Top tips for travelling with little ones
Welcome to Sense by Meg Faure, the podcast that’s brought to you by Parent Sense the App that takes guesswork out of parenting. If you are a new parent, then you are in good company. Your host, Meg Faure is a well-known OT, infant specialist and the author of eight parenting books. Each week, we are going to spend time with new moms and dads just like you to chat about the week’s wins, the challenges, and the questions of the moment. Subscribe to the podcast, download the Parent Sense App and catch Meg here every week to make the most of that first year of your little one’s life. And now meet your host.
Bailey: Hello and welcome to everyone joining us for this episode of Sense by Meg Faure, brought to you by Parent Sense. I’m Bailey Georgiades, a fellow mom, podcaster media personality, and I’m here with your host Meg Faure, Hi Meg.
Meg: Hello Bailey. How are you doing?
Bailey: I am so good. I’m so happy to connect with you again.
Meg: It’s always, I love our episode. It’s always digging deep into those really meaningful matters that moms need to hear about.
Bailey: And today’s topic is a good one. We’re going to delve into traveling with little ones, and you know, Meg, I often see this crop up on my social media moms asking for travel tips, so it’s going to be great to have this podcast link to share with them. I think after a couple of years of not going anywhere, it seems like everybody is itching to travel or they’re preparing to immigrate. Traveling with little ones can be so tricky and so stressful for everybody and I’m really keen to get this started. Before we do, I just want to remind you that this is a chance for you to ask Meg, your baby and parenting questions, know that no topic is off limit. So, drop us a direct message on Parent Sense, Facebook or Instagram or even in the comments. Meg is here to support you on your parenting journey and she’s promised to get through as many questions as she can in these sessions. With that said Meg, I think we need to pack our suitcases and travel a little bit. In fact, I want to go down memory lane for you. You did some brave trip a few years ago. I know travel is very close to your heart.
Meg: Yes, absolutely. So, travel is very close to my heart. So, when it came to Covid, I tell you, it was hugely limiting for me and when my husband and I got married, I think it was in our first wedding anniversary, we gave each other a book around travel. I mean then that was the thing, like we were going to go to all of these incredible destinations and then of course within two years James was born our little boy and then two years later our little girl was born. So, with a foreign two-year-old we had, kind of embarked on small coast holidays around South Africa. But my husband was coming up for hiatus in between two jobs and I at the time, well I was working, but I was working on writing books and that sort of thing, I’d just written Baby Sense actually, and we decided that we would just take a complete break from life.
We literally sold the house, put the dogs on a beautiful farm for a couple of months and we went on a round the world for trip just the four of us, the two kiddies under the age of four and Philip and I, and it was the most extraordinary trip. But I can remember people saying to me, you are traveling for three months with a two-year-old, like, what’s wrong with you? What planet do you come from? Why would you put yourself through it? But Bailey, I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life and we learned how to travel with kids. We had a whole lot of things that we put in place to make sure that we could do the traveling fairly seamlessly. Some of it was quite rough traveling. We did some very serious rough camping in Namibia, in fact completely in places where like completely off the beaten track, no running water and then we went to New York City and then we went to the Cayman Islands. So we literally went to Disney and let me tell you something, I don’t know what I’d rather have off the beaten track in Namibia or like a beating down heat at Disney with a two- year-old.
Bailey: Oh, my gosh.
Meg: So, we experienced the most amazing experiences and this topic, like it excites you, excites me because I think that having children, often people see it as like a pause in their entire life and that it like really kind of cramps their style. They can’t do anything they wanted to do. They feel kind of home bound and not able to have adventure and every day is mundane because it can be mundane with toddlers. But I guess part of this episode is to say to people, you must travel, you can travel. Having children is not a reason not to travel, and they really, it enriches their lives immensely and it also bonds you with your kids because when you out of your normal routine and you’re traveling, you just are connecting more with those people you are with because you’re effectively on holiday usually then and so you connecting, and so from my perspective, that’s what today is all about, is sharing some ideas of how to make travel easy for parents because I know it can be done.
Bailey: Absolutely and I think it’s the best to be able to see the world through little eyes. It’s experiencing things all over again.
Bailey: It’s holiday season, families are going to be taking trips locally and internationally. Let’s talk about planning travel. Meg, what are your absolute top tips for traveling long distances with little ones?
Meg: Yeah, so you’ve got really two categories of long distance and they fall to the mode of transport. So, you’ve got a long-distance car trip, from Cape Town to Plett, like seven-hour drive or maybe even a 12-hour drive, that can be an absolute back breaker with little ones, and then you’ve got flights and particularly long whole flights, which can be very complicated. So, let’s break it into two pieces. Let’s have a look at our car trips and then let’s have a look at long distance flights. So, with both of them you are going to want to have some equipment, some kit that’s going to make your life easier. That kit should be made up of obviously the basic necessities of how many nappies you’re going to need and you need to calculate how many nappies you’re going to need and you’re going to have to add an extra three nappies on top of that because there’s going to be an accident for sure.
It’s going to have things like kind of wet wipes and sterilizing fluid and all of that type of thing. The amount of milk formula bottles if you are formula feeding and then of course the food that your baby’s going to need. So that’s the basics that you have to get covered. Then after that, you’re going to want to have a snack trap and this is particularly for little ones over six months old, as soon as they enter the stage of where they can actually do finger feeding or baby lead weaning. A little snack trap is a little device, which is like a little bowl with a lit it where you can stick your hand in, take things out. But when you turn it upside down, it doesn’t actually empty the snacks out and they are just the most amazing things, those you have to have. And the reason for that is that your little one is going to be kept entertained with these snacks and you don’t want the spillages.
So, definitely get yourself a snack, it’s a great idea and into that snack, put all your healthy foods. So, if it’s pieces of belt tongue or if it’s manga strips or a little pieces of chopped up egg or cheese, just things that they can eat on without a choking risk fairly independently, obviously you’re going to be with them while they’re eating, particularly if they’re little. So, snack traps and regular snacks are very, very important and that’s one of the things for travel is that you don’t have to try and go according to meal times. You don’t have to try and go according to snack times as you would if you were in a normal lifestyle routine. Just use your snacks to keep a little one entertained and have lots of different options, healthy options available that you can pop into that snack trap.
Bailey: The next thing you’re going to want to have for a car or a flight is activities and those need to be according to your baby’s age and the type of things that need to go into there are something that they can listen to; so, something auditory, so that can be something like a little video, that they’d…would pop on to earphones and keep them entertained with, if they’re on a flight or in the car which you can listen to on your radio. You would also want to have some baby songs in that, loving songs, and then also some books, and books is the second thing.
So, the first thing is auditory. Second thing is visual pop in the books, very important. Have a couple of books in, if you’re on a long-distance car trip, one of you sitting in the backseat with your child for sure, keeping them entertained and you’re going to get your head around that and then it’s reading to them and every now and then when they’re bored, pulling out a book. And then I always like having a fine motor activity and fine motor activities can keep little toddlers occupied forever. So, a great fine motor activity is to take an empty herb jar that’s got all the little holes in the top and take dry spaghetti, hard spaghetti and put it inside the herb jar and then take the spaghetti out when they board and hand them the spaghetti one piece at a time for them to post through the holes. You will not believe how long it’ll keep a toddler occupied.
Meg: I’m going to do that this afternoon. I’m not waiting for a trip. That’s so clever.
Bailey: It’s such an easy thing and it’s not messy, other nice things to do are things like play dough, but play dough can get messy, you’re going to end up with some play dough and those beautiful leather seats on those upholstered air airline seats. So that’s why I love that activity because it’s clean, it’s neat, it’s small, you can just pop it in the bag. So those are kind of the main directions you’re going to go, something auditory, something visual, and then something for fine motor skills. There are lots of other activities you can get for fine motor skills, but that’s where I’d start. Then, in terms of car trips, surviving car trips, so now you’ve got your kit that you’re going to take.
Next very important thing is clearly your car seat and that’s a non-negotiable. So, I’m quite sure that for everybody we’re speaking to on this podcast who are clearly enlightened parents because they’re actually seeking out this type of information, car seat is an un-negotiable but I just want to reiterate it because there are times when your little one is screaming and crying and you at the end of your tether and you’re on this long car trip and you are just so tempted to take them out.
You have to pull over, it’s in that moment when you’re traveling too fast or even at the speed limit when an accident can happen, so car seats are a non-negotiable. Also, with car trips specifically, and because of the length of them, you’ve got to be able to take regular breaks and those should be spaced in between your baby’s sleep. So as soon as your baby is woken up, stopping as soon after that wake-up time as possible, giving them a nice nappy change, giving them a nice little run and then popping them back in the car, and so regular breaks and that means that what was a seven-hour trip is now suddenly going to be a nine-hour trip and you’ve got to get your head around that, just plan for it because it is going to be longer.
Another nice idea with traveling when a car is to leave really early, and by this, I mean like 3o’clock in the morning because one of the most brilliant things is to pop them in the car, they fall asleep because it was just kind of almost like a night waking and then because of the lull of the car, they’ll usually overshoot their normal wake up time. So, if they normally wake up at six, you’ll probably find they’ll do 7:30 and that just means you’ve hit like four and a half hours of this horrible car trip before they actually are awake. So that would be a good idea. So those are kind of the ideas around car trips and around the type of things that you can use for that.
Then around flights, the kit remains the same other than the car seat, but the equipment I always recommend for a flight is a carrier, and I am an obsessive baby wearer. I always, I wore all three of my children, actually my third child, well, until she was three years old, she would be popped into a carrier. But I’ll never forget on a trip that I did, and she must have been about 11 weeks old, I actually flew my mom with me. I was asked to lecture at an event in Knysna and I had flown with her, I asked my mom to come because I knew I’d be lecturing for full day events and I would just be stopping literally to breast feed through the day. But I had to fly with her, my mum was flying from Jonesburg, she met me in Knysna on PE and we drove down from Knysna. I flew from Cape Town and I had Emily in my baby carrier, which was the Baby Sense sling in those days, I earned the company at the time.
And I popped her in the sling and I walked through the airport with her in the sling. She had fallen asleep; she was very little 11 weeks old. I climbed onto the plane with her asleep, and then of course she woke up on the flight and needed a feed and I fed her on takeoff and on landing as well and all I did was just pulled on my shirt while she was in the carrier and she fed and there was a man sitting next to me and as we landed, he looked at me and he said; has there been a baby in there the whole time?
And it was really like that for her. She had her own cocoon. I didn’t disrupt her daily sleep routines. She could sleep on me; her feeding could happen discreetly right up against me and so for me, a baby carrier is a must. Often we focus on taking prams and I will talk a little bit about prams just now, but we do focus on taking prams, but actually in my mind, baby carrier is much more important than actually taking a pram because of the ease of use while you’re on a plane, for instance.
Meg: And then you’ve also got your hands-free, which is also so helpful, even walking through an airport, you don’t want to have to have to push a pram, it’s already a stress with the trolley and everything. So that’s a great step.
Bailey: Exactly, it’s the hands-free kit and of course if you’ve got a toddler, you’ve got your hands free for your toddler as well. So, in my head it’s a carrier. The current carrier that I always recommend is the Snuggle Roo Carrier. It’s just the most fabulous carrier. It’s an upright carrier, but it’s soft. It’s like a wrap carrier and it’s again, just something that your baby will fall asleep in, feed in, it’s just a fabulous way to have your baby on you.
Meg: Good to know.
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Bailey: What do we do when it comes to our baby’s sleep times and nap times? I would love airlines to have a look at our baby’s schedules and go, yes, this is the flight that you can fly when your baby is napping. But unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like that. So, what can we do when it comes to sleep? What can we do to prevent over tiredness, especially with long layovers delays? I think this is a big burning question.
Meg: Yeah, so sleep and travel is a big burning question, and you know, I mentioned just now that you wanted to try and get as much sleep done while you were traveling, that’s why you wake up really early and having your baby or using travel time as time when your baby sleeps is a good idea. So, if you can schedule flights over baby sleep times, it is going to work out easier for you. So, here’s an example, if you’re doing a flight from South Africa to Europe, a nighttime flight is actually going to be an easier flight for you to manage because your baby’s going to be sleeping a lot of the time and I can help with some strategies around getting them to sleep as well. But whereas the Amsterdam flight where you’re flying from Amsterdam to Cape Town is a daylight flight and that can be a hellish flight with a two-year-old because you going to keep them occupied and you can’t use sleep times as much.
So, I do believe in scheduling, trying to schedule your travel times around your child’s sleeping times. So that is a good idea, if you’re going to do a flight as an example from Johannesburg to Cape Town or from London to Paris or whatever, try and do it while your child is actually going to be sleeping, so you know they’re going to go down at about 12 o’clock, you know that they get drowsy, take them through the airport at that time, maybe have them in the carrier, let them fall asleep and then actually sleep on you for the duration of that flight, for instance. So that would be a good idea to have them actually sleeping, particularly if they’re little babies. But as you’ve just mentioned, it just doesn’t always happen like that. We just don’t always get the sleep times right, and a classic example of this is when you’re doing a flight that takes off, let’s say at 8o’clock or 9o’clock at night and your baby’s bedtime is at 6:30 or 7 normally, and now they’re over tired and this over tiredness then revs them up further, they get busier and busier and then they are more difficult to get to sleep and that’s how you often end up with these children on planes, these babies on planes who are crying incessantly because they’re actually over tired.
Bailey: You are literally describing what we experienced and I remember looking at my husband with this screaming 13-month-old going, is there a way to push a button to go, we’d like to get off. We can’t actually go through with the rest of the flight. I think if there was eject, we would’ve pressed it and missed out on our holiday. It’s awful.
Meg: Yeah. So, in terms of nighttime sleeps, if you are taking off well after little ones, sleep time is due like what you’re talking about and there are over time, so they’ve been awake for too long. There are two things you can do. The first one is given them a nap late afternoon, which maybe they don’t normally have. So, give them a nap if you know your flight’s taking off at 10o’clock at night, let them have a nap on the way to the airport at 5o’clock in the afternoon, even though you don’t normally do that, let them have that sleep because you know that you’re not going to have them going to sleep and they’re going to be hugely disrupted between 7o’clock and 10o’clock because that’s your boarding time and whatever. So let them have a late afternoon nap even though they don’t normally have it.
And that’s particularly for kind of 18 months to two-year-old, two-and-a-half-year-old children that would be perfect is giving them two sleeps instead of that one-day sleep and that in the day to prevent that over tiredness and that would be one strategy. The other strategy with smaller babies is to put them in the carrier and get them to go to sleep while you pace the floor in the departures hall to actually get them to sleep so that by the time you get onto the plane, they’re actually already asleep. I mean, one of the biggest battles I’ve had in my life, and I always lose it, but I still fight it, is people telling me to take my baby out of the carrier for takeoff and landing, I’m like, what the hell? You’re unleashing the monster, leave it alone.
But yeah, so, in an ideal world, they’ll fall asleep on you in the departures hall and then you’ll be able to hopefully have a very sympathetic air hostess who’ll let them actually sleep on you for takeoff and landing. But let’s say neither of those happen and now you are landed with a 13-month-old who is wired, who will not fall asleep, it’s now half past eight, you’re boarding, you’re only going to take off at 9:30. They’re really ratty and tired. So, one of the things you can do, and obviously one of the big things is just to keep him distracted for that period of time and just keep them entertained and just understand and this is where mindfulness comes into Bailey, is understand that this is your journey for the moment, like there’s no getting away from it. You’ve got to keep them calm and just…
Bailey: And this too shall pass…
Meg: This too shall pass. Just get in with it, get on the plane and give them a bit of melatonin on off. Now melatonin is a neurotransmitter that naturally occurs in our brains and it’s released in the absence of light when we want to fall asleep, when we going to fall asleep and it has been used very effectively for things like Jetlag and it can be used safely and FDA approved for children over two years old. But it is used for instance, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital with children who younger. So, it can be used with younger children. Now it’s not something that I would be recommending for every mom who’s battling at bedtime to put their child into melatonin, but for the purposes of actually takeoff and landing, this is something that I do recommend or takeoff in particularly. This is something I do recommend.
So that would be having your warm milky bottle ready, popping a little bit of melatonin inside of it, just half a capsule of the powder should be enough. You can also ask your pediatrician to recommend it, so you’ll have to prescribe it, potentially you can get it over the counter in some countries in other countries you can’t. But getting a little bit of melatonin and then at that point, like really just sitting very quietly with your little one on the plan with the melatonin going, maybe reading quietly to them until they eventually fall asleep and that’s kind of the best strategy to try not to jiggle them too much and try not to pace too much, just sitting quietly and gently is a good strategy once they’ve taken the melatonin. So those are the type of things that can help when it comes to sleep and travel.
Meg: So, Bailey, I mean you and I both love travel. I know that you’re no stranger to traveling with little ones. In fact, you recently actually moved homes between Greece and South Africa. I mean you’ve done it twice and you’ve spoken about the fact that you had a hellish takeoff at 13 when your little one was 13 months old and it must have been quite something. So how old were your boys when you were doing your immigrations backwards and forwards?
Bailey: So, Alex was 16 months old, George was three and a half years old. Not an easy journey at all because it was long flights, long layovers, different beds from various Airbnb until we settled and the one thing, I will say is that our children are very, very resilient. In fact, kids in general are very resilient and we made it a big exciting adventure, which actually helped us make it playful for ourselves. So, when we were in stressful situations, we took on the role of well, we’re going to make it playful and it actually calmed us as mom and dad. We tried to be as flexible as we could, but still keeping within the boundaries of routines, but I know we’ll get into routine a little bit later, but a huge difference between Alexi suddenly being a whole year older after 16 months, George suddenly being four and a half years old when we moved. Totally different flyers, totally different small chilled understanding what’s coming and I think the more you do it, the more they realize, oh, exciting we are going on an airplane and we know okay, there’s going to be sleeping on the airplane; lots of preparation, lots of letting them know what’s going to actually happen.
Meg: Absolutely and I’m sure they took their dodo blanks and their little lovey toys and whatever it was that they normally use to get to sleep,
Bailey: Which we lost on one of the flights.
Meg: Oh dear, sorry I brought up the war.
Bailey: Did we tell you; I could write the book on everything that could possibly go wrong in travel, I could write it and I’m still here to tell the tale, which is why I say; this too shall pass.
Meg: Exactly. You don’t want to lose that dodo blanks, and actually on that, take two on whatever you do.
Bailey: I know routines are a big deal. Nothing can throw off a routine like traveling and it doesn’t matter how you’re traveling, whether it’s in a car for a long trip on a plane train, fury routines are easily abandoned when your surroundings are different. So, let’s talk about that because I know a lot of moms are very anxious when it comes to routine and that possibly going out is very upsetting. So, what can we do?
Meg: Yeah, so it’s really interesting, little ones are actually incredible with their routines and they will stick to their routine more than you give them credit for doing. I know this firsthand with my two-year-old when we were traveling around the world, she did not miss her midday sleep one day in the hundred days that we were away, not in a hundred days she took her midday sleep. I’ll never forget the one day we had actually flown from… we’d gone from Namibia, we just did this incredible one month trip, camping around Namibia and literally took her from Vitu and landed in Johannesburg and then our next point of landing was in New York City. So, we literally had taken a cross massive time zones and very dramatic cultural shift. I mean everything was different, and the first day we had arrived, we were then in in Times Square and it was her midday sleep time and I thought, this is never going to work. I mean, chances of it falling asleep in Times Square.
Bailey: Oh my gosh,
Meg: A month of being in this incredible routine and as it turned out, of course she just closed her eyes, turned over a pram and went off to sleep and that was exactly what she did every single day of the trip. But I also prioritized it. So that particular day we were traveling, so she was in a pram, but there were other days, I can remember when we were in Nantucket in Boston and I said to my husband, look, I’m just going to be hole up in the hotel room over lunchtime, and him and my son then had this amazing excursion around Nantucket Island and I had to miss out on that. But that was because I knew that the most important thing in Alex’s day was that she had her hour and a half sleep over midday, she really, really in love with midday sleeps. And so, we never disrupted it.
So, I think it does become important that you do sacrifice some things for that midday sleep in the toddler years and on other days when you absolutely can’t sacrifice it, like on the day when we had to do the trip into Manhattan from Long Island, it’s a very long trip you don’t just go in and out for the morning. She just had to do it in a pram. But what was the fact, was that we prepared her at that time for her sleep, we turned on his side, we gave her his blanket, we gave her a little bit of milk, we covered it the front over with a blanket and then we went to walk through three Times Square. So, I do think that you need to prioritize certain sleeps.
And the two sleeps that are critically important to prioritize are the midday sleep and the nighttime sleep and that’s all the way from six months old. So, from six months old, do your early morning sleep and your late afternoon sleep on the run. Do it, make those sleeps fit in with your holiday, but that midday sleep and the evening sleep, try and do it really, really regularly and preferably the same sleep space, but at least the same time and in that way, you’ll be able to keep your child, your baby and your toddler, in a happy mood and engaged and, and not completely losing it. So, definitely holding onto key sleep times.
The second piece of advice around routine on holiday, and this goes for younger babies, so this is for babies under nine months of age, is make sure you’re watching those awake times. So same thing when you land in New York City for instance, or when you’ve crossed like five time zones, don’t try and, I mean you can’t say, well the sleep’s going to happen at 9o’clock in the morning because it’s such a different time for them. But once they’ve working up in the morning, then reset their day with the awake times and the awake times are on the front page of the Parent Sense App. So, when you have a look at the Parent Sense app, you’ll see there, how long the baby’s awake time should be and you’ve got to stick to that as you cross the time zones.
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Bailey: This isn’t so much of a question, but a story from a mum of three little girls under the age of six with another one on the way she was traveling alone with her three little ones between Cape Town and Johannesburg and she said on the way back, all three of her girls started feeling pressure in their ears. So can you just picture this, all three little girls were screaming at the same time. This high-pitched scream. I mean you can just imagine the reaction from the other passengers. You and I are both sitting here cringing, not because we are like, oh shame the poor passengers, but because they’re poor mom, there is nothing worse than feeling like everybody is staring at you and you know, passengers are going, can’t they keep their children quiet? But this is what I found so amazing. She thought to herself, I don’t care what anyone thinks, my kids are in pain, so the grumpy passengers will just have to deal with it. bravo. What a rockstar one.
Meg: I love that story and yes, we have all been on a flight to the baby that won’t stop crying and I think it’s really, really hard on both sides. I mean, it is hard for the passengers who’s sitting around, but actually end of the day that mom can do nothing about it. So, I guess, the messages, whether you’re a mom of a baby who doesn’t cry and are a passenger who’s subjected to a crying baby, you need to just realize and have very high levels of empathy for that poor mom and I certainly do my heart when I get on those flights, I’ll look at the moment I want to say to her, it doesn’t matter what happens tonight, it’s okay because we’ve all been there, and fairness. So that attitude of everyone’s just got to deal with, it’s probably the right attitude.
I think a couple of things I think you can, again, just try and watch that your baby doesn’t become overtired before the flight. Giving them a nap before they get on the flight can help, giving them the melatonin can help. I tell you what I think doesn’t help and that a lot of parents do, is actually giving your baby some kind of stir pain or something to help them to sleep, something like sedative, and the reason for that is that those very often have opposite effects when you’re over tired. So, your baby becomes more wide and more irritable, and so I’ve never used any type of painkiller to kind of, tranquilize make my baby drowsy on a flight because I think it can be really counterintuitive and it can go in the opposite way quite easily, but something like melatonin can help.
But yeah, I think a lot about parenting Bailey is about just understanding that what other people think is not important. It’s about what your child is going through, what you’re going through. Try and create an image of a bubble around yourself and your child and know that that, that’s where your care should be sitting, that’s who your concern should be with, the other people, they’ve either been through it because they’ve been a baby or they’ve been through it because they’ve been a parent, or they’re going to be going through it sometime and so they can just deal with it and, kind of lump it.
Bailey: And you probably will never see them again. So, here we go.
Meg: But focusing on your baby would probably be my advice there. But Bailey, it’s just been such an awesome session to be able to chat with you and especially about something that’s so close to my heart and I really hope that this, it has inspired parents to be able to actually go out there and travel. The message that I really want to carry to moms is that it’s more important that you do spend that time connecting, which is what travel does, for those few hours of real hassle and, and kind of irritation. It’s all going to be worth it in the end. So definitely keep up with the travel and don’t stop traveling and manage it with these little practical tips.
Bailey: I think this is fantastic and when I see anyone saying traveling with a baby in a toddler for the first time, anyone have tips? I know exactly where I’m sending this link is going straight to their inbox. So, thank you again, Meg, for all your amazing advice as always.
Meg: That’s brilliant, Bailey, it’s been such great fun chatting with you. You and I are both season travelers and love our travels. So yeah, I hope the other moms jump on the bus.
Thanks to everyone who joined us, we will see you the same time next week. Until then, download Parent Sense app and take the guesswork out of parenting.