Jul 13, 201504:17 PMOh, Bother
Working mom in a Pinterest world. I mean well but I usually fall a bit short in the execution. You'll see.
By Meagan Feeser
Vacationing with Kids, or Craycationing
This will be my third summer as a mom (and my second as a mom of two). In that time, I’ve taken a ten-month-old to Disney World and Cape May, NJ, and a two-year-old and five-month-old to Ocean City, MD. Through those two harrowing experiences, I’ve learned a few things about “vacationing” with small children, namely that you should never refer to a trip with a toddler as vacation. After our beach trip last year, I now refer to all travel with my kids as “craycation.”
The worst things about traveling with small kids:
1. All the stuff you have to pack. Pack-and-plays, boxes of diapers, every item in their wardrobe to prepare for any weather situation, beach toys and inside toys, toiletries, bedtime accessories, food etc. You’d be better to just put their entire nursery and playroom onto a trailer and tow it along.
2. Maintaining a schedule. From early-morning travel, to packed activity schedules, to later bedtimes, it’s tough to stick to your normal naptime and eating routines, but oh so important to try.
3. Overstimulation. There’s so much to see and do, which is a good thing until your little one’s excitement crosses the threshold into the breakdown zone. I try to keep an eye out for warning signs, like cranky behavior, and take a trip back to the room or a quiet spot.
4. The actual travel part. Planes, trains, and automobiles: all terrible environments for small children for a long period of time. Pit stops, boredom, endless snacks… I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it.
5. Claustrophobic hotel rooms. When we went to Ocean City last year, we made the mistake of cramming myself, the two kids, and my parents into one hotel room. The space was way too confining for a “spirited” toddler. Different bedtime routines and habits (read: my dad wanting to watch TV all night) made the evenings miserable.
6. Bedtime in general. Do you bring a pack-and-play? Sleep in the bed with your kid’s foot in your face all night? Do you cut the evening’s activities short to make sure you’re back in the room on time? Is everyone ready to be quiet at your youngest’s bedtime? Bedtime is tough enough as it is in your usual environment. Bedtime while traveling is darn near impossible.
The best things about traveling with small kids:
1. Sharing traditions. So far, all the places I’ve traveled with the kids have been places my parents took me as a child. It’s been great to remember the things I used to like to do as a kid and introduce Holdy and GB to them.
2. Experiencing new things for the first time through your kid’s eyes. Watching Holden shout “Nemo! Nemo!” at the ocean; helping her try to pick a hardshell crab; seeing GB feel sand on his feet for the first time… all almost made the craycation aggravations worth it. Almost.
3. Craziness in a new location. Let’s face it: your kids are going to drive you crazy sometimes. You might as well let them drive you crazy in a beautiful new locale, right?
Happy travels! Stay up-to-date with our summer fun at www.ohbotherblog.com or follow us on Instagram (@nomiddlenamemeg).