Now to anyone who has read my previous blog posts (part 1 here & part 2 here) with a cynical head on or thinking I’m making it look easy I’m here to tell you that it’s not always easy. OF COURSE travelling with a toddler is harder than a child free break. So here are a few home truths to let you know that no it’s not always perfect…
Three Home Truths
- Tantrums are still a very real thing. Wren doesn’t care that we’re on holiday, trying to eat a meal in a restaurant or enjoy a coffee break. He’s only 19 months old and entering the ‘terrible twos’ so he will throw a tantrum wherever he wants to. However we don’t let that stop us from enjoying ourselves. We accept that there are probably going to be occasions where we have to finish our coffee in turns whilst the other is calming Wren or eat our meal in record timing to get the hell out of there. It’s life with a toddler so you’ve just got to roll with it!
- We’re generally back at the apartment by 6pm to get Wren ready for bed so there’s no nights out drinking or exploring the night life for us. Brett and I generally get some nice treats in, a few drinks and enjoy a Netflix series or a movie. No it’s not the same as being able to enjoy a lavish meal in a restaurant followed by a few cocktails but it’s a small price to pay to enjoy being away as a family.
- Despite me saying that we largely do as we did before having Wren there are of course exceptions to this. That tiny hipster coffee shop that won’t have room for a pram, forget it! If Wren is being particularly difficult we’ll decide against the exhibition we wanted to go to.
I thought I’d answer a few popular questions i’ve been asked about our travels with Wren:
Do people stare or comment if you’re not somewhere that’s not traditionally child friendly and Wren is fussing?
Yes sometimes. Even if Wren isn’t fussing we’ll get the odd glare from someone who would just rather not put up with general toddler noise.
I’ve learnt not to let it bother me anymore. So long as the establishment we’re in allows children then I don’t see what the problem is. That being said we are respectful of other people so will encourage Wren to be quiet if he’s being noisy and we’ll always take him outside to calm him if he throws a tantrum.
How much of a holiday is it compared to just looking after a small child?
I’d say it’s about 50/50 if i’m being honest. As I’ve said above Wrens behaviour doesn’t just change because we’re on holiday. There are still tantrums to deal with, meal mess to clean up and the bedtime routine to do. You’re not having a break from being a parent as you would if you were having a child free break. However it’s lovely being able to share new experiences with Wren, enjoy meals out and just take in the sights and surroundings of being somewhere new.
Don’t days out seem like days at home what with toddler routine and playground stops etc?
I was asked this question on instagram and I completely see where the lady who asked it is coming from. Similarly to what I said above you’re still parenting which we all know can be hard work. So yes some elements of our day are very similar to what we would do at home. Making sure Wren is fed, watered, happy, has some time at a playground to run around etc etc.
How do you get a good enough nights sleep away from home?
I’m reluctant to say too much on this because as we all know, no one child is the same when it comes to sleeping.
However I will say that we mimic Wrens bedtime routine as much as we can when we’re away; the same bedtime, milk beforehand and his favourite blanket and teddy.
My top tip would be try and get your little one use to the travel cot before you go away (nap times are good for this) and bring as many home comforts as you can with you.
Wren is little more unsettled when we’re away, there are generally one or two wakes up but it’s not enough to ruin a trip for us.
So there we have it! I hope this mini series has been helpful for you, I’ve really enjoyed writing it and if you take one thing away with make it this; there’s a big wide world out there and you shouldn’t miss out on it just because you’ve got children, make it a reason to get out there and see the world. Famous last words but what’s the worst that could happen?
I’ve received some lovely messages from you about this topic and I’ve love swapping stories! If you ever want to chat about this or anything else then just pop on over to my instagram to say hey! Thanks so much for reading.