When we announced our intention of traveling halfway across the world with our 5 children, our friends were surprised! We had never taken the kids farther than 3 hours from home and never ever on an airplane! That was all about to change as we planned for our 5 month trip to New Zealand and Australia! We needed to prepare for 15 hours in an airplane, hiking, snowing, beach cruising, 4 birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas, all while in a foreign country with our little kids (our oldest is 6!!)
My husband prepared by getting all 12 hours of the Lord of the Rings movies loaded onto his computer and ordering additional cables & wires from Amazon.com for our various cameras & computers. I prepared by making 4 mad dash outlet mall shopping trips to find suitable snow gear for the kids AND new swimming suits for everyone and by agonizing over which baby carriers to bring! 1 for each parent? Too few! 1 for each child? Too many! 1 of each style? Maybe….
As my dad dropped us off at LAX International Airport, we counted our bags. 9 carry-ons, 14 checked bags, 2 strollers, and a partridge in a pear tree! Just kidding about the partridge part, but it seemed to fit right in!!! We had the 5 kids, 2 laptop computers, 2 cameras, a video camera, toys, children’s school books, 1 new GypsyMama wrap (my going away present to myself!), 2 Kelty backpacks (1 with kickstamd and 1 rucksack style with storage), 1 pouch to have in the rental van in case of emergency, 1 Solarveil Ring Sling for beach & swimming, and my favorite baby carrier of all, my Echino Scooters!!!
6 weeks into our adventure, we have worn the Beco daily, the Keltys countless times on our hikes, the Ring Sling three times to the pool, the pouch zero times (no emergencies yet!) and the wrap 3 times by me and once by my husband who found himself without the Beco and used the PURPLE Bali Baby wrap in the sling style to put Baby #5 to bed for his nap while out with #3! I also wore a piece of cotton sheet as a SPOC for part of my Halloween costume, but that is a blog post for another time!!!
I was thrilled when they let me go through the metal detector at the airport and at the American Embassy with Baby in the Beco, and now, with just a few more weeks until our next plane trip over to Australia from Auckland, I’m hoping that he will be as happy in the Beco as he was on our first flight where I wore him for about 20 hours straight!
Wish me luck, and I’ll have an update for you on the other end of baggage claim!