Last year after our trip to Aruba, I wrote about 35 tips for traveling with toddlers. Well, P is now another year older and while its still not easy to travel with a toddler, it's certainly easier to travel with a 2 year old vs a 1 year old. Here's a few things we learned this trip.
The extra airplane seat is awesome.
In fact, it's a game changer. More space for us, extra carry-on storage.
I could change Penelope's diaper right on the seat between us without anyone noticing. Less stress since I didn't have to worry about anyone else in our row getting annoyed with us. Also my legs weren't dying from the strain of holding her for five hours. It makes me wonder why we didn't spring for the extra seat from the get-go.
New toys = winning.
New activity books, color wonder marker & book sets and new seek and find books were a fun surprise for her on the plane. Also a $5 Dora the Explorer sticker book kept her occupied for over an hour. I also had a surprise Doc McStuffins ring tube and a water Dora the Explorer and Boots doll for her when we arrived in Aruba. She was obsessed.
Stay in a suite or condo with multiple rooms.
Last year, we stayed in a studio condo so we were basically in the same room with Penelope. This also meant that we had to essentially go to sleep when she did. As you might imagine, this was not great. This year we wisened up and rented a one bedroom condo at our resort and that way, P could nap or go to sleep for the night while Shaun and I had the rest of the place to watch TV (we started The Americans!), make cocktails, eat out on the balcony and just have a nice evening while she happily snoozed away.
Modified bedtime is ok.
Most nights, P went to sleep way passed her bedtime if dinner (and subsequent ice cream) ran late or if we decided to go for a night swim. She is pretty adaptable and so it worked out alright, and I didn't mind pushing her limit a bit in order for all of us to enjoy the evening.
Adjust your expectations.
My whole family stayed on the beach for twelve hours a day. They watched the women's World Cup finals at a beach bar. But Penelope had other plans. We spent three hours each afternoon in our hotel room so she could nap and instead of cheering on our U.S. Women, I was chasing Penelope in the pool. It wasn't bad, just different and once I adjusted my own expectations of how the days would play out, I could enjoy the things that we could do (like an afternoon nap right along with Penelope).
What are your tips for traveling with kiddos? Or in general?