Prior to this last trip I had been very nervous about the difficulties of travelling with a toddler. On a previous flight to Japan there was one little child who raced up and down the aisle, even during descent, and then caused havoc for his parents at the immigration queue. Was that going to be Alex, flying into temper tantrums whenever he was restricted?
Thankfully not! We were very fortunate on this trip and our travels with Alex were relatively easy. In fact, they were downright pleasurable. Perhaps it helps that Alex travels about 4 hours by commuter train four days a week. But, so long as we let him down now and then to explore around our seats in the aircraft or train he rewarded us with big smiles. He also slept for periods on most longer trips.
Flying business class definitely made a difference, with more space around the seat for him to play and more comfortable positions for him (and us!) to sleep on our laps.
Alex was very sociable, enjoying interacting with other passengers and people he met along his travels. Almost everywhere we went he was the big attraction, with passersby trying to gain his attention (or Alex sometimes trying to get theirs).
The backpack, although at times painful for me, was fantastic for Alex. He normally doesn’t stay long in a stroller, but I think he appreciated the view from up high. Not so good for him to sleep in however and I missed the interaction that comes from seeing face to face.
Finding food for Alex was sometimes a bit of a problem. We learned to keep some bakery products handy in case he needed a quick feed and to stock up on bananas wherever we went. But at least we discovered some new foods for him, like salmon sushimi.
I believe that Alex benefited greatly from the holiday. We saw some amazing changes take place, an explosion in his language abilities and physical development. He demonstrated his confidence with new people and situations. We all enjoyed the strengthening of the family relationship that came from the constant contact. Alex now connects so much better with B.
From that perspective it was a necessary holiday and one well worth it.