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Rachel in New York: Airplane gifts and helpful strangers

Little airplane gifts

So anyway, I made a list in advance of everything I wanted to have seen. My brother came along and we took a risk booking an AirBnb (with a lot of very good reviews) for the 4.2 of us. I looked up all kinds of tips about flying with toddlers, such as having small toys wrapped up as presents. That way, he could unwrap one every few hours and have something new to play with, such as a colouring book, toy car, etc. Action is my favorite store for these kinds of things. My son was still at the age that we didn’t have to pay for a seat on the airplane, which meant a game of musical chairs on our laps. The flight back home was a nightmare. Our son didn’t sleep, despite it being a night flight. We couldn’t get comfortable, he wanted to lay on me, but there wasn’t enough room with my belly. I guess the only consolation was that he didn’t cry a lot. Luckily, the flight over was a dream.
 

Helpful strangers

Upon arrival, we took public transport in to town and found the Airbnb that lived up to our medium expectations. Accommodation is expensive in the big apple! Our host was not able to supply a baby bed. There are some services that rent these, but we survived by letting him sleep on the fold out bed surrounded by a pillow fort.

We walked and used the subway everywhere. Everyone was extremely helpful carrying the buggy for us up and down stairs, standing up for me to sit down on subways, even when the whole carriage was empty. And strangers were even kind enough to point out when my son was licking the pole in the subway and that it was probably not the most sanitary action.
 

My recommendations for a trip to New York with the kids

I’m not going to bore you further with the details of what we did every day. Let’s just say that we managed to tick everything off our list in 7 days, including some shopping and still took time to rest when it was necessary. So, my recommendations?

  • Definitely take the free ferry to Staten Island as opposed to the (paid) tourist boats to Ellis Island. You’ll see the statue of liberty just as well and be able to take the required selfies.
     
  • Rent a bike with kids chair and cycle around central park.
     
  • Either cook yourself to make sure you and your kid are getting the necessary nutrients, or put your worries aside for the trip and reconcile to the fact that you’ll be living on mostly fast foods. You’ll be glad to eat a salad when you get home. It’s quite ironic that often the healthy side in the restaurants is Brussel sprouts.
     
  • Buy an easy to fold, light weight buggy second hand where the seat can be put all the way back to sleep. Ours was indispensable.
     
  • Keep to your normal schedule as much as possible, adjusted to the new time zone – sleep and feeding moments etc, even if it means walking an extra block or two so your child gets his usual nap. Every other day we also made sure to go back to the apartment in the afternoon for a good rest. Be prepared with small snacks while you’re out and about. But don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work. Kids are easy and won’t go crazy if everything doesn’t go according to plan.
     
  • Be prepared for jet lag – it took 3 nights for my son to adjust. He woke up every night and it took max an hour each time to lull him back to sleep. But we kept everything quiet, dark and maintained the rest of the schedule. Once back at home, he adjusted back much quicker.
     
  • Don’t take the elevators underground, a lot of them are extremely hot and are used as toilets. Oh, and take hand sanitizer!

To conclude, we had a fabulous time. I would definitely recommend it to others.

 

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