• 6 Things You Should Know Before Going on “Vacation” With a Toddler

    Posted on June 10, 2014 by Stephens Family Daycare in Crib Notes, Parenting, Traveling.

    Ah vacations…I remember them like they were yesterday. My husband and I used to vacation with the best of them. We would sleep in until noon, order room service, have an afternoon activity and head out on the town at night for a big booze-filled dinner. Fast forward two years and a baby later, and vacations are no longer something I would call relaxing. They are more like enrolling in the witness protection program, rebuilding your life entirely in a matter of 3 days, only to have to rebuild it again 3 days later when you return home. I’m pretty sure that whoever came up with the term staycation must have had a toddler.

    toddler vacation

    There’s a dad somewhere carrying five bags and an umbrella that didn’t make it into this picture.

    Seeing as how summer is just days away, I’ve created a short list of why I won’t be heading on any so-called vacations with my 17-month-old this summer. Here’s why:

    1. You have to pack up your whole house, which makes airplane travel even more unpleasant and expensive.
    We now limit our vacations to a 5-hour driving radius around our hometown and, let me tell you, it’s not an exciting radius.

    2. You will get vomited on at some point during the traveling period.
    Which is fine, I guess, if you are into that sort of thing.

    3. You need to pay for a suite. And suites are f-ing expensive.
    Of course you don’t have to get a suite if you EITHER a) enjoy sharing a room with a child who is staring at you while you ignore them and pray they go to sleep OR b) enjoy ending your night at 8pm and sitting in the dark, in silence, so as not to wake your child (that is if they ever fall asleep).

    4. You will not be able to maintain any semblance of a schedule.
    Have you tried going to the beach with a small child? It’s like packing for a mini-vacation that, by the time you get there, lasts for 2 hours max before you have to return back to the hotel for naptime. Also, you should know, there is no such thing as lying on the beach with a toddler.

    5. You will not be able to sample the local cuisine.
    I am, or should I say used to be, a big foodie. Now all I look for in a restaurant is a place that offers chicken nuggets and the fastest service known to man.

    6. You will have to re-sleep train your child.
    And this can be VERY awkward if you are staying in a quaint B&B. We had this unfortunate experience while staying at a small beachside inn last summer, and we were lucky that no one called child protective services. Depending on the length of your vacation, you may want to screw the sleep training and opt for whatever it takes – hold/rock/drive your child to sleep. Either way, you will need to re-sleep train when you get home, and that is torture.

    So this summer, instead of shelling out tons of money to pack up your life and head to Amish country covered in vomit, I strongly recommend that you consider taking a staycation. Join me! I’ll be the one sitting in my backyard, laying out in the sun and sipping on a piña colada while my toddler takes her afternoon nap. Now THAT is what I call relaxing.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Mommy A to Z says:

    This is all so true. For 13 years we’ve stayed at the same B&B in Cape Cod, but after last year, with my infant (at the time) serenading us all at 4 a.m., I insisted we relocate to a house. This post is now featured at the Manic Mondays blog hop! Check it out at http://mommyatozblog.com/Get-Linky/. This week’s hop is now live…hope to see you there!

    • Noa says:

      A house really is the way to go when vacationing with small kids. So excited for the feature on the blog hop!! We will see you there!

  2. Michelle says:

    This could not be more true. Everyone without children just think my vacations sound so lame. Everyone with children understand why VRBOs at the Jersey Shore is my kind of scene. The goal when taking a toddler to the beach is to keep them ingesting too much sand. Keeping them from constantly eating sand requires a lot of distraction props — beach toys, food, blankets. Every once in awhile I still bring my kindle to the beach which I like to think proves I’m an optimistic person.

    • Noa says:

      You are VERY optimistic. I don’t even read anymore, at all. It’s terrible. But seriously VRBO at the beach is the way to go with kids, everyone gets their own room and you don’t have to worry about waking up any guests when your kids are screaming at night that they don’t want to go to sleep.

  3. Shaula says:

    I remember those days – and when they start speaking, its an endless stream of “mommy, when are we going to get there?”, or when you have two or more kids: “mommy – he/she is pulling my hair!” But then, in the olden days, there were no iPads, and no elmo, so maybe it is actually easier nowadays?

    • Noa says:

      I was thinking about that when talking to my grandma today and she mentioned they didn’t have epidurals back in her day. Modern science and technology are life savers!

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