March 12, 2013

Keeping It Real

So now that I've shared our vacation photos full of beautiful vistas, smiling faces, delicious food and fun sporting activities. Let me keep it real (remember my promise) and talk about the reality of traveling to Europe with a toddler.

For those of you without kids (or those with) who don't enjoy hearing other people talk about their kids, you probably want to stop reading now. Tomorrow we will be back with kid free content, I promise!

Back to the reality of traveling overseas with a is a lot of work. It can be fun, but those moments are often fleeting. We had many highs and lows during our two week adventure. You saw the highs in our photos, and now for the lows. Here is my "keeping it real" Top 10 worst things about traveling with a toddler list.

Top 10 Worst Things about Traveling with a Toddler 

10. The in-flight entertainment consists of keeping your toddler entertained (I brought 3 books and only read 54 pages in 2+ weeks), and occupying a child for 10+ hours on an airplane requires coloring books, crayons, DVDs, books, stickers, food and so much other stuff you don't have room in your bag for the aforementioned in-flight entertainment anyway.

9. Consider yourself a Sherpa. Forget about your sleek roller bag, your designer handbag and Starbucks coffee cup in hand...Prepare to carry a backpack, a carseat, a carry-on suitcase and whatever other items you and your little person might need in a 24+ hour period of time. And it must be said, carrying all this stuff doesn't look chic. It just looks heavy and like a lot of work, and it is!

8. You must pack as if your luggage will be lost (because it will be), so make sure you have what you and your toddler need in the carry-on arsenal (see #9).

7. You will be "those" obnoxious people going through security who have 10 bins full of your 6 bags, 4 electronic devices, 3 coats, 2 pairs of shoes, and multiple bags of liquids, and it will take forever, and inevitably, you will forget to take something out of the bag and back-up the entire line.

6. Your toddler will not eat when or what you want them to, making meal-time in a restaurant challenging, to say the least. As a result, you will give them something you would never allow at home,  like Sprite (I am ashamed).

4. Your toddler will not sleep when you want them to, which means you will not sleep either. Prepare yourself for feeling like you have a newborn least for a couple of days.

3. Your toddler may ask to go "home" multiple times a day, and that will make your heart hurt, just a little.

2. Sadly, your toddler has no idea that "home" is a nine hour time difference and thousands of miles away, and there is no way for you to explain it.

1. Inevitably you will end up getting spilled on, peed or pooped on, puked on, or all of the above while on the airplane, so make sure to bring a change of clothes for yourself and your little person. Remember, you have a carry-on (see #8).

So there you have it, some of the worst things about traveling overseas with a toddler. There are certainly others, but I must be blocking them from my memory.

In closing, if you are thinking about taking your toddler on a "big trip" just for fun, I will tell you that it won't always be fun. If you have a reason for an overseas trip like visiting family, a wedding, work etc then by all means, go for it. While there will be plenty of crappy moments, they will be equaled in number by the ones that make you laugh and smile. Honestly, I'm hoping that over time the pictures will only bring back the happy memories and that those hair pulling, head banging ones are a thing of the past. I think they will be.


  1. You wrote what so many of us have experienced! With young ones in tow, it is trip, not a vacation.

  2. You are HILARIOUS!! This made me laugh and have more sympathy for those traveling with toddlers!