Travelling with babies can be pretty frustrating for everyone so my advice is, don’t do it if it can possibly be avoided. It’s one thing making that trip to visit relatives with the new baby but it’s quite another to pack up house and home and head out on a family vacation with an infant. Be honest now, do you think your prodigy is going to remember his trip to Jamaica at ten months of age when he grows up? As for you, what kind of holiday are you going to have looking after said infant with feedings, naps, changings and everything else that goes along with the precious angel? Finally, trust me, it’s no holiday for everyone else when your teething little darlin’ explodes at dinner.
If you insist though, try something a little closer to home before you hop on a plane with junior. Leave yourself an out in case things go poorly. An overnight in a nearby motel is a good test. Maybe baby travels really well, maybe he sleeps in the car, maybe he doesn’t fuss in the restaurant, maybe he draws nothing but oohs and aahs from all around him – or maybe not. The Caribbean all-inclusive resort is not the place to discover that little Scotty decided that sleeping through the night was no longer of any interest to him and that throwing pasta in tomato sauce was a lot of fun in that five star a la carte Italian bistro.
As the kids age the challenges for mom and dad escalate. You’ll soon find you’re nothing short of brilliant as you select places to visit and motels to stay in and discover refreshing alternatives to handling those recurring dreaded moments. It’s a jungle out there and you’ll be surprised how quickly you develop your own commando tactics to survive.
Time marches on and at some point the children are no longer cute adolescents, they become teenagers and all the rules change, for them and for you. You are still required to entertain them but you must do so from a discreet distance because suddenly they need their own space and no longer want to be seen in Walmart with mom and dad.
Finally, as young adults (18 to 20-something) the contest becomes ultimate and your true genius emerges triumphantly. My wife Karen and I were able to fight the good fight and enjoy family vacations with our sons Adam and Gavin until they were 21 and 23 respectively. Maybe some of what we learned on our journeys will help you. I hope so because travelling with your children is one of the best things you can ever hope to do for them and for yourself.
to be continued
for more information check the website www.thatroadtripbook.com
in particular, The Holiday Road