Tips to remember for future travels

If ever again I travel, especially with young children, I plan on referencing the copious amount of notes I gathered from our most recent vacation. They may even be useful to someone such as yourself or your neighbor. (The Husband assures me though that the next time we travel it will be without our offspring. I have a feeling these tips will still come in handy no doubt.)

1. If air travel is your choice of transportation, be advised that it is well worth the extra money to book flights that do not include departure times such as 6:00 AM, or arrivals times of 11:45 PM, especially if you are going back a few time zones.

2. You may think an airplane would be exciting for a child. Be not fooled. Real airplanes and real children do not mix. Happiness may exude from their small frame at first, but in time, all attempts at distraction will fail. Screaming, growling, flailing, and arching of backs will eventually be exhibited by all parties involved.
3. Layovers of more than three hours will tax not only your sanity but also your wallet. Bring plenty of chocolate and twenties.

4. When in unfamiliar territory, such as an airport in Texas, pay special attention to restrooms that do not have actual entry doors, just large open entry ways. It is best to enter the correct gender assigned bathroom. For example, a female should walk through the large open entry way discreetly marked WOMEN, even though it all appears to be one large rat-maze-free-for-all.

5. A toddler who fears public toilets, even though the previous day was successfully bribed to use one at a local superstore, will most likely refuse to sit on any and all toilets they are asked to use while on vacation, especially if the toilet auto-flushes while a human being is still sitting down, and has enough power to potentially suck down a small boy. Be advised that potty training regression will occur and diapers will need to be had post haste.

6. Expect that when your toddler is sleeping in a hotel bed, he/she will pee through their diaper, even though said diaper is completely dry.

7. Diaper changes will oftentimes occur on grassy knolls, while direct sunlight destroys your child’s eyesight. This will be unavoidable though, since all bathrooms are not created equal, especially if entry into the bathroom requires more than ten steps in rabid hot humid heat.
8. Inevitably your sunglasses will get broken, most likely by the children accompanying you on the trip. You may want to consider bringing a second emergency pair. Otherwise, out of desperation while traveling, you will buy a pair that appears to have been bedazzled by a romantic monkey or an eccentric gnome.

9. If your child has an abnormally hot head and tendency to sweat, do not be alarmed if he/she looks continually drenched while in a humid climate. This is not necessarily to be expected (since you don’t notice any other dowsed children) but there is nothing you can do beyond keeping them hydrated and possibly shaving their head.
10. When at a large theme park, do not give your camera case to your baby to quiet him/her down. You will get distracted by visions of funnel cake and your baby will drop the camera along the way.

11. Do not expect your Husband, who noticed a camera case on the ground next to your stroller, to pick it up or mention a word of it to you, until you tell him the camera’s missing!

12. Swallow your dislike of approaching strangers (lest they think you are crazy). You are crazy. It doesn’t matter right now. Talk to them anyway and gather pertinent information as to where your camera is. Miraculously it will be recovered because people are inherently good, yes. Then you can stop feeling sick to your stomach thinking about all the picture memories you just about lost.

13. Never fear going hungry while traveling. There is a McDonalds in every nook and cranny of God’s Great Earth, even amongst the cornfields. Literally.
14. If your sister happens to break the nozzle of the waffle batter dispenser during a hotel breakfast, pretend you are strangers. You have never seen her before (wink, wink), but offer a genuine look of pity in her general direction. Then proceed to the nearest hotel employee and inform them that such and such person needs help over there. Don’t worry. Your sister will escape unscathed, and will only receive an “Oh my gawd!” from said hotel employee.


Sherri said...

Oh, I SO badly wanted to see a picture of the Bedazzled glasses!! So funny, and I am really remembering how different versions of these tips could have helped me along the way. A book may be in order here. Or maybe Expedia should link to your blog.

The redhead said...

I didn't even think to post a pic of that! Good idea. But what if someone actually likes them? I'd hate to offend tender tastes. I mean they were the best of the bunch but I actually had to go out and buy another pair as soon as a mall was to be found. My tender eyes cannot be with sunglasses.

And I'm typing up a proposal to Expedia tonight.

Kristina P. said...

Man, I barely want to travel by myself!

Ryan said...

#5. I always get a few inches of toilet paper and drape it over the motion sensor so the auto flush comes when I am good and ready.

The redhead said...

Kristina--Don't act like this list of tips didn't compel you to travel. McDonalds? Crying babies? I know how much you adore crying babies. You like to go to the movies by yourself, why not travel? Take it to a whole notha' level.

Ryan--you are a clever man. I never thought of this. I am going to try it just as soon as I get an auto-flush toilet in my sights.

Aubry Macbean said...

My girl is a fairly good travler. Not had many problems with her in cars or on planes. However after our recent summer trips I am not so sure my son is going to be a very good travler. So I think he just might have to stay home eith someone until he is a little older.

The redhead said...

Aubry-Perhaps girls are better on the road? I for sure never caused my parents trouble while traveling :) Bosco actually did pretty well too, beyond the whole potty fiascos and being super hyper half the time . . . and if I'm, being truly honest Bubba wasn't all that bad either. The last 30 minutes of our last flight though was enough to blight out all the goodness in the world.

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