This blog covers our wait, travel, and adjustment to our 4 year old adopted Chinese daughter Sarah Shui Qing from Nanjing. There are over 1000 posts. I have moved my blog to Catching Butterflies 2. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog. It has alot of information on Special needs adoption. Follow us to our new address Catching Butterflies 2! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My number one idea for traveling with my kids is a direct over night flight! When the flight is 11 hours long, and my kids sleep 8 hours of the flight, I only need to entertain them for 3 hours! From Germany there are a number of over night flights to China. God willing, we will be able to get tickets on one of these flights. I think there are a few direct flights from the West Coast of the USA and also a direct flight from Washington DC. I also highly recommend technology! Game boys, and portable DVD players. I understand the game cartridges for game boys are super cheap in China. I will probably try to buy a few game boys for the trip, and invest in some extra games when we get there. This is something they don't have now, so it would be exciting for them to get it! We already have portable DVD players for Jessica. My computer also plays DVDs. I may buy one or two new DVDs for the flight(something new is always a good thing for a long Trip).My kids love Sudoku . I also bring a supply of colored pencils and paper because Nicole loves to draw. The kids can play Tic Tac Toe , and bingo and Aggravation the travel board game. Younger kids would like a Magna Doodle, and Play Doh. I always buy my kids a new magazine to read. Nicole gets a science magazine, Jessica loves Disney, and the boys love Power Rangers. I don't actually let them watch Power Rangers, but the magazine is a big hit. I also bring 3 or four packages of chewing gum for the takeoff and landing. Jessica will not chew gum, so I bring a crazy straw for her to drink a soda with. You can not bring drinks on to an airplane, but you can ask for a drink before you take off. If you are flying with small kids you may want to bring a car seat. Check with the airline about what kind of seat they will allow on a plane. Being able to buckle a toddler into a car seat for a long flight is more then worth the trouble of carrying the seat! Car seats are hard to buy in China. This is something you will need to consider bringing! You probably won't be allowed to use the car seat in China, it's just for the flight.
Once we are in China, our kids love to swim. They will sight see for only half a day, but it's a vacation for them if they can swim! We try to find a balance between seeing stuff, and relaxing at the pool. We eat out some of the time, and order room service, or bring take out to the room. Our kids can be good in restaurants, but two weeks of restaurants is just too much to ask! I guess traveling with kids can be easy or hard depending on your child. If they are wanting something new, get it for the trip...and don't let them have it until they are in the air! Don't make the mistake of letting them have the new toy a week early...make the flight something to look forward to! We hope to travel at least 4 days before we get Sarah. We need a few days to get over the jet lag. Also try to prepare your kids for the "super star" attention they may receive in China. In Thailand, people would walk out of stores to stare at Nicole because she is so tall and has such light colored skin. Some kids like the attention,others get really bothered by it. Either way,kids should be prepared to be stared at. Also, people who are always comparing home to the new place often have a hard time with culture shock. If your kids can just be prepared for it to be different, and willing to accept it as just different, they will probably have a good time. If it gets too overwhelming for them, slow down and hang out at the hotel. Let them play game boy, and watch a movie. Culture shock is real. Sometimes a little extra sleep and taking it slow for a day or two will help them adjust! I'm blessed because my kids love to travel. They have all traveled allot. The first few days are generally hard for Thomas and Jessica, but then they all really get into traveling!

Some good links-
Fun stuff to do with traveling kids
Moms Minivan travel games