Our family recently traveled to Paris for a few days. We live in the UK, and since we won’t forever, we figured we should travel now while we can get much cheaper air fare (we did the whole trip for less than we would have spent on one plane ticket from the States), so we are trying to plan one trip a term (I have never quit thinking in school terms because I have never been off a school year calendar. Even though I graduated form college in 2001, my husband started grad school that year and has now done 2 Master’s degrees and is working on a PhD. Plus, we have kids, so this 9-month calendar will be perpetuated for another few years, I suppose- what do you do?)
Anyway, last year we visited family in Germany. While the trip was great, the sleeping arrangements were…um, less than desirable. My husband tends to worry about the flights working out and staying within the budget, whereas I get anxious over sleep. I do not function without good sleep, and with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, if they’re awake, I’m awake. So, knowing there was nothing I could do about it, I did not ask about how we would sleep. Oh my word. They had a pallet for my daughter and a pack n play for my son…in the same room as each other— and us!! On one side of the bed we had said 3 year old, on the other the 1 year old. Not my ideal set-up. So, we attempted to make it work. The problem was that all 4 of us make noise as we sleep…each creak on the bed or rustle of sheets made me cringe as I wondered who would hear it and think 2 am was a good time to get up. Unfortunately, I was right on target. Both children struggled every night to stay asleep as new noises penetrated their unconscious little minds.
Fast forward to this term’ s trip: Paris! I was determined to make it more pleasant. As such, I took precautions to reserve a 1-bedroom apartment rather than a hotel room. Since little ones go down at 7, and adults do not, we thought it would be nice to have a separate area where we could watch TV or read. We were only allotted carry-on’s under 10 pounds, so we had to pick and choose what made the cut. The main items were (in this order): portable white noise generators (yes, plural), KidCo PeaPod for our son, clothes, books. It was actually an easy fit and an amazingly peaceful trip! The kids shared a white noise generator and we used one- I was soooo glad to have them because Parisians do not get quiet at 7pm. There were drunk men right outside our window, having a ball, and the kids slept right through it! As for us, we kept our generator loud enough to block apartment life noise, but low enough to still hear the kids when they woke up and needed us.
Bottom line– I will never travel without portable white noise again.