Travelling with a baby or a toddler does not have to be “the most difficult/crazy/OMG thing in the world.” Here are our tips on how to travel with a kid.
Before we start about how to travel with a baby or a toddler, let’s agree on one thing: this is not an article about why to travel with a kid. So if you are on the side: “kids are too small to travel” / “it is just a whim of egoistic parents,” skip reading this article, coz it’ll just piss you off. I promise, I will write some “why to travel with a baby / a toddler” article some other time to argue with you ;P
You don’t get vacation from being a parent
It seems so obvious, but somehow it really isn’t. Really many people expect that once you leave your home, you are entering a vacation zone, where kids don’t cry, don’t get sick, and you are not getting headaches. Well, this zone of “you are reading a book in a beach chair and hear the sweat voices of your kids playing all day in the sand and not bothering you,” does not exist. Ask yourself one question: does your kid behave like this at home? NO! So stop fooling yourself that this is going to happen anywhere else.
The moment you are becoming a parent, unless you have a full time nanny, taking care of your baby comes in the same package. And if you are travelling with a baby, there will be diapers to change, baby food to prepare, and many lullabies to be sung till sunrise. But that’s how it is, you are taking care of your baby and no change of location can change it. You keep being a parent and your child keeps being a kid, the moment you realize it, your travels will become much easier.
The power of two parents
If your baby wakes up 7 times a night, it probably will happen as well during travels. Uhhh, that’s hard. It is, still, if you have survived it till now, you will survive it as well during your trips. And you know why? Because during your trips you are not alone. If you are travelling as a family, there are always two of you. TWO PARENTS 24 hours a day!!! This is heaven.
This is heaven not only for you to get help and support all the time available, but most important, this is heaven for your kid. If your kid is still a baby, it can finally be all the time with a second parent, who usually works. If it is a toddler, it means there is always a parent close to show a new play, explain why the sky is blue, or build a house from sticks. Our daughter enjoyed it every time, no matter what age she was. We were finally together all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against single parents travelling alone with their kids. I think it is great what they are doing and really admire them. Still, personally, I had many situations during our travels when I really needed to be saved by this second person being close to you. I needed to hear that “it’s going to be fine,” I needed someone to take my place after 3 hours of trying to put our baby to bed, etc. I needed this second person and I’m pretty much sure that I personally would not manage it all by my own. So everyone who manages to travel on their own and small kids, huge respect from my side.
In many relationships where women complain about men not being involved enough in house / family related obligations, I noticed one thing: on one hand, women want their husbands to help, but on the other, they treat them as retards. “Men don’t have intuition,” “he is like a kid,” “women know better,” “what does he know,” etc. I’ve never really got it, is it really that bad or are people making it up. Moreover, if I treat my partner as retarded, not able of making his/her decisions, and with no respect, what does it say about me? Well, if I am starting a family with a retard who doesn’t know anything, it makes me even more retarded. So grow up! Your partner is as good as you. She /he may do some things better than you, some things worse. Well, learn from each other. Only as a team you can succeed.
This is especially important during long travels with kids. You are both on vacation and you both want to rest, but do it smartly and do it together. I often observe overworked dads getting themselves comfortable on vacation, while mums have their hands full with changing diapers, preparing food for the baby and specially for the dad – the Majesty of I’m-an-asshole Kingdom. STOP! Being a good wife doesn’t mean to keep all the things done on your own without bothering your master, that’s what being a good servant means (I really stopped myself from using the word: slave; though, if your trips really look like this, you definitely deserve to be called that). So STOP!
You are both a team. That’s what you have to remember. But not only during your trips. If at home your relationship in based on master-slave pattern, travels are not the best time to start changing that. Teams are not born, they are created. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. But if you manage to create your private team at home, your travelling will get much easier.
(PS: 1. In each case be free to change he to she, or she to he. A team is a team, no matter how many “he”s or “she”s it has. 2. Dear men, I know that I put a hell of a blame on women for your lazy misogynist behavior. The truth is, no one can force you to be an egoistic jerk. So, it’s time for you to grow up too.)
Choose to be happy
I’ll keep repeating it, as people tend to forget it. We have to choose our own happiness. I will not promise you, that during your travels with kids, there will be no bad moments. Even worse, the only thing I can promise you is that they definitely will be. You will get tired, you will have enough, you will want this all to go to hell, you can get sick, you may even cry in the bathroom… BUT: all of this you will as well do at home. But at home, your kid is not going to run through tobacco fields, you will not breastfeed looking at the Caribbean Sea, you will not go for a walk in the high Caucasus, you will not make rattle from Montenegrin sand, you will not run in the rain in 18th century aka Old Tbilisi, you will not …. So choose to be happy. Be prepared for some difficulties, but get a bigger picture and choose to be happy.
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