За да читате на македонски јазик клинете тука.
As family we love traveling. Because our children are small we usually choose closer destinations. This time we decide to do something exiting, a daring travel, an adventure: travel over the ocean with a 14 months old baby, and a 7 years old boy.
The month before the travel, the time we were planning to spend preparing, all of us spent it in bed… sick. We were left with one week to finish everything concerning our business and prepare.
Unfortunately our son Stefan got an allergy rush! We’ve made an allergy test last minute and came out negative. I couldn’t believe that we would have such complications before leaving. There was no time to make other food intolerance tests, so we decided to make it when we return, avoiding types of food that we suspected he’s intolerant at. We packed the bags in a hurry, taking more clothes for the children then for us.
Our goal was to visit my brother in law and his girlfriend in Chicago, Illinois, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
It’s a long travel, even longer making it with small children. Now imagine before taking this long fly having to travel by car for 3 hours to get to the airport. What waits for you next is 1 hour flight to Istanbul, 2,5 hours waiting and 11 hours flying to Chicago, a total of 19 hours One-Way traveling.
To make it easier for everyone we started the previous day and overnight in Skopje because our flight was from there. Our cousins took us to the airport so we didn’t have to leave the car there.
And then from the whole chaos in the past few days, we were finally at the airport. I wasn’t sure if we will have a problem because of the baby food, water, cream and other baby stuff till last moment. But that was also a reason why we choose Turkish airline to travel with. They are very flexible for children and babies especially.
Mila, our baby girl, was difficult during feeding at that period, but somehow we managed to feed her before we went to the plane. And for the take off she just fell asleep as planned. Woke up when we landed in Istanbul. After her next meal we were in the next plane and she fell asleep again for the take off. How lucky we were.
It was very nice to see how everyone was helpful and patient when they would see the trolley and the children. We used every benefit and the waiting in lines wasn’t so bad. If you travel with small children always take a trolley with you, not only because of the children, but it’s practical to hang jackets, and some of the hand luggage on it.
So, came the long flight. I didn’t mention that on both flights we were separated, my husband was seating on the other end of the plane. During the first flight it was fine, only 1 hour, but for the second… A lady seating next to me was willing to change the seat, but only if she got seated in the business class. The flight attendants were very nice but didn’t manage to solve the problem. I just told them to leave it. That lady got her retribution later. She got kicked by Stefan in his sleep. I apologized the same way she did for not wanting to change the seat with my husband. 🙂
Anyway, we had good moments on that long flight. I watched 2 movies while Mila was sleeping. Stefan was playing every possible game and watched few cartoons. When Mila was awake she was great. Both of them were eating with no problem, liked the plane food. When they were bored we would take a short walk to find dad, or a visit to the toilet, which was especially fun for Stefan. It was his second time traveling by plane, but more interesting this time as he is bigger. All in all it wasn’t bad.
The torture was when we arrived at the airport in Chicago. After we landed we had to pass the immigration control. We came by tourist visas and didn’t know that we will be interrogated. We were not prepared for some of the questions, like the address where we will stay. Couldn’t reach a network on the phones to call my brother in law and ask. At the end the boy on the counter took the address from our visa application and there were no problems after that. At least that’s what we thought so…
We were waiting for the luggage for 2,5 hours. They were scanning every single suitcase. It was good that we had some more baby food and snacks. We couldn’t wait to leave the airport.
The children were so happy to see their uncle welcoming them with balloons. When we arrived in his apartment it was already evening, we had a small dinner and went to bad, which was good because it was easier to adjust to the time difference.
We had a lovely month in the windy Chicago, visiting many attractions, surrounding places, meeting some of my cousins and friends.
I have to say that the returning was not so nice for me, because Mila was more awake and difficult. On the other hand it’s always easier when you go back home, you know what to expect and there’s the nice feeling of returning to where you belong.
Small tips if you are traveling with small children or a baby:
- always read information about luggage and on board rules, they can be different in different air companies;
- travel with trolley;
- whatever you need do not hesitate to ask the flight attendant;
- try as much as possible to keep the daily routine of feeding, sleeping… with small adjustments to the time zone;
- take more than enough: extra clothes, blankets for babies, wipes, in the hand luggage;
- If the air company allows bring with you enough food and drinks for the whole travel, starting from the moment you leave the house till the arriving at the final destination;
- bring toys and some other things to keep them occupied for the long flights;
- for the hand luggage is more practical to have backpacks, in case you have to carry some of the children in arms;
- If you travel by Turkish airlines don’t try to book the seats on line, do it by phone. (That was the reason why we were separated).
It was quite an adventure which we are planning to repeat soon. We are planning to visit another destination, because my brother in law, together with his girlfriend moved in another city in the USA. The children came out to be excellent travelers!
I hope this was somewhat helpful, you are welcomed for questions and comments.
Thank you for reading.