We just got back from a two-week trip traveling through Spain with our 2 1/2 year old daughter. I know, poor me. But in the true spirit of being Committed, it did get a little crazy.
Balloons make everything better.
I loved the trip. The architecture was amazing, the culture is admirable (drinking and eating all the time! Siestas!) The wine was cheap and delicious. Oh, the food…
The kiddo was a handful. She may read this years down the line, so I don’t want her to feel like I’m putting her down. It wasn’t her fault–the 9 hour time difference was rough on all of us. And she’s 2 1/2, which means discovering strong preferences, a desire for instant perfection (well, we never outgrow that, do we?), and just general upsettedness at basically everything. We thought her familiarity with travel might make things easier, which it probably did (but didn’t feel like it at the time).
Sometimes kiddo had a low sitting threshold.
SO. For this post, I’m going to focus on how we handled the tears and tantrums. (HINT: Wine. Lots of wine.)
We learned a few things on this trip, lessons that weren’t too unexpected:
Lower your expectations for how much you’ll get to see or do each day
Respect the schedule, but sometimes stretching it to experience something amazing is worth the crankiness
Staying in one place is MUCH easier than hopping cities (duh, but it was worth a shot)
Twos CAN be terrible, but they can also be amusing
Rely on your partner and take the burden if you’re up to it
Talk through your plans first (ie, how are you going to get off the train? Who is carrying the car seat? Carrier on the front or back?)
The carseat & baby carrier were helpful. We were glad to leave the stroller at home.
Don’t forget that you’re ON VACATION and laugh and enjoy the little things as much as possible.
This weekend, I took my 19-month daughter from Seattle to New York. Alone. In my lap.
I had my hesitations about taking the unnecessary adventure, but it paid off. I got to see some great old friends, introduce my daughter to their children, and see a little of the Big Apple during Christmastime. All around win. Here are the packing tips that helped us survive a redeye back East, and a 6.5 hour flight west. With a lap toddler.
With a 17 month-old, I’ve officially been through 4 diaper bags, with 3-4 unofficial options as well. Why? Am I picky? Am I destructive? Am I disorganized? Do I get frantic? Kind of.
The thing is, different situations call for different bags. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about! You have your big, multi-purpose handbag for everyday outings or when you need to carry the utilitarian stuff. The cute, sassy clutch works for evenings out because you only need a couple of items for the night.
Though you may not be dancing the night away and getting free drinks with your little one in tow, you may have a preference for a smaller bag sometimes.
Here’s what I’ve learned about diaper bags.
I recently went to Hawaii with my husband, daughter, in-laws and my sister. My sister is an awesome gal and has spent the last several years traveling the world. She basically lives out of a backpack, which is really impressive! Needless to say, she’s picked up some habits along the way that make this lifestyle easier.