Monday, January 24, 2011

Home Of The Orchid And Elephant.

Last year about this time, Max really wanted to go on a holiday. He wanted to go back to Phuket, Thailand. We had been before and we both loved it. It was the best holiday we have ever had together. As soon as he mentioned it I started looking into it. I wanted all of his wishes to come true. I found a great holiday package, did some research on traveling with a 1year old. My sister and brother in law were going to come with us to give us a hand because by this stage Max's mobility had gone down hill and he was using a wheelchair most of the time. We decided we would do it and we both became quite excited by it. Reminiscing of the good times we had had. Talking about what we could and could no longer do. We thought, before we booked anything we would just check with Max's palliative care Dr and see what he thought. As far as we were concerned he would be ok to travel. Apparently not. He was in a very high risk of getting DVT. He could have taken Clexane but there was a high risk of his tumors hemorrhaging. Max was totally guttered he became very depressed after finding out. He had been so excited about the idea of going to Phuket, it had been a long time since he was that excited about anything. He had Cancer for fucks sake and I couldn't make his wish come true. I was just as guttered. We did compromise and went to the Gold Coast, where he kissed a dolphin which was amazing and he did have a good time but it wasn't quite the same.

Ever since Max passed away I have been thinking about going to Phuket. At first I thought I just wanted to run and hide to get away from home and everyone else around me. But now I think I need to go for Max. I am not quite sure why, perhaps I still need to make his wish come true. Perhaps I need to show Boo, the place where we were so happy. (I know he wont remember any of it, but he would have photos and plenty of them no doubt.) I don't know why but I need to go, perhaps I wont find out til I get there. So today I booked our tickets, Boo and I going to Phuket in 3 weeks time.

I know I am probably nuts to be going on such a long flight with a 17 month old on my lap. One active 17 month old who still isn't walking yet, but life is too short. One thing I have learnt from Max's passing is if you want to do something then you do it, don't put it off.

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Any tips on traveling alone with a toddler would be very appreciated.

23 comments:

Miss Ruby said...

I don't think you're nuts at all!!

And you're right - I learnt the same thing from my Dad's death - if you want to do something, do it, tomorrow unfortunately may never come.

Tips....having never travelled WITH a toddler I can't give you any from that perspective BUT having travelled on a 24 hr flight with about 15 toddlers on board my biggest advice would be - make friends with the person sitting next to you. If you make friends from the word go, they are LESS likely to be peeved should Boo "play up" [though he wouldn't do that would he, he seems like such an angel ;-) ] and may even offer to give you a hand so you can have a break.

Also utilise the cabin crew - they will occupy Boo should you need a small break :-D

Lastly - enjoy it, every single moment of it and take loads of pics! Max will be there with you in spirit, that I'm sure.

~x~

Bea said...

It's definitely great that you are getting to complete the trip you had planned together - although obviously it will be different with just the two of you.

Tips.

Seventeen months is a bit of a hard age because the attention span is so short for a flight like that. What times are you flying? How do those times fit in with sleeps? Are you eligible for a bassinet at his age and if so have you requested one (handy toy box even if he's over the weight limit)?

Definitely making friends is a big help. Also being very organised with basic things like food and nappies so there's no excuse for tanties except boredom. And then being organised with a variety of activities as well, and doling them out one by one. Walking around the plane is good fun, and standing in the galley watching the attendants will be an activity you'll return to several times, no doubt. Often (especially if you request the bassinet seat) you'll be next to parents of other youngsters, so can help each other out a bit (although I think some airlines have a "divide and conquer" policy with seating young children, so it probably depends).

I'll have to try and dig out my travelling with kids guide book for other tips. This is exciting!

Bea

Anonymous said...

Carry on a change of clothes for yourself too! My daughter threw up because of the cabin pressure, and I had to walk through the airport in damp clothes with quite the odor!

Michelle said...

This sounds like a great idea! And 3 weeks!! Take tons & tons of pictures. Max with be with you in spirit.

Michele said...

We have done a 2 day drive with 9 months old and then, later, took them on a 2 hour plan ride at 14 months old. Make sure to carry lots of clothes, diapers and the like, and lots of food! I also packed the kids favorite movie and my laptop and, on the plane, we had it ready to go. Of course, they slept... But, when they were awake, having their snacks handy and a plan were good to have. Now, at 16.5 months old, I dont have any fear about taking them on longer trips. I'm sure your trip will be lovely. :)

Here via LFCA

alicia said...

YAY! what a great idea, you will have such a great time! just bring loads of new toys and stickers for the plane! yay

EBC said...

over here from LFCA--nuts or not, I think it's a phenomenal idea! I don't know you at all, but I'm so excited for your trip! From friends of toddlers, I've been told that a portable DVD player with rechargeable batteries or an iP.AD/laptop are very welcome distractions for long plane rides.

Lut C. said...

Sounds like a lovely idea (though the flight will probably be a challenge).

No experience with flight + toddler.

car said...

What a wonderful idea to take Boo on the trip you had planned to take with Max.

My only tips for traveling with a toddler would be lots of snacks for the flight (there are much worse things than him filling up on crackers when you are stuck on a plane) and a baby carrier. I don't know if you are into babywearing but there are times when strollers don't cut it and if Boo is cranky because everything is unfamiliar, he can be snuggling up to your back and your arms won't fall off. (Something like an Ergo would be great.)

Nearlydawn said...

Somewhere on my blog is a list of tips from my hubby's trip with our son at about that age... Let me know if you can't find it... I can email it.

maytey said...

Very happy for you Vee! My tips:

LOTS of snacks - sultanas, crackers, and cheese cubes for when you're waiting to check in
Favourite snuggly friends of course
blanket/sleeping bag
Books
Quiet book toys are great - this kind of thing:
http://www.entropy.com.au/manufacturers/Story-time/soft-book-quiet-book-zipped-781.php

Definitely agree about a change of clothes for yourself. Trying to feed the kid and yourself can get very messy.
Wipes wipes wipes!

Some great articles here:
http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/whosyourdaddy/archives/2007/08/on_a_wing_and_a_fluffy_toy.html
http://childhood101.com/2009/10/toddler-travel-tips-surviving-the-plane/
http://childhood101.com/2009/10/homeward-bound/

Cattiz J said...

How brave of you to go on such a trip. I'm sorry to read about your loss. Here from LFCA.

Tina said...

Not crazy at all! It sounds like a fantastic trip.

I haven't flown with my 2, but have driven to QLD and back with them. I can 2nd the DVD player. The thing is don't pull it out until it is the very last resort! if you can entertain him with other things first then do that before bringing out the big guns.

If he uses a dummy too, make sure you have lots of spares. They are also good for taking off/landing and popping of ears.

Hope you guys have a great time!

edenland said...

WOW. I am so so proud of you, Vee. Love that you don't fuck around - boom - booked in three weeks, let's do it. That is how life should be lived - don't put things off, no "one day." Because you never know.

I've never been to Thailand, but I'm guessing they're very child-friendly and open. Can't wait to see the pics.

XOXOX

Kristin said...

I don't think you are nuts. I think it's a brilliant idea. As for traveling alone with him, bring a bag of small toys maybe some new and a few favorites...anything to help keep him occupied. Also, if you can get him to suck on something during take off and landing, it will help equalize pressure in his ears (maybe a sippy cup).

Have a wonderful time and please share the pics with us when you get back.

'Murgdan' said...

I remember reading about the trip and not being able to go due to the doctor's recommendation. I am so excited for you to be able to go now and share this amazing trip with your son. I will look forward to the photos.

loribeth said...

No tips, but I hope you have a fabulous time!!

Lifeslurper said...

Vee!

Oh wow I am so proud of you for doing this! It will be so very wonderful for you and Boo. You will have a fabulous time and we faithful readers will be spoiled with lovely photos. Great advice from other readers on traveling with a toddler...make sure we all get a postcard, won't you!?

LS x

tireegal68 said...

Oh Vee! I missed you and couldn't find your new blog address! I saw your name in LFCA - so glad to hear about your trip. I remember when you and Max were planning that trip and the doctor said no. I think it's a perfect idea and although I have no tips, I agree with one poster about making friends along the way. I know I'm a bit shy with strangers but somehow it's easier to figure out who is kid friendly these days and really enlist their help and good will. Esp with such a cute little boy with you! Good luck! Thinking of you, Max and the little one xoxo

Gil said...

Okay, first can I say that I HATE some of the blogger layouts? The scripting behind the scenes won't permit me to comment from the office (as that scripting is blocked) so it's only late at night or early morning that I get a moment to pop in! Forgive me Vee!

Travelling with a toddler--having just done it (but having had other hands to help), and having done it before, I can give you the following tips:
aisle seat on the plane--you'll need it to be able to get up and walk around with Boo on a long flight
snacks--plenty of them! A variety of stuff helps
toys--small favourites (1 or 2) and maybe a couple of new ones?
books--anything that will hold his attention
entertainment--if he sits still for shows (Sesame Street, The Wiggles, etc.) and you have an iphone or some such that can play them, download a few and make good use of it! It works like a charm!
Diapers and wipes--a few more than you think you may need, especially if your luggage gets misplaced and/or it's hard to buy them at your destination
change of clothes--at least one, possibly two. For both you and Boo. I brought an extra shirt for me and two extra outfits for Petite (one for cooler weather, one for warmer).
Bottles/soothers--something to suck on while taking off and landing
And just in case... we gave Petite a half a dose of children's Gravol (pill format; it tasted good so she chewed it happily) to avert being airsick. It helped.

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. This sounds like so much fun, and I know last year when you and Max talked about it, your hopes were high. Although he couldn't go, I know he'll be with you in spirit. I love the fact that you just booked it and blammo, you're on your way so soon! Good for you honey. Go and enjoy. Take lots of pics. I loved Thailand (went to Koh Samet while living in Japan) and it was amazing. Have a blast with your Boo! Kisses from all of us!

Mel said...

I love that you are doing this. Good for you and I'm glad I'll get to see the photos and live vicariously through you since I haven't been there yet. Life is short, and you need to grab it by the balls like this. And I'm really proud of you for following your heart.

DaisyGal said...

I love, love, love that you are doing this. Seriously, GO..you're right DO IT NOW. You are so strong and wonderful, my eyes are just full of tears for you...happy and sad ones. Envious ones.

*SMOOCH*

pamela said...

What an incredible thing to do. I hope it's everything you want it to be. I've no tips for travelling. But Vee I'm wondering if you're returning to the same places exactly (hotel, photo locations, etc) and what you plan for when you're there. Have you ideas, any contingency plans - if it's too difficult/upsetting? Don't mean to be a downer, I'm just naturally looking for problems/solutions. But then, I'm nowhere near to being the brave lass you are.
Three weeks, how exciting!
xxx