Holiday Traveling Woes

Traveling home for the Christmas holidays made this trip our 6th international flight. Up to now, we’ve had wonderful, uneventful trips. Unfortunately, this trip found us not-so-silently cursing our now-former favorite airline. After missing our connecting flight in Washington D.C., due to luggage issues, we had the opportunity to spend the night in Old Town Alexandria. (What a gorgeous area…if I had a lot of disposable income–and could talk Matt into it–I’d live there for a few years.)

As an adult this little bump really wasn’t a big deal, other than missing an entire day of our pre-planned activities; but, traveling with a 14 month old, without our luggage (because it was already at our final destination) made for a slightly stressful overnight stay. Fortunately, our daughter is a travel superstar and dealt with everything we threw her way! Also because of her, the hotel upgraded our room–BONUS!

The highlight of our unplanned overnight stay was the opportunity to see some very close friends that live around the D.C. area. Since we had a late afternoon flight, and we were still on UK time, we had them up early! I was able to get the $0.50 ‘Look kids, there’s Big Ben’ type of tour of the D.C. monuments, and make it to Target to get diapers and a few other essentials. We were also able to meet up with another friend for lunch. It was a too-short visit with our friends, but we squeezed in as much as we could in the 24 hours we were there!

By the time we finally landed in Indy, we were 26 hours late. Overall, our Christmas/New Year’s ‘vacation’ was jam-packed full of family & friends, planned activities, lots of home cooking (and processed foods that we can’t get in the UK), more travel, sporting events and holiday fun. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see everyone we wanted too.

We left the states to come back the day before the Polar Vortex hit Indiana. The only major issue was a delay of 2 hours leaving Indy. Whew! While the Midwest was blanketed in snow and below freezing temps, we came home to rainy weather and temps in the mid-to-upper 40’s.

We’ve been asked quite often how we deal with jetlag–especially with a toddler! Going from east to west isn’t a big deal. We travel during the day and keep Sarah up for as long as possible after we land. After a day of traveling she sleeps pretty well, and can get on a schedule pretty quickly. Traveling from west to east isn’t as smooth. We try to take the overnight flight so that she gets some sleep. Typically the first day back we try to stay awake with no naps, and everyone sleeps well that night. Unfortunately for the following week, the adults do just fine (just a little tired), but Sarah has a rough time of it.

Since there is a 5 hour difference, she wants to sleep until noon and go to bed at midnight. So, each day, we have had to wake her an hour earlier than the day before. Mealtimes and naptimes are adjusted, but bedtime has become our worst nightmare. We’ve resorted to laying her down and listening to her cry for 1/2 hour before she’ll give up and go to sleep. It’s heartbreaking to listen to her cry, but she wakes up happy, so in our mind, she doesn’t remember the apparent torture we’ve put her through. We’ve been home a week now and we’re still about an hour off schedule…better than 5 though!

Our 2014 will find us finally traveling. We’re planning long weekend trips throughout Europe and cannot wait. We also have friends and family coming to visit throughout the year and look forward to seeing them!

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