Saturday, July 30, 2011

Roadtripping with a Toddler - (not really) THE HORROR

We're back. And I'm exhausted.

Is that even possible to come home from a vacation so tired and bloated from drinking/eating your face off that all you want to do is run to the gym and immediately go on a detox? Um, yup. Guess it is. And from the looks of it, BlogHer '11 isn't going to be the best place to detox. So I guess I will be busting out the fat pants. Sigh.

But hey! We're back! And we survived a roadtrip with the Kid!

Actually it was kind of the easiest trip we've ever taken, and since I get on an airplane with him at least every 6 weeks? That's saying a lot.

How did we do it? How was it so easy this time around and such a terror-filled excursion last year? Well, first of all... he's a whole year older. (Yes thank you for the "Captain Obvious" comments...) But really, it makes SUCH a difference.

Not to scare anyone who's going to take a road trip with their infant but really? It's kind of a nightmare. Last year he was pretty much a potted plant. Which ironically meant that over an hour in one place was TERRIBLE for him and he would start screaming. They can't sing songs with you, or play I-spy, or count, or read, or crack out to Sesame Street. (<--- guilty of THAT one) And if they are older infants? They also don't sleep as much. So assuming that your 8 month old will sleep in the car the WHOLE DAMN WAY (like I did)? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Rookie.

So yes, the car aspect was SO much easier. And the trip was tremendous in general. But a few things to think about if you're going to take your first roadtrip with your toddler.

1) MAKE LISTS. LOTS AND LOTS OF LISTS - Yeah, so maybe I'm a little neurotic about this one. And maybe I have lists of things stuck all over the house anyway. But honestly people, it's huge. Now granted, we were headed up to our house at the lake... our house. Which means no hotel room, our own kitchen, bring your own food, etc., and that makes it a lot harder. But when you have a kid, or two, or three for that matter, your head kind of gets all explodey on a daily basis and remembering things can be hard. You do NOT want to forget something that you can't buy there... like their stuffed animals or blanket. Be prepared for hell on earth if you do.

2) Bring EVERYTHING - You should have seen the back of our SUV. Oy. I am an overpacker but I truly believe that I would rather have more than less. Especially with a kiddo who might not be all that receptive to the phrase... whoops, we left your red sippy cup at home. Screw it people, bring them ALL. And again, you have to remember that we were driving... these rules obviously do not apply when hopping on an airplane. At that point, screw you kid, your red sippy cup is the difference between paying for a checked bag or not.

Unless you fly Southwest, where all bags fly FREE!!! <--- shameless plug, help pay our mortgage.

But seriously, if you have doubts? Bring it.

3) Bring Travel Gear - Depending on where you are going you will probably need travel or pared down versions of what you normally use at home. I mean, I seriously doubt that you are going to stuff your gigantic high chair into the back of your car. Look for things that are small and compact and easy to pack. Like this...

I will be honest. If you have a child and do NOT know about this, you are living in a cave. This is probably one of my FAVORITE infant/toddler things that I ever purchased and I may actually have more than one of them. SO EASY. SO COMPACT. SO AWESOME. It straps to a chair, can be used solo on the floor, can be used as a highchair, or a booster, can do the dishes and maybe will write all of those lists for you. It rocks. And is cheap enough that if you get to where you are going and need one? Can totally be purchased on the fly.

Also bring a pared down version of their toy box. As in, do NOT bring all of their toys and books, but PLEASE bring some. They will not be as good at letting Mommy and Daddy rest and relax if you forgot to bring their toys/games/books.

But if you are potty training? Mother of God, PLEASE bring your potty chair. The travel seats I have seen are pretty rough on their little bums and if you want to keep them potty training on vacation? Just bring the stupid thing. No point going away and derailing ALL OF THAT WORK because they are afraid they are going to fall in or something.

4) Bring your own food - Ok, if you are going to a resort or something akin to it, this may sound extreme. But we all know that feeding a toddler is trying on the best of days. We try and do healthy food for our kiddo, veggies and fruit and good-for-you foods, while avoiding the overly processed, refined sugars, etc. And vacation is no different. But I found at the end of the week, when we had eaten our fair amount of "vacation food", that veggies were like, THE GROSSEST THING EVER to the Kiddo. And we even managed to feed him relatively healthy food most of the time. But whoa, even those little deviations derailed his eating at home BIG TIME. So try and maintain some consistency with the food by bringing it with you. They don't have to eat super healthy all of the time (it is vacation for crying out loud) but kids need structure, and letting them eat too much crap? Could SCREW you when you get home.

5) Relax - I mean, it is vacation after all. And as one of my girlfriends reminded me, as long as you have prescription meds and their lovies, you can probably buy anything else you need when you get there.

Do you have any pointers for traveling with a toddler? How did you survive?

Enjoy the last few days of July (how the f*** did that happen) and the end of your summers... and good luck traveling!

It's really not that bad.

Fyi - I didn't receive any compensation from Fisher Price for my comments. They are as always my own and unbiased.


Related Posts with Thumbnails