1. Dubai has a beach. And resorts with water parks made for kids, or adults who act like kids. Being that we have not EVER had a family vacation that was pure vacation we would have loved to stayed a day or two and played. Bonus: to get ourselves acclimated to the new time zone.
2. On Emirates there is a place at your seat to charge your laptop, phone and ipad. No need to buy that fancy spendy airplane charger.
3. When you land in ET you must get your visa before going through customs. Yes, I know it says that in the arrival packet sent by Gladney...but try remembering what your name is after traveling for two days much less a tip about visas! The sign is
4. I was worried about the pollution and diesel fumes with our 4yr old who has asthma. She had no probs. I guess the high altitude and dry air offset the fumes. We came prepared for a constant asthma attack and yay! did NOT need a drop of any of it.
5. While we're talking dry. Bring some lotion and some lip balm. For realz.
6. You probably will not need a medical pack for each person traveling stocked with enough pepto, immodium, gatorade, bandaids, headache pills, etc. We got lucky and no one had "issues" and now I realize the likelyhood of every person having them is small. So enough meds for one or two people is probably fine.
7. Pack more travel tissues than you think you would possible need. Granted we had two sick grandmothers in the beginning, but even the healthy ones of us needed tissues. That pollution gets your nose working overtime.
8. Little bottles of hand sanitizer are great, but the packets that are sanitizing wipes we used most often. To clean your hands and sanitize in one action was very convenient. (see Mantra 2 below)
Two mantras to start working on now:
Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap. Do not put your toothbrush under the tap.
(You will probably still do this, and it will probably be OK. But you will wonder. You might even lose a bit a sleep the first time. But you WILL survive.)
Do not put the tissue in the potty. Do not put the tissue in the potty. Do not put the tissue in the potty. I repeat, Do NOT put the tissue in the potty. Doh! You did it! You put the tissue in the potty. Now WHAT!?! Are YOU going to be the reason the plumbing backs up in the guest house? Hmmmmm, will anyone know it was ME? No, but then you will also NOT have a potty, will it matter if anyone knows it was YOU if you don't have a potty? Pause. Sigh. ewwwwwwwwwwwww. Wash hands. Sanitize hands. Repeat at least once. Wipe the ewwwwwwwwww look off your face and return to your group.
(I promise you will do this more than once. Maybe even three or four times. You or your 4 year old might even do it while saying this mantra out loud to keep yourself from doing it. ewwwww.)