Sunday, 9 November 2014

Top tips for travelling with a toddler

Having recently road-tripped up the East coast of America with a 2 year old and 2 month old (yep we are crazy!) here are my top tips...

1. Long haul? Really?

Think of the flight length. And then the time difference... Arghhh, suddenly the nice family trip to Sydney may not seem as appealing. But sometimes you have to just do it. Our latest trip was to attend a very close friend's wedding - so in that case you just suck it up and enjoy (hah!) the ride :)

Would you trust him as your pilot?
2. Who needs toys?

Obviously luggage space is a premium but never fear - when hotel rooms have phones and electronic safes to play with no toddler will ever get bored...

Hmmm I'm going to keep my biscuit safe from my little sister...
Hello?? Room service please :)
3. Switch body clock ASAP

There are lots of "best" ways to get over jet lag but I find the just-get-on-with-it approach usually works best - just go with whatever time it is in the country you are in at the time. Even if it means they nap at slightly odd times in the first few days. Even if it means they miss a few of the famous sights!

Wasted on him!

4. Ditch the controlled crying

Even if you advocate controlled crying at home (I don't) then don't do it for the first few days of holiday - they didn't ask to be taken away and be put in a strange hotel room. So just roll with the punches, let them nap when they want to (as long as not after 3.30pm) and settle them gently to sleep.

5. Take calpol and/or nurofen sachets

You never know when teething might strike... For us it was at 20000 feet as we were preparing for descent! The sachets are small enough for hand luggage and are just the right size dosage-wise for most toddlers :)

6. Don't go when they're sick

Difficult to predict 6 months in advance when you book your holiday but this one is pretty critical...
Both ours had colds with temperatures for the first few nights. Baby + snot + toddler + temperature + jet lag = pretty horrific combination!

7. Never underestimate the power of the sock

Especially if they have faces on... This tip is also known as " don't ever forget the remote control for the portable DVD player". Doofy's socks entertained him for hours in the car - for which we will be forever grateful :)
Roooar, my right hand lion sock is going to eat my right hand lion sock...

8. Snack-happy

Along with the jet lag, change in routine, extra travelling I think you need to have an element of flexibility. Doof ate lots some meals, very little other meals and was very good at putting up with his meals being at completely random times. At home/nursery he eats lunch at 11.30-12.00 every day. On holiday he had it anytime from 11.30 to 1.30. To counteract any hunger pangs we had a supply of healthy (most of the time!) snacks kept in the car.
Who ate the rest of my cake?!

9. Museums (in America at least) are awesome!

Nearly every town in America seems to have a "Children's museum". We went to our first one by mistake and I expected it to be a museum about childhood (a bit like the one in East London). However they aren't. They are awesome!!! Basically they are a combination of soft play, creative space (eg bakery with fake food and drink to serve) and interesting things to do/see/play with. Underlying each activity is some sort of educational benefit but to be honest it is just all so fun! And even better if you go midweek when all the local kids are at school you quite often have the place (especially outside the large cities) to yourselves.
Even learnt to spell when we were away ;)

And lastly... 

10. Never try to open a hotel door or operate a lift without their help

At your peril attempt to do either of these without them... I think there must be some unwritten law of toddlerdom that this is their domain - hence why there is BIG trouble if you try to impinge on their territory. Just don't. Humour them. It'll make their day :)

Button... button... BUTTON!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment