My wife and I take frequent trips with our daughters across the country. The oldest is currently seven and the youngest just turned three. Needless to say, it has been an adventure and learning process on every trip that we have ever taken.
The seven-year-old has been to Vail colorado snow skiing. Germany on a weeklong sightseeing tour, and of course to the children’s mecca Walt-Disney World in Orlando, twice. She is an experienced traveler in every sense of the word. She knows the airport shuffle as well as the in’s and out’s of custom’s and cabs.
Now the three-year-old is a totally different story. Since her arrival, the budget has been more limited. Therefore her experience is listed as the standard beach week, trip to visit relatives in Houston, and of course Disney World. She is less acclimated and has a lesser temperament for spending time in planes, trains, and automobiles. She is a squirmed, to say the least.
Now making a road trip with both of these diverse individuals takes planning and intent on my wife and I’s part. We have to plan our stops and the total travel time that we are going to experience. We must avoid the naptime for changes of venues. No airlines from 1:00 to 3:00 as the three-year-old is sleeping during this time.
We must plan to have adequate restroom breaks and stop to take them even when all is proclaimed to be well by the inhabitants of the vehicle. A three-year-old can turn in a minute from not needing to use the bathroom to have a full emergency.
Speaking of an emergency, during our trip to Vail, and snow skiing. My daughter came down with an earache. So when you are traveling make sure that you always carry adequate medical information with you. We had to call my daughter’s doctor at home to fax her records to the doctor in Vail. This delayed a full day of skiing for my daughter as well as us while we waited on the documents.
While taking a long car trip to visit relatives in Mississipi my three-year-old who was at the time two decided that a crying fit was in order. She screamed all the way to the Mercedes museum. We took about a two-hour break and walked around sightseeing, the whole time she was just glad to be out of the car seat. While it is not a problem for adults to sit for hours on end, two and three-year-olds need adequate playtime to exercise their legs.
So in short when planning to travel with little ones always plan time to make stops. Make sure that you have adequate documentation, and have great humor in the situations that arise.