Disney with a Toddler? Why it’s worth going!

Hey y’all!

Yesterday morning my family and I found ourselves sifting through photos from our Disney trip this past December. We seriously miss it so much! I remember when Andrew and I had our second date the topic of Disney World came up over a bowl of pho and I shared my love for the place. ❤ Andrew, being a young, single man just couldn’t see the excitement of it unless you had kids. Over time though I was able to show him more and more and slowly I could see his eyes widen every time I brought it up. I constantly told him that I wanted to take a trip there, the three of us, but he was convinced it would cost a fortune. He’s not wrong. Disney can easily turn into an expensive vacation, but luckily I was able to convince him last year that going to Disney BEFORE Olive-Lynn turned 3 would be our cheapest option. If you have a little and want to satisfy your Disney itch or if you just love Disney keep reading 🙂IMG_3827Our flights: At this point Olive-Lynn was already passed the 2 year old mark to fly for free, but you could certainly save more money by making your trip before that age. In our case, she was a couple of months before turning 3. However, I was able to to use our points with Southwest Airlines to pay for our round trip flights which only cost us about $33! Don’t underestimate the power of a great travel credit card, but of course use it responsibility and you can really get a lot out of it. If you don’t have points search for the lowest fare. Our flight cost about $94 each way which isn’t bad at all.IMG_7984IMG_8015Our hotel: I was very fortunate at this time that I still worked in the hotel industry because we were able to find a hotel for $49/night with my employee discount. (Let me know if y’all would like to learn more about working in the hospitality industry.) That’s a good sign in general though, typically those discounts are only available because occupancy is low in the hotel, which means they are selling those rooms cheaper. Take advantage of that time. Also, book early!IMG_3840IMG_3859IMG_3867IMG_3887IMG_3898Our tickets: We decided to only visit two theme parks in order to minimize costs as much as possible. Magic Kingdom was a must for anyone’s first visit so that was on the list. Our second choice was a bit more difficult, but we landed on Hollywood Studios, because it had both Disney JR and Star Wars 🙂 Under 3 you get in free, so we just paid the price of our tickets which were just under $450. On top of that, our first day in we spent wandering Disney Springs which is FREE! Perfect way to get things started before taking on the parks.IMG_3834IMG_2799IMG_2814Our timing: The original plan was actually to go with my oldest brother and his family, on Christmas Day, but that didn’t happen. Having gone to Disney only in the summer I had dreamed about seeing the parks in both Halloween and Christmas time. To allow us more time to plan/save we shot for December and it worked out perfectly. I’m actually really happy we didn’t go on Christmas, as magical as it would’ve been, that would’ve been nuts! We went the second weekend in December and the weather was perfect, the crowds had not fully taken over yet, but you still got all the Christmas magic ❤ IMG_8043IMG_2708Here are a few other reasons.

  • She napped! We arrived early to the parks and she thankfully took naps as she normally would which helped not have a cranky toddler.
  • We could share food! On top of being able to bring your own food into the parks, yes they allow that. We could share our plates with her which helped at the restaurants we did eat at.
  • There is actually A LOT they can do! Not many realize, but your kiddos can ride quite a bit as long as they have a parent with them. Like I really needed a reason to get on DUMBO though, haha. Plus, there are endless shows to cool down in, rest your feet, and make for a nice dark place to take that nap I mentioned before.
  • You get to experience being a single rider! I don’t know about you all, but I’ve always had someone to get on rides with. This time around we signed up for FastPasses and took turns getting on a few rides she couldn’t. It was a fun experience and neat to talk about how it went for us once we were done.
  • They don’t want EVERYTHING! lol Okay, maybe this one can vary on the child/parent relationship, but for us it worked out. She didn’t beg and cry for every item that had her favorite characters. She was content with just taking everything in. Don’t get me wrong we still snagged a couple of things, but I could only imagine that it is far more difficult to negotiate with a 5-10 year old than it is a toddler in this case.
  • Meeting the characters! The only thing better than you meeting the characters you love is watching your kid(s) meet the characters they love ❤

Our first trip to Disney together was amazing and we can’t wait to do it again. We’re hoping to make several trips in the future to include one just for the adults. 🙂

Share any tips you have for doing Disney with a toddler and share any of your favorites in the park. One of mine is simply walking onto Main Street USA. I just get the best feeling ever and know that I’m going to have one of the best days ever!IMG_8121IMG_8063IMG_2604

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4 Tips For Flying With A Baby

Hi guys!

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a bit now, but I was still gathering all my information and making notes on what I would include. Plus, I’ve had several people request this type of blog since they are asking themselves, “Can I travel with a baby?”.
Now that I no longer have a baby,  but have a toddler I feel prepared to give some insight. 🙂

In short YES! It’s absolutely possible! However, it’s different for everyone, but if your end goal is to travel it can be done. When Andrew and I met, we made so many travel plans for the two of us. However, we didn’t even take our first out of state trip together until I was 6 months pregnant, haha. Nonetheless, having a child did not stop us from booking the best deals we could find. If anything, it encouraged us to travel even more so Olive-Lynn could see the world too! So here’s how to survive your plane ride with baby.

Fly before 2

This isn’t really a “survival” tip, but more of a, if you didn’t know, now you do! Travel as much as you can before your little one turns 2 years old. If you are already a traveler then you know that children under 2 typically fly for FREE! Need anymore of an incentive? I found that are flights were very easy with a little. Plus, everyone is super nice to you, or they don’t want to be anywhere near a baby on a plan and that means you all get a whole row to yourself (more on that below).

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Early birds take naps

I would recommend flying as early as possible! Yes, I know sometimes the 540AM flight looks dreadful, but listen here. We ALWAYS booked AM flights and this is why. We’d clearly be waking up pretty early to arrive and get settled at the airport so that meant baby was getting up with us. This was good because that meant by 6AM she was ready for a nap. We were very fortunate to have her nap most, if not the entire flight going. Coming back varied, since we couldn’t always find early morning flights that weren’t too expensive but we managed. Another plus, there are a lot of direct flights AND usually they are a bit cheaper in the early morning.

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A comfortable baby is a happy baby

As a parent you have already packed babies food and snacks for the trip. Be sure to have bottles ready to go with formula handy (these are great for flights), snacks if your baby is at that stage, or be comfortable nursing in public. I heard many times before flying that babies need to be nursing or drinking their bottle at take off to avoid issues with their ears. Though I’m not sure how true this is with every baby it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. When we flew my daughter would rarely nurse as we took off, but more so after we had been in the air for about 10-20 minutes then promptly knocked out. I think it was a combination of the hum from the plane and the early flight that would get her. It worked out perfect! Also, nursing for comfort can help keep baby calm and full 🙂

To piggy back this, change babies diaper right before jumping on that plane. Depending on how long the flight is you may not even need to change them, which is a challenge with the bathrooms being so small. You can always opt’d for changing baby on the plane before take off too, which is a easier because the plane is parked. Comfort is key, so if baby has a dry diaper they will be happier and so will you.

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Choosing your seat

Depending on who you fly with you may have more flexibility on where you sit on a plane. I’ve only flown Southwest, so here are my tips when it comes to flying with them. First off, TRY to get ‘A’ boarding and if you can’t don’t fret because thankfully Southwest has Family Boarding which happens between ‘A’ and ‘B’ boarding. Once you are on the plane, I would say to choose the first row (which is usually taken once Family Boarding starts) or the last row. With the first row, other than having more leg room, another plus is that you are out first. For us though, we always make a b-line to the last row. We have found that most people do not go back there unless they need to, which works out great for us. A plus for mom, dad, and diaper changes is that the bathroom is right there. Aside from that, I feel like there is a little more freedom to get up and stretch your legs and the flight attendants are usually super nice 🙂

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Bonus Tip: Leave the middle seat empty or sit by the window. Believe it or not people will try to avoid sitting in your row because they do not want to sit in the middle of a baby or on the aisle seat and risk you getting up multiple times during the flight. Of course, if the flight is full, just squeeze on in and take that window seat! For us at least, OL loved looking out the window which made for an easier flight.

I hope you parents found this helpful! Don’t stress it too much, make a list, bring a book/toy for baby and you all will survive the flight. Remember, travel is just as good for you as it is for your baby, so go on and book that trip!

PARENTS! If y’all have any tips or tricks you do to make flights easier, share them in the comments below! Let’s all help each other out 🙂

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