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Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

Dallas
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Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

We have a trip planned for September (starting Labor Day weekend) my husband, son who will be 13 months, and me. We have secured a home in Hanalei for 8 nights and had planned to do two or three nights at the Hyatt, too.

I am having all kinds of second thoughts...about the flight (9 hours from DFW), about the time change (5 hours), about how my son will like the beach...in other words, I'm having a mini panic attack. What if he hates the beach? Are there enough things to do for us? Etc, etc, etc. Will the trip be worth using most of my husband's vacation? Would it be smarter to go to Destin or some other beach destination without the time change/flight hassle? ARGH!

Any assurances or do you guys agree this is a trip for older children? Leaving him home with Nana isn't an option - this is our Ten-Year-Anniversary/One Year Birthday celebration! We want to go somewhere as a family of three!

P.S. Havent bought flights yet, so we'd basically just lose part of our deposit if we cancel.

THANKS!!

LaGrangeville, New...
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1. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

HI,

Only you can really answer that question since every kid is different. Last month I went on a 4 hour and 15 minute plane ride with my 4 kids -- all older now.. and my brothers 20 month old twins.. the first 3 hours there was enough to keep them occupied or they slept, after that it was a nightmare.. I could not even image doing anything longer then that... But, people do it all the time so again what you think you can handle. There are so many nice place to go in the Caribbean that would be probably less then a two hour flight for you and more convenient, I know its not Kauai but I would look at doing something like that instead. Good luck....

Chicagoland
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2. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

How about a 'staycation' where someone babysits and you and your DH go to a nearby hotel or resort for a long weekend? Plan Hawaii for another time when you don't have all that baby paraphernalia, and, possibly, when you are a more 'seasoned' parent?

Birmingham, Alabama
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3. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

Probably more about your level of comfort than the child's.

If you are willing and able, you can do a lot on Kauai with an 18 month old. But if you are worried now, do you think you'll feel better once you are there or will you still be worried about each activity?

If you do choose Kauai, will you have a pool? That would give you a water option if your child hates the beach (prob not). There are some great calm bays on kauai that are good for kids.

If you have time and money to go now, and you aren't sure when that might happen again, I'd go. If you think you'll have other opportunities -- then wait. You really can't beat the gulf coast beaches for calm warm water and beautiful sand...

L W
Nor Cal
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4. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

This is a difficult decision that only you can answer. We traveled from the west coast to Hawaii a number of times when our child was under 24 months. We lucked out in that she was an excellent traveler. We were also extremely attentive to her needs the entire flight. We never had a meltdown on a flight. On one trip, however, after we landed we went to visit family in Honolulu before going to our hotel in Waikiki. Due to the time difference (and exhaustion, I am sure), our daughter had a major meltdown (she was under 1 year old) and we could not console her. Off to the hotel, with her crying the entire way (through the parking garage, the hotel lobby--fast check-in, up the elevator) until we could put her to bed (ahh, peace at last).

I just can't imagine a nine hour flight without trying a shorter flight first to see how your little one likes to travel (or not!).

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

While much of this depends on your child - I think 13 months is somewhat easier than a 2 year old! Also, kids do pick up on our tensions, so can mom and dad be calm while traveling? I think traveling with your kids lots is good for them - how else do they learn to be good travelers? If you have the opportunity now, take your child in the car frequently and on some longer trips - see how he does sitting for that period of time and what you need to do to keep him happy. Perhaps arrange your flight during his normal sleep cycle - you will loose out on some sleep, but you may have a happy little traveler - lots of things to consider to make the traveling easier.

I am one who always brought kids with - and for the most part they did good. I don't think you need lots of baby gear, but you do need to pack smart, especially for the plane flight . . . change of clothes, diapers, food/snacks/drinks and toys & books - some old favorites and some new things never seen before. :)

Also, if you don't have a good baby back pack, invest in one - they make it so much easier. I had a Kelty Ridgeway - we could go hiking, or just shopping, etc. I found that much easier than a stroller for traveling.

As far as whether baby will like the beach, that can be a funny thing. I had one kid that as a toddler did not like the feel of sand - sat on a blanket the entire time. But most kids that age love the sand. To me there is nothing like enjoying a vacation with your whole family - that is what memories are made of!! Good luck with your decision. :)

Canada
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6. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

You don't mention your intention...but I would highly recommend that you purchase a seat for your son on the flight. There is a good chance he will sleep a good portion of the journey.

Many folks will opt not to purchase the child their own seat due to budget concerns. Both child and parents' comfort level is significantly diminished.A child secured in their own seat for the flight duration is optimal......from a safety perspective as well.

The flights to Hawaii are often fully booked and any "extra" open seats are a rarity.

>>>>" Will the trip be worth using most of my husband's vacation?"<<<<<

This is a most curious question....only you can determine the answer to that.

Dallas
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7. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

Thanks for the helpful and insightful feedback! Yes, we'd buy him his own seat - that's something we threw in the budget from the start. We are an adventurous couple who loves to travel and I definitely want my son to grow up seeing the world, but this would be his first big trip (we've done lots of little ones within a 5 hour or less drive) and I'm naturally nervous of the unknown.

When we booked the house, he was 6 months old and a perfect angel. Now he's almost 10 months old and is a fiesty, active little sucker - stubborn and determined - and I'm less able to envision a peaceful flight now! Ha ha. He's a good kid and we are a laid back family, I think we'd be fine, I guess my point is - we could have a ball somewhere closer or even take two shorter vacays this year. (We celebrated our honeymoon in Seattle/San Juan Islands - could be really fun to spend our ten year anny there with our baby boy). I've had a lot of feedback recently that this is a great trip for a 3 year old +, but maybe not so much for a baby.

Thanks again, you guys!

Alaska
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8. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

Our children are young adults now....But I remember a beach vacation in California that was quite difficult with one and three year old children. Our son spent the week wanting to eat the sand and our daughter got run over by a wave and wanted nothing to do with the ocean. And their dad was and is awesome....BUT I do remember him swimming quite a bit, while I did kid care! We still joke that was the week from

H---! :-).

It seemed like there was more room on planes twenty years ago, too. I would have a case of nerves over a nine hour flight myself! I know I have a sister that jokes about "benadryling" her kids before long flights. Not for everyone but she claims it was a lifesaver and the kids slept great. Good luck with your decision!

Denver
Destination Expert
for Poipu
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9. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

I've been to Kauai twice now with two VERY little ones - took our oldest when he was nine months; took both boys last April when youngest was just 7.5 months and oldest was 2.5 yo... attempting to wrangle another trip later this year when youngest will be 2 and oldest almost 4.

TA member Martik has also traveled to Kauai every year with her boys since they were very small.

I blogged about our last trip here: http://kauaiflamingos.blogspot.com There's a page called Kauai Activities for Kids and another page called Travel Tips. In the bottom right corner are photo albums from our previous trips, including the one with the nine month old.

It's great that you're getting a seat for the little guy - if you're flying United, it's also a great idea to upgrade to Economy Plus for the extra leg room - makes pulling new toys and snacks constantly out your carry-on that much easier.

Also plan your flights around nap time - our best flight so far left Denver right after breakfast with a 2 hour layover in LAX to get lunch and eliminate wiggles, then we boarded LAX-LIH about 30 minutes before nap time. We always take the red-eye direct home - both kids sacked out right at wheels up and we were the last to disembark at DEN with the oldest one still asleep upon landing!

Certainly our trips to Kauai are different now that we have kids [went 3 times before we had children] but we still manage to have fun and enjoy ourselves. We could spend the weekend in the mountains or head to California or a Mexican resort for a beach vacation, but we just love Kauai so so much. If I'm going to make the effort to pack up all our stuff and disrupt our schedule with travel, I at least want the end destination to be someplace we all enjoy.

Feel free to PM with specific questions!

Edited: 17 May 2012, 21:04
Denver
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10. Re: Chickening Out About Trip with 13 mo Old - Need Assurance!

Oh, duh - hello travelbum! It didn't occur to me that we have already "talked" quite a bit when you were originally planning your trip. Ignore all my advice that I have now repeated... as others have said, only you really know your family and what you want to do.

Kauai will still be here when your son is older [though as others have said, 13 months isn't NEARLY as hard in some respects as 2 or 3!], but it IS possible to have fun in Kauai with an under 3.