Did you know traveling with a toddler isn’t nearly as harrowing as one may believe? That’s what many articles and blog posts say. I know. I read nearly all of them before embarking on a little holiday vacay with The Man and Nugget. Did you also know that it’s not as bad simply because you’ve usually resigned yourself to the fact that your kid will scream on a plane for 12 hours and anything less is awesome? It’s all relative really.
Frankly, traveling with a toddler is daunting. Your patience is tested. Your organizational skills are tested. Your relationships are tested – both between you and your kid and you and all of mankind. I mean, for a weeklong trip I’ve found I still pack the largest piece of luggage we own if only because diapers take up a lot of freaking space. Beyond that, I pack what we need and what I would need if I possibly lose, soil, break, rip, or get something confiscated. You think you’re done until you realize you have to pack things like medicine in case your kid develops a fever, nose drops for congestion, diaper cream for…yeah, super diaper cream for even worse, ear drops for cabin pressure, DVDs that’ll keep your kid quiet, books to do the same, new toys to introduce etc. etc. etc. By this point, you’ve pretty much loaded up your husband like a pack mule. Ugh. Daunting and heavy, really.
But once you get to where you’re going, relief sets in and vacay begins. Unless you have jet lag to deal with. And I’m not talking about some chintzy 3 hour difference many moms express concern about. I’m talking having your days and nights completely reversed. Completely. Reversed. Ok, well honestly, we went with the flow on this one and it wasn’t too bad. Except the one day when sleep felt like an idea someone came up with. That was rough. Really rough. I sympathize with anyone who’s dealt with it or will deal with it soon. The funny part (we’ll just call it that) is that Nugget finally adjusted to the time difference about 7 days in of a 10 day trip. Just in time for us to do it again!
All right, all right. I’m not trying to be all Debbie Downer here. Many families travel and struggle with all of these issues. I’m not the first and certainly won’t be the last mom to stress over and talk about traveling kids. The important thing is to enjoy vacation and let things flow. But let’s be realistic here. If you don’t plan ahead and pack well…well, good luck with that. I just hope I’m not the person next to you as your kid entertains himself by climbing over the chairs and pretending to have a gun shoot out with your face. Wait. That did happen to me. Damn you, kid karma.