After a total travel time of about 18 hours, the Bucciarelli family set foot on Italian soil.
I couldn’t believe we made the trip relatively in check: one red-eyed husband, one disheveled mamma, one excited toddler, one sleepy baby, and one very patient cat! I know I’ve been an advocate of travelling with babies because it’s generally easy, but I’m reluctant to admit that on this particular journey, we were “THAT” family. You know the one… the one that everyone hates to be in line behind at the security check point, and the one that you pray you don’t sit next to on the 12-hour flight. Well, that was us!
Still, we seemed to have it together. We might have taken a bit longer to board and deplane (an entire shuttle bus was waiting for us as we deplaned in Florence), and Gemma might have woken up another sleeping toddler who then proceeded to cry for 3 hours, and our cat might have taken a poop on the small prop plane connecting us from Munich to Florence, but other than that, we did pretty good!
Tips that I might offer for any other family brave enough to travel across the world:
-Leave for the airport as early as you can.
Our flight was at 9:30pm and we left at 5:00pm. By the time we waiting in all the lines, paid the extra fees for our cat, Sixx, and made it through security, we had just enough time to grab a quick sandwich at the gate and then board. No joke.
-Bring lots of new toys for your toddler.
Of course, she was entertained by the airport and the planes, but once on board, you’ll be ever-so-thankful that you have
that new book, sticker album, or doll. Seriously, I can’t emphasize this one enough.
Always have extra diapers, wipes, and snacks that you know that your kid actually likes.
-Get the bassinet.
If you have a kid under 2, this is essential. You’ll be seated in the front row of a cabin as the bassinet hooks into the wall in front of you. Not only do
you get extra leg room, but it’s priceless to let your baby sleep stretched out and comfortable. Our newborn slept for almost the entire flight… no joke! Moreover, your toddler can’t kick the seat in front of you!
-Take a red eye if you can.
I know it’s harder on the parents, who may not get much sleep, but it’s definitely easier on the kids. And if you can keep them up a bit longer than usual, they’ll have an easier time adjusting to the time change.
-Breathe and/or laugh.
Things will go wrong. Kids will poop at the most inopportune times. They will scream and cry when the rest of the cabin is asleep. At one point, both girls were crying and all I could do was take a deep breath and wait it out. Later, in the bathroom at the terminal in Munich, a woman came up to me and said I handled the stress extraordinarily well. I must admit, I felt kind of proud… if I don’t say so myself.