Traveling With Small Children, Part Two

Pittsburgh, as seen from the top of the Duquesne Incline

Here’s what happened in Part One, when we traveled with the kids.  Although, following that, we came to the wonderful city of Pittsburgh, from whence The Husband hails, and had a fairly easy time of it.  But it could go either way.  As you can read in the link above, it isn’t always pretty. So why, you may ask, have we gone and traveled again with same said three small children? Well, because we are insane of course, I mean we are the same people that took these three adorable monsters to the Japanese Steakhouse.

But I am happy to report that this trip has gone much more smoothly. I can only attribute this to The Husband and I getting smarter. Oh, yes, we’ve got our game faces on this trip and we’re ready for whatever the kiddos come up with. Screaming and refusal to sleep? No problem. Mysterious illnesses? We got it covered.

Except there has been very little of that this trip. There’s been other stuff but it’s been so manageable. And we’ve come up with a few strategies that have made it easier. Maybe they’ll help you the next time you have to travel. So here they are:

We try to stay at hotels that offer free breakfast, but we tried something new this time. Instead of all five of us traipsing down to the over-crowded fix-it-yourself breakfast area and the chaos of the kids all whining about being hungry but only one of them tall enough to actually see over the food counter and able to get his own stuff and me running around crazy grabbing stuff for them, only to have them finish eating before I’ve taken my first bite, we did this:

I went down ahead of everyone and “made breakfast” while The Husband took the kids on a little walk to get something out of the car or whatever distracted them.  I grabbed a table and started toasting toast and pouring juice and opening yogurts and fetching silverware.  By the time they arrived, I was already a few bites into my eggs and my coffee was cool enough to sip.  It was a much more relaxed way to eat.

Another thing we tried to do was each have down time, The Husband and I.  Now probably most people have figured this out already. I don’t know why we’re so slow.  But when we are on vacation, we tend to all stay together all the time doing all the same things and that means that The Husband and I almost never get time to go off by ourselves and decompress.  Part of that is that we are often engaged in activities that require both of us, like swimming.  Only one of our kids is a proficient swimmer, the other two are too young and need constant supervision. So it’s better to have both sets of parental eyes when we are at a pool or beach.

But this time we are getting smarter.  Like right now. I’m a morning person so as soon as I woke up this morning, I grabbed my laptop and tiptoed out to the lobby, leaving the rest of the family peacefully sleeping. I’m sitting here with yesterday’s mascara still smudged under my eyes and my t-shirt and yoga pants that I slept in.  But, hey, I have coffee and I’m getting my me time so I don’t care if the oddly-perky-for-seven-in-the-morning-twenty-somethings-dressed-to-the-nines are looking at me. Who are they kidding?  They wore those same clothes to go out last night.

And I’m perusing through the photos we took.  Look at the fun we had.

C'mon kids, take a photo with Mom. No? Ok, nevermind, I can use it on the blog since none of you are looking.

Fun in the fountains. They were soaked and happy.

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2 Responses to Traveling With Small Children, Part Two

  1. Dawn says:

    I love the idea of “making breakfast”. That is a great one. We are getting better at traveling too. We are coming up on our first train ride to our destination. It should be an adventure.

  2. Super ideas! We just returned from vacation and it is hard to travel with young kids. I like your breakfast idea quite a bit. I generally go down to fix breakfast and bring it back on the tray the ice bucket was on in the room.

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