After our long road trip to Yellowstone, Logan is not getting much of a break. In October he and I are off to – gasp – Germany to visit Logan’s grandparents (my parents)! And yes, it’s only going to be Logan and me. Daddy is staying at home to work. I have truly mixed feelings about this.
For one, I’m going to miss him like mad. We’ve hardly been apart in the last few years – at most two days when he flew out to a job interview in California – and now I’m going to be gone for sixteen days. Sixteen! I’m mad. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose?
Also, I’m going to have two 14-hour travels with an 11-month old baby boy. An almost-toddler that hates sitting still or being confined to his seat, and of course everyone hates children on flights. Let alone 10-hour flights. I hope all goes well. I think I have been preparing as well as I possibly can given the circumstances, but a large part of how the travel goes is up to Logan and his mood at the time of take-off.
Here’s what I’ve done so far (or is on the travel preparation to-do list):
- Infants under 2 years old usually travel for a small fee on a parent’s lap. Some airlines let you purchase a seat for your infant if you bring a car seat, which is always recommended for safety and comfort reasons. Alas, we didn’t have the money for that this time.
- I’ve done research on airlines and found one that not only flies straight to Germany (with a layover in Frankfurt, but hey, I’m going to be in the right country after just one flight at least), but also has bassinets available for babies up to a weight of 14kg and 83cm, which Logan is under. He’ll be 11 months old, but they don’t have an age limit. Many airlines do!
- I did want to get a night flight, but sadly there was no 6pm+ flight available with the airline I picked out. Instead, we leave in the middle of the day, which should span one nap and a considerable amount of night sleep (4+h).
- I will sleep in on the day we leave, so I won’t get tired on the flight(s). Ideally I want to stay awake the whole time to supervise Logan and make sure he’s ok.
- I called the airline to reserve a bulkhead seat. Infant bassinets attach to these, and they have extra legroom, which means Logan can play on the floor.
- I will buy a completely new set of toys for the flight, and introduce them at about a rate of one per hour.
- I will take his bottle and sippy cup and let him drink during take-off and landing to make pressure acclimation as painless as possible.
- I bought an umbrella stroller to make getting around the airports easier. The stroller can come on board, but flight personnel will take it and stow it away until we depart the airplane.
- I made sure we have an adequate amount of time on our layover (2 hours).
- We have applied for an expedited passport for him. Not all places that normally take passport photos will take infant passport photos. I didn’t know that before!
- I will take two outfit changes for Logan and perhaps an extra shirt for me. Just in case something happens. I will also take infant tylenol and perhaps even nose drops for air pressure equalization in case he’s congested. Ear planes for me. Lifesavers.
- I will take his favorite snacks, lovie and blanket.
I think that’s all I can think of right now. It’s going to be an adventure, and I’m scared. I’m already scared of planes – in fact, most of my worst nightmares involve planes – this is going to add a whole new level. We’ll get through it though, and it’s worth it to have my parents see their grandson. In case of my father, for the first time!