This is one of the sections that separates The 2 Idiots Travel Blog from any other travel blog out there. We have done extensive traveling with our child and are excited to share our experiences, tips and travel advice with you. We have topics around managing sleep with a child, different modes of transportation, using technology and so much more.
You can’t help but admire the parents who traveled long distances with their children back in the olden days—and by the olden days, we mean the era before smart phones, tablets, and other modern luxuries. How did they do it? How did they maintain their sanity? How did they cope?
Imagine this scenario: You have two weeks of vacation. It’s the only vacation time you have all year, and you want to make it count. You know you want to go to Europe, and you’re presented with the option to take a cruise—11-12 nights, departing from Barcelona and hitting ports all over the Mediterranean. You get to see some sites in France, Italy, Greece, and beyond. Your other option is to fly directly into a city—let’s say Athens—and see Santorini and Mykonos, spending a few nights in each place.
When people have kids, their life takes a major turn. Whereas they used to go out or travel, now they stay home. They tell themselves that they’ll start doing these things again when their kids are older or when this happens or that happens.
After our son was born, we didn’t want to get stuck in that vicious cycle of always having excuses for putting things off. We weren’t going to put our lives on hold; instead, we would bring our son with us and make him a part of the journey.
We love traveling by train, especially long distance. If we had to pick our favorite mode of getting around, we’d pick train travel in a heartbeat. We find it to be far more comfortable than plane, bus, or even car rides; there’s more space to get up and walk around, and no turbulence you have to deal with! Most trains get you where you need to go pretty fast, yet there’s also ample opportunity to look out your window and take in the scenery.
Do you remember what it was like in the olden (i.e. pre-iPad) days, when you would go to a nice restaurant with your family? You would spend about 60 percent of your time entertaining your child, 20 percent making apologetic looks to other diners, 15 percent wondering why you ever thought this was a good idea, and maybe 5 percent enjoying your time there. Well, multiply that by a 100 and that is what it can be like to travel with a child. But there is a cure: Technology. And we think it’s a pretty good cure!
This is every parents’ nightmare when traveling with children – their sleep routine will be disrupted, no one will get any sleep, and everyone will be miserable. This rings true especially when you know you’ll be crossing time zones. But, from experience, we can tell you that children are very adaptable, and worrying about their sleep schedule shouldn’t keep you from traveling. Yes, you may have some trying times, but overall, things will likely go more smoothly than you thought. We’ve compiled a few tips that we’ve learned along the way and that can help you feel more confident when traveling with young kids.
When you’re in a foreign country or an unfamiliar city, it’s important to be ready for anything. For example, you may wish to take a short trip by bus, either as part of a tour or simply to get around town. Bus travel has its perks, including affordability, but also significant drawbacks—especially when you’re traveling with a toddler.
Over nearly nine months of international travel with our 2-year old, we obviously took our fair share of flights—roughly 40, if you’re keeping score. But we spent plenty of time in the car, as well, renting vehicles in several different cities and exploring our surroundings via automobile, always with our little man in tow. (We also had several tour guides who carted us around, so our experience in this regard was quite varied.)
Whether you’re taking your toddler halfway across the world or simply across town, a good car seat is non-negotiable. With that said, not all car seats are created equal. And, as you consider potential car seats for domestic or international travel, you’ll no doubt want one that’s lightweight and flexible, in addition to being safe and secure.