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 siteseeing tour, and of course to the children’s mecca Walt-Disney World in Orlando, twice. She is an experienced traveller 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 to the standard beach week, trip to visit relatives in Houston, and of course Disney World. She is less acclimated and has a lesser temperment for spending times in planes, trains, and automobiles. She is a squirmer to say the least.
Now making a roadtrip 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 vehicles inhabitants. A three year old can turn in a minute from not needing to use to the bathroom to having a full emergency.
Speaking of an emergency, during our trip to Vail, and snowskiing. My daughter came down with an ear ache. So when you are traveling make sure that you always carry adequate medical information with you. We had to call my daughters 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 Mercede’s museum. We took about a two hour break and walked around siteseeing, 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 take stops. Make sure that you have adequate documentation, and have great humor in the situations that arise.