I feel like I turned a corner this Chinese New Year. I traveled solo with my two kids to meet up with my husband who was already in Bangkok for work. My eldest who is 7 and has been traveling since his first intercontinental trip at 7 weeks is a pro. But my little one who is not yet 3, has been, up until this trip, a bit of a pain. She is scared of the airplane, wants to sit on my lap despite having her own seat, and asks when we're going home as soon as we take off. However, this trip she did great and I chalk it up to her just being older and understanding everything a bit better.
It's amazing that no matter how many miles I rack up with my kids, each trip is different and being prepared is still really important. My factors for preparedness even changed from going to coming on this recent trip as my daughter decided to forgo diapers. So instead of plenty of spare diapers in my bag, I had plenty of changes of clothes. (Luckily there were no mid-flight accidents!)
I'm in the middle of planning a spring trip to the Tulou houses, UNESCO-listed architecture in Fujian Province. Families can do home-stays with local villagers and learn about the culture that brought about these multi-generational multi-family communal dwellings. A reader suggested I read this Examiner article about traveling with kids and I did find some good references to the TSA site as well as a site dedicated to advice about flying with kids: Flyingrugrats.com.
But the best advice from that Examiner article was to always take photos of your kids along with you should they get lost. That's something I've never thought about. I have plenty of photos on my phone, but carrying a couple of printed ones in my wallet is a really good idea, especially considering the 3-year-old decided to take the elevator alone in our 50-story hotel in Bangkok last week. (All's well that ends well: the elevator only traveled one floor before we were able to call it back and rescue her...)
Here's some advice for traveling with kids in China: