Seeing the World
Before we were parents, we were told many times that having children means we won’t travel as much. Do we travel as much? Maybe not, but we do still travel. Yankee and I talked about this a lot before Little Miss came home. Travel is a passion of ours, and as parents we want to show our children the world. We live in a wonderful home in a wonderful city, but there is so much out in the world to see and do. Travel helps opens your eyes. We wanted to do our best to show her as much as possible. Here are some of our tips and tricks for traveling with toddlers.
First of all, when traveling with toddlers, you have to go in with a different mindset. Yankee and I used to travel without checking a bag. We loaded up our little backpacks, and that’s all we took on trips that lasted two weeks plus. We never had to wait on luggage in an airport. We would just go. We knew that having a child with us meant we would have to travel with more baggage, and we just had to accept it. We spend more time now waiting on luggage and car seats, but we expected it going in, so it isn’t a big deal. Your child will mirror your attitude when traveling, so it’s important to stay calm, and let life just happen even when there are unexpected surprises.
We go over every upcoming event with Little Miss so she will know what to expect. For instance, before she went to the dentist for the first time, we had her lie back in a chair, we turned a big light on and pointed it toward her mouth, and we checked her teeth. She knew exactly what to expect when she went for her first dental visit and loved it. You can do the same thing with traveling, just like we do. If you will be going on a plane for the first time, talk about it, and practice what it will be like. Talk about security and putting things on the belt and going through the scanner. Let children know it will be busy, but it is part of the adventure. Talk about the plane and how things will go. Little Miss now asks what type of plane we will be flying. I am horrible on my plane knowledge so this one I default to Yankee. We as adults know what to expect on a flight but for little ones it is new. Turn them into good flyers and travelers. One funny story on our flight into Nicaragua…. It was pretty bumpy. The person in the seat in front of us was getting sick from the turbulence. While I am not a fan of the turbulence, I was not going to let Little Miss catch on. She was laughing and thinking it was a blast. Her excitement even got others smiling and laughing around us. Well not the girl in front. Poor thing. Also, your child might get sick so have those bags ready for the car and plane along with extra wipes and not only a change of clothes for your child but for you in case they get sick on you.
What age is a good age to introduce your child to travel? Personally, I think the younger the better. Get your children in the habit of traveling whether it is a long car ride to grandma’s house or a flight across the country. We didn’t get Little Miss till she was 19 months old, and we jumped right into travel. We hired a driver and took her on a four-hour trip to the beach right away. We met her in Thailand, and it was important to us to get her out of Bangkok and to a quieter and calmer environment so we could continue bonding. Shortly after that, we had to board a plane for a 24 hour plus trip home. She was introduced to travel out of necessity, but since then she has been to several states, a few countries, and on a cruise. Now she doesn’t think anything of it. She just does it. She gets her suitcase and helps pack. It is amazing the things she remembers from our trips. Will she remember it all? No, but when we are home, we do activities and outings even though she won’t remember it all.
Bring some comforts from home for travel. I know. I know. You might see the picture and see she is sleeping on the floor. Well I have had my fair share of naps on an airport floor and survived the dirt to tell about it. Here Little Miss was able to take a nap because she had some comforts such as her blankie, a favorite stuffed animal, and a travel pillow. We even travel with our sound machine . We figure it is something similar that will remind her of home since we play babbling brook for her every night. We joke Little Miss will be taking the sound machine to college!
Traveling also means there might be some down time before arriving at your destination. We are not big on tablets at home, but we do have one we bring out for travel so that it is a special treat. Little Miss is allowed to use her Amazon Fire to watch some shows and or play some games. She knows not to ask for it at home and knows it is a perk for travel. I also bring along other packable activities that she doesn’t play with at home so it is still something fun and exciting to her. These Wikki Sticks are amazing. She loves playing with them. They are sticky but do not leave a residue. I actually bought this book, and she makes the designs with the Wikki Sticks and not the tape that came with the book. A child’s camera is also something we love to take with us on a trip.
Our little ones see us take pictures, and they want to be part of the action. This camera is easy to hold ,and Little Miss understands it more than I do. Haha!!! She can go back and find pictures, and we can even download them. It is fun to see what your child see’s through their eyes.
Remember at the end of the day a trip is supposed to be fun. Will everything go as planned? No. Will there be days when you are tired? Yes, but soak it up, and enjoy the ride. You will teach some great things to your little ones!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain
Do you have any trips on traveling with toddlers? If so please share.
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