Traveling with my daughters is my all time favorite thing to do. (Although, that may go without saying since that’s what my blog is all about.) Even though travel is wonderful and your kids are wonderful, they don’t always mix. Traveling with toddlers can be… stressful, to say the least.
I think it’s important to not avoid talking about the good, bad, and ugly in life. Like so many other difficult things in life, sometimes you just have to laugh through difficult situations. From accidents and melt downs to boo boo’s and always being hungry — this is the A-Z of traveling with toddlers that I know all parents can relate to.
A: Always asking to get out
Wether you are traveling via train, plane, or car, your toddler is going to want out. End of story. They may be super excited to get to where you’re going, but that won’t matter. They will want out.
B: Boo Boo’s
You think your toddler gets a lot of boo boo’s at home? Just wait until you decide to travel with them. Even just a simple trip to the zoo can be a nightmare.
As we prepared for our last trip to the zoo, my two year old insisted on wearing her rain boots with her romper even though it was 90 degrees and no rain in sight. Not even three minutes inside the entrance and she tripped over her boots and peeled the skin off both of her little knees. IT. NEVER. FAILS.
C: “Can’t see mommy! I can’t see momma!”
It doesn’t matter what the subject is. A statue, the ocean, art in your favorite museum, trees… a trash can, a nonexistent airplane. Whatever it is, they can’t see it. They want to be lifted up, they want to be held, they want on your shoulders, they want to push threw crowds and get lost to see it.
D: Don’t forget the friggin snacks!
The cardinal sin of traveling with toddlers. They are like reverse gremlins. They must be fed before midnight or they will turn into absolute monsters. Just had lunch 45 minutes ago? Doesn’t matter. They need a snack. Gummies, apple slices, puffs — you need them all.
E: Everyone will complement your kids
They may complement them on how cute they are, how well behaved they are, or ask you where you got their clothes. You may even get a complement for being a great parent. Sometimes when you are in the middle of an internal panic attack over traveling with your little ones, these complements get your through.
F: “Fries Mommy? I want nuggets and fries mommy!”
We know this one all too well don’t we. Be prepared for it to be amplified while you are traveling. They are tired, they are hungry, they are tired of eating at places they aren’t use to. Hearing a request for fries is inevitable.
No, not them, although they do a lot of it as well. I’m talking about you. Watching your kids learn and have fun in a new travel destination is what traveling with your toddlers is all about right? Sometimes you just need to set back and gawk at that wonderful masterpiece you created as they play in the ocean, walk the streets of an ancient town, or make a complete mess of themselves at dinner, haha.
H: “Have out please?”
When my toddler asks for something she uses the template “have ___ please mommy” While traveling, the most common use of that template is a request to get out. Out of the pool, out of her car seat, out of her bed, the list goes on.
I: “I don’t wanna”
A super common use of “I don’t wanna” occurs while in the car. I don’t wanna wait in a traffic jam either kid but here we are…
Or maybe you are going to hear “I don’t wanna” in the way that causes the worlds biggest eye roll from parents. You know the one. Your toddler begs to get an ice cream or begs to go to the park or maybe they tell you that they just have to have the grilled cheese at dinner. Then, when they get what they had been asking for you hear a “I don’t wanna!” What?!?!
J: Juice Please!
In the case of my toddlers this is a request for whatever I’m drinking which more times than not they aren’t able to have. Coffee, coke, margaritas – it’s all juice to them.
K: Keeping them cool
Traveling with in the summer can honestly be kinda sucky for adults and toddlers. Keeping your little ones comfortable and happy is the key to smooth traveling.
L: Look, look, look, look, look, look, look, look
For the love of God child, what is it?!?! Maybe it was a celebrity, maybe it was a bird, maybe a piece of trash, maybe their shadow. Who knows, but be prepared to look at freaking everything.
M: mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy
The first cousin to “L” on this list. The word that we both love and hate to hear. While those sweet “mommy?”‘s in the morning gently waking you up may be amazing.. the ones where they repeat it 900 times from the backseat with 3 hours of the road trip left to go… not so much.
This doesn’t even need an explanation. We all hear that “no” word at home and we say it ourselves a hundred times a day. The “no” I hate the most is when I ask my daughter if she is ready to leave and she says that she is. Then, we get in the car and it’s the end of the world because she doesn’t want to go.
With toddlers, obedience comes and go. Yes, you are an awesome parent and your little one(s) will sit down when you ask them to, but sometimes they just can’t help but to disobey. While traveling, this urge to disobey is at an all time high. I mean, who doesn’t want to run off and explore a place they have never seen before?
P: Potty time!
Oh good lord. The amount of pit stops you have to make when you travel with toddlers is OFF THE CHARTS, seriously. Potty break before you leave the hotel, another when you get to your first stop, potty before you leave, potty on your way to your next stop, potty potty potty.
[Look at my child putting her head on the sink to grin for a picture. Yup, so happy with her self for making us stop at yet ANOTHER gas station to use the potty.]
Q: Quit it!
Something that both the parent and the toddlers use on a daily basis. “Quit it sissy! I don’t want to!”, “Quit it child, it’s bed time!, “Quit it!! We don’t put gum from the bottom of the table in our mouths!”… just to name a few.
R: Resting is non existent
I don’t know about you but after a long day of exploring a new destination, you’d think the kids would just crash as soon as you get to your room, right? Well when they spend two hours asleep in their stroller as you explored the town, they don’t really feel like sleeping at bed time. So as I lay in bed begging my children to sleep because I can’t hold my eyes open any longer, they are busy jumping on the bed and taking their clothes off for some unknown reason. Parents don’t know what rest is. Especially when traveling.
S: Sibling Rivalry
My toddlers are always competing for everything. Toys, attention, food, a sippy cup, who gets to hug me first — it never ends. I think this is made worse by them being only a year apart. And it is definitely made worse by traveling.
T: Travel in the night
Travel is made less stressful by traveling in the night. Allowing your toddlers to sleep while in the car, plane, or train at night keeps you from having to stop 100 times to use the potty and keeps them from being bored and whiney while you travel.
U: Under everything
They. get. under. everything. Under chairs, under counter tops, under your skin.. Most recently my daughters love to climb under the tables at restaurant as I desperately try to pull them both out while on my knees in the middle of the restaurant. Thus, we started bringing the double stroller with us everywhere. You know, just in case they decide to go on a cave exploration in the middle of lunch…
V: Very confused
Honestly, this one is for both the parents and the toddlers. The little ones are wondering where they are and why all of their toys are gone. Parents are wondering how in the world they are going to get themselves, their toddlers, and the stroller onto the city trolley.
W: “Windy mommy!”
Both of my daughters are way into the wind. Like stop in their tracks to feel the wind and tell me all about it. I can still hear their little voices in my head as I desperatley tried to get them to cross the street with me. “windy! windy! windy! windy! windy mommy look it’s windy!” I see child, now please get out of harms way and kindly head towards the sidewalk please.
X: “eXcited mommy?”
We all know that toddlers copy everything they are. Well if you ask your kid if they are excited, you better be prepared to be asked if you are excited too. About 200 times..
Praise the good Lord almighty we are home! The trip was amazing, but now it’s time for some non travel R&R. We’re home, YAY!
While traveling, toddlers seem to be wide awake when you want them to sleep and sound asleep when you need them to be awake. Once you are back home though, they are just as happy to be in their own bed as you are.
Related Post: 27 Ways For Moms To Save Money To Travel With Their Kids