Traveling with Little Ones
Traveling with little ones is a different ballgame than what you may be used to. That’s not to say it can’t be fun and memorable. It’s not a secret thought that even trying to plan it can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety to kick in. After all, there are so many questions (an often opinions) that come up even at the beginning.
Is There A Too Young?
I’d say definitely a new infant you want to be extra careful with and would probably want to hold off on traveling. It’s also important to take into consideration with little ones the amount of time they’ll be in the car or on a plane. They’ll need time to stretch out and take breaks so it’s a good idea to start with short distances.
Is It A Waste To Travel With Little Ones?
That is a question I often hear when people talk about whether they want to go somewhere out of town. Some feel that their little one isn’t going to remember the trip so why not wait and go when they are older and can understand. While I can understand the theory, sometimes you go because who knows if you’ll be able to in the future? We can’t predict how busy life will be or what financial situation we’ll be in, sometimes it is good to live in the present.
They Won’t Even Remember It
That’s a valid point. They may not remember it. However YOU will. You will remember their reaction, their excitement, their experience which is just as valid and memorable. They don’t remember their first step or their first birthday, but we document these things because they’re important and they happened. When they are older and they look back, they’ll still know that they did have that experience. If you get to do it again when they are older, then that makes it even more awesome and you can have the experiences to compare.
When my daughter was a year old I had to go to a work conference in Colorado. We took her with us and while it was definitely an adjustment traveling with a little one but it was well worth it. We went back the next year as well and there are things that even now at age 7 she can recall from it. We went to New York when she was 3 and my son was one and then again a couple years later. They both recall the airplane ride as well as some of the sites we saw. New York is such a change of scenery it was fun to see their reaction to how busy it was and the lights and surroundings. They were amazed by the tall buildings and love to point out in movies when they see the Empire State Building or Central Park. There are things they don’t remember, but that we do, like my son’s reaction to Carnegie Deli Pickles or my daughter’s reaction to FAO Schwartz.
Accept the Difference in Traveling With Adults vs Kids
When traveling we definitely can’t hit the ground running like we did before kids and push ourselves to keep going and take in as much as we can. It’s a different take on travel, but one that I equally love. I’ve realized that when we go out of town I am changing their routine and so I try and be sensitive to that. When they are cranky because it’s normally nap time, we may go back to the hotel mid-day or adjust our plans so that they can take a nap in the stroller. Typically we’re back at the hotel within an hour of their normal bedtime. We have experimented and tried going beyond this and the next day we paid big. The worst part was, I couldn’t even be mad at them because I knew. The experiences that they have and that I get to have with them out weigh the changes I have to make to the way I travel. Just like many other things that change as you get older, travel is one of them but it doesn’t make it any less exciting or fun.
One of my favorite blogs, The Chic Mamas has a great article, 5 Tips For Traveling With A Toddler. She has some GREAT tips in there, including this ending advice “If you find yourself stuck in a full on tantrum, remember breathe deep, know that this flight WILL end, you WILL exit the aircraft and most likely NEVER see any one of those people ever again!” <- THIS is so true!! So at the end of the day, remember that one fact!
Speaking of The Chic Mamas, if you have a baby, check out Paperclip Life Diaper bags. It is the ultimate diaper bag for everyday and travel. There is nothing more frustrating than (especially while traveling) needing to change your child and not being able to find a changing table. Seriously. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, just be thankful. The diaper bags hold everything you need and have a washable, changing pad with sides that folds down. Brilliant and a must have for parents. *I am not associated or affiliated with Paperclip Life I just think they are super cool.
Do you have any travel suggestions?