
Fast forward to now, after 27 grueling hours of travel with a toddler that wouldn’t sit still for more than 30 seconds most of the time I can finally breathe and rest a little. My pregnant swollen back and feet desperately need it.
We are finally back home and now is the time to unpack and chill.
Before I did any unpacking, I put away the travel photo album, made a cup of tea and started typing away this piece.