Toddler vacations…what can I say? You can’t live without them, and you can’t survive on them. There’s really nothing like trying to travel with your doppelganger. You really have to be ready for a few things as you embark on this journey with the tiny version of you. Here’s just a few:
1. Packing is Not What You Would Call Fun
No, let me really tell you. Packing is not fun. Have you ever seen this video? It pretty much details everything you need to know about trying to leave with a toddler in tow.
Suffice to say that packing is not easy when you can’t even get out the door. Honestly, I’ve found it easier to simply put my toddler in the car well before I try to put my wife (or the 17 bags we are taking) in the car. If I don’t, someone’s likely to lose a limb before we even get started.
If you do manage to get everyone and everything you’ve packed out the door, you’ll soon realize that you’ve forgotten your toddler’s favorite teddy bear. Just know that you’ll be buying a new favorite bear (or three) on the trip.
2. Travelling on a Plane – Oh The Wonderful Places You Will Go
Don’t bother bringing an iPad, iPhone, book, doodle pad, or any other item you intend on using. Why? Well, you have a toddler and a toddler requires the use of all of these things…at the same time! You can’t use the iPad without them becoming mesmerized and needing to play. You can’t use the iPhone even after you’ve (carefully) given them the iPad because they’ll need that other game you showed them one time. You can’t read your book because you’ll need to show them how to play the games; you definitely can’t use the doodle pad because your toddler will need to doodle over any idea you ever come up with.
Ask me how I know – Side note: if you do manage to ever get them settled in with a phone or tablet, be sure to tune into our educational channel for toddlers!
Now, once you get beyond the relentless aggression towards your favorite items, you’ll find a toddler who’s bored is a toddler who’s screaming. He/She will ensure that you know that he/she does not want to be where he/she is.
Ask me how I know.
Finally, when you get to your destination your toddler will be asleep and completely unmovable, leaving you to decide whether to leave suitcase #6 or your toddler in the chair.
Ask me how I know.
3. Sleep, Precious Sleep
Remember when you used to go travelling (just) with your significant other? Although there would be long nights (hooray), you both could sleep in as long as you wanted. You both could come back from a trip well rested, less stressed, and ready to tackle the world….
Yeah, those days are gone.
Now there’s this little thing that controls everything to do with sleep! From choosing who sleeps where, to enforcing his/her bedtime, to ensuring everyone and your mother (in-law) is awake before you’re ready, this little tyrant makes sure that no one sleeps comfortably.
Gone are the days where you could stay up late and watch a (saucy?) movie. Instead, now you watch Paw Patrol just before you hit the hay at the ripe old hour of 8 PM. You better be quiet after that too because it took you 3 hours to calm them down and get them ready to go to bed. There’s no funny business, you two…especially since your wife is sleeping in the same bed as your toddler.
4. Enjoying The Days’ Activities
First off, there are no more day long tour buses. Secondly, there are no more wild/death defying adventures. Finally, there better be a sea turtle involved and you better be allowed to touch said sea turtle. If not, you’re playing with fire. Too long of a trip and they’ll melt down; too short of a time to play and they’ll melt down; too hot, melt down; too cold, freak out.
For the most part, your days with a toddler on vacation will be a struggle. They’ll make it hard to leave, they’ll make it nearly impossible to sleep, and you’ll be hard pressed to keep them happy most of the time during your family adventures.
You know what though, mom/dad? In the end, it’s all worth it. Do you know why?
This is why.
Until next time – stay classy,
Kids Fun Channel
By the way, this is from Alexandra Falls, NWT, Canada