Monday, March 23, 2015

April Vacation - Packing and Lugging

 WAY too much stuff...

As any parent knows, kids require a lot of stuff. My son is still in diapers 100% of the time, so right off the bat, I need day diapers, night diapers, and swim diapers. There's half of my suitcase right there! So despite having lots of suitcases of varying sizes, I decided on a matching set of Nautica suitcases, one for me and one for CW. I rot them at TJ Maxx/Marshalls

I got the medium one and smaller one. I have a suitcase the size of the large one, but thinking about dragging that around made my back and shoulders hurt, so I went with the medium and small. I like this set one, because they match and I'm a bit OCD about that kind of thing, but also because they'r eon 2 wheels. I have suitcases on 4 that you push around upright, but I have found that when you need to pull them sideways, the wheels kind of suck in that regard. With the two wheel design, I can also stack the suitcases.

Convenienly enough, the smaller one fits perfectly sideways on top of the other one near the handle or tethered to the front. While I'm usually not great at foresight, the idea of dragging all this luggage through Logan while also trying to keep a 4 year old at bay forces one to ponder the future.

On top of the two pieces of luggage that will be checked, I'll also be bringing a few pieces of carry-on luggage. I plan on one for me, one for him, and an extra one with diapers and changes of clothes. I want to have two of them easily accessible, one for me and one for him. In trying to make things easier, I ordered this rolling backpack for his stuff. First of all, it's adorable and he loves Curious George, but also, it has wheels and a strap in the back. I'm not sure if he'll pull it or for how long, but the wheels will help him if he does decide to take ownership of his bag. I got it at Amazon, but Toys-R-Us also has the bag.

According to the research I did online, the under seat storage space of the JetBlue A320 at the window is 17" wide by 17" long and 9" tall. This backpack is 18" long by 13" wide by 4.5" tall. So, it'll stick out 2 inches, but that won't be an issue. I will be packing his snacks, busy bags, DVD player, DVDs, and diapering stuff in this bag, so I have to be able to access it.

The little carryon will have a change of clothes for him, a change of clothes for me, and all the diapers. I have been out in public when I've been puked upon and there is nothing worse than being covered in puke with no change of clothes. If he gets himself so worked up that he throws up, I need to have a spare set of clothes as does he. If I pack the little bag with all his diapers, that'll save a huge amout of space in our checked bags. Additionally, I'll use this bag when we go out so that I'm not leaving my Coach bag in the stroller when I have to leave it behind to go on rides.

Getting Ready to Fly

Nothing Like a Good Book
My biggest anxiety for this vacation is CW on the plane. No matter how much preparing I do, the sound of the engines can't be described, the length of the flight can't really be explained, and the hustle and bustle of the airport cannot be fully realized, but we can try. I bought the book, "The Noisy Airplane Ride" by Mike Downs and David Gordon. We read this on a regular basis and make lots of noise and while reading it.

Making it Personal
To make the experience even more personal, I created a PowerPoint presentation that we read KeyNote on my iPad. In it, I put pictures for every step of the way, from packing our bags, getting up early while it's dark, navigating the airport lines, putting our bags on the conveyor, and buckling in our seats all the way to chewing gummies when we land, getting our bags, going to the zoo and Sea World and Legoland and then going home. I even pulled the exact things we'll see like pictures od JetBlue lines and planes, Logan airport in the exact lobby where we'll be, animals we'll see at the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, and pictures of our hotel in San Diego. I'm hoping by him seeing pictures, he'll get a little accustomed to what we'll see on our vacation.

Practice Run
I signed us up for the April 11th Wings for Autism event taking place at Logan airport. I got my confirmation and I'm looking forward to attending, mostly so I can see where his sticking points may be. I think he'll be excited to get on a plane. He's going to love to see all the people and say hi to all the kids. Waiting in line will be tough for him as will putting the bag on the conveyor. He has trouble with this at the grocery store, so I'll be curious to see how he'll do at the airport.

More to come...

Part 1
Part 2

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