Traveling with kids – tips, trials and terrors
Jen is an environmental blogger at Jen and Joey Go Green. She blogs about the small day to day changes her and her husband Joe are making to reduce their impact on the environment. She is also Canadian which will mean there will be u’s in her words, the occasional use of the word ‘eh?’ and this silly thing called the ‘metric system’.
Joe and I knew we would want to continue traveling at the same pace when we had kids as we did before kids. B is 18 months old now and we have taken several trips with him including Niagara Falls, New Jersey, camping and a cruise that left out of Ft. Lauderdale. Clearly we had lost our marbles when we decided it would be “smart” to drive to Florida (from Toronto) with a 6 month old. Here is what we learned on that trip.
My kid turns into a gremlin when he is in his carseat past 8PM. He screams, he cries and he becomes a stinky poop machine.
Somehow he has figured out how to take up an entire king sized bed. I hugged the edge of that bed every single night.
People will judge you when you walk into a Cracker Barrel for lunch and your kid is still in his pj’s. That is until they hear your sexy Canadian accent and realize you are one of the many crazy people making the trek to Florida with kids…..then suddenly you become a special brand of “normal”.
Breastfeeding becomes really interesting on the vacation. I nursed in Target parking lots, gas station parking lots, while sitting by the pool and on the beach. I pumped while we were driving down the highway. The best experience was in Cracker Barrel. I took B to the bathroom to nurse but I also had to pee. What the hell am I supposed to do with a 6 month old that wants to eat NOW and my bladder is screaming at me to open the flood gates? And how on earth do I get my pants down when I am holding my kid? And where do I sit to nurse him when there is no lid on the toilet? So I stood and nursed him while doing the pee pee dance.
Do not trust technology! We had a GPS, we had our BlackBerry’s, we had printed directions from CAA and we had my vast experience from driving to Florida a million times as a kid. We put our trust in the GPS and it led us horribly wrong on two occasions. The first being when we were trying to get from Port Canaveral to our hotel in Plantation FL. For some reason the GPS kept us on a street that followed the shore and not the highway that was just a few short miles away. The second time it led us astray was on our way home. The GPS defaults to no toll roads and we forgot to reset it when we started it up. So it took us up the east coast of Florida and Georgia before cutting across to Atlanta……all to avoid a 25 cent toll road. It tacked 2 hours onto our drive that day and caused the gremlin to make another appearance.
We have lots of great things to laugh at on our trips so far and can’t wait to take B to many more places. There are several things that we always bring with us when we travel that really are lifesavers.
Our baby carrier – we have a moby for when he was younger and now we have the Oh Snap. It is great for getting places that a stroller won’t go easily (the beach, on a trolley, hiking).
New toys – when you are going to be in the car for a long bringing some new toys and giving them out over time will really save your sanity.
Beach tent – we have the pea pod tent and it works great for naps on the beach or for hi to play in and not be in the sun.
A road bag – We pack a bag with just what we need for the road trip. This way we don’t have to bring our full suitcases into the hotel every night.
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