Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Lazy Mom's Guide to Traveling with Kids

by Allyson Haas
traveling with toddlers
World traveler, right here.
If you've read this blog before you know two things:

2. Having no family within a 2000 mile radius makes that nightmare a reality at least four times a year if you want said toddler to recognize their kin.  

What I've finally figured out, now that I'm almost four years into this whole parenting thing, is that you can use the latter fact to make the former less of an arduous task. 

Ladies (and possibly one gent) I present to you The Lazy Mom's Guide to Traveling:

Step 1. Tell your family that you plan to brave being stuck in a flying tin can for more than five hours in order to see them. 

Step 2. Let them do the rest.

I realize at first blush this may seem like a rather bitchy and presumptuous way to make a trip take form, but here is why it's not: if your family is more than 2000 miles away, they escape from any last minute calls to babysit, run to the store, pick someone up from school, help with the laundry, feed children, or do anything else that might require a reorganization of their day/week/life.  Essentially, they get to enjoy the cuteness of your little (via Facetime) and they get to hang up when the whining starts, leaving you to deal with the fall out.  So, since you don't call in the small favors on the daily, this allows you to call in a big one a couple of times a year, guilt free. 

To make this as easy as possible on yourself (and on the hosting family member), I send a list:

  • What needs to be installed (a car seat)
  • Where that can be done (the local fire station or CHP usually help out here)
  • What your little one might actually eat (basically any food that's white)
Then simply pack your bags, toss in your trusty CARES restraint system and pretend like you're once again footloose and child free.  Granted, you'll still have to entertain your child, which means you won't have uninterrupted reading or movie viewing time, but beggars can't be choosers.  It actually makes traveling (somewhat) enjoyable again and you feel as if you've taken a break from your usual routine. 

I did this for our last minute spring break jaunt to see the in-laws, wherein I braved the not-so-friendly skies alone with my kiddo.  Without a stroller to push, a giant bag to lug, or toys to carry, the trip was a dream. C and I watched airplanes take off, we talked about the geography of the United States, and we laughed. I genuinely enjoyed my son's company, which almost made me think we didn't need the vacation in the first place.  Of course, only a fool would turn down free grandparent childcare and the chance to take a yoga class with actual adults.  

Happy travels!

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