Today’s post is the first in a series I will be writing about traveling with children. We have a baby and a toddler, so it always makes for an event when we travel, even right down the road! Feel free to chime in and keep watching for future posts.
Part One: What to Pack a.k.a. Who Grabbed the Kitchen Sink?
Prior to this summer, our ‘lil Burgher family has gone on only a handful of vacations. Since we are a single income crew, we typically travel places where we can stay with family or friends if possible (saving $100s). . . and that usually means driving wherever we go. Flights are getting way too expensive, and besides, we can’t bring the kitchen sink along.
Back when A was just three months old, something told me to buy a big SUV, so I sprung for a roomy Durango. Less than 5 months later, A and I expanded our family to include Mr. Burgher and Rowdy, and the adventures of traveling began. And by traveling, I mean packing the Durango up to the “I can’t see out the back window” brim and hitting the road.
(Have I mentioned all my worldly possessions barely fit in a 26′ truck when moving home from SC? It’s in my blood, and it carries over to even short trips as you’ll soon see.)
Our first trip as a family was our honeymoon/fishing trip with my family. Luckily, A traveled in my dad’s truck, so we really had no clue how much stuff she had. Sure, there were the certain blankets, Ellie, and a pack n’ play, but we didn’t have to lug it all ourselves. We felt so in control, but we really had no clue.
Fast forward a few months and we took our first family trip on a plane to Myrtle Beach. It seemed pretty flawless as A had recently turned one and was pretty independent. We had a carseat waiting our arrival, so we just used an umbrella stroller, a small rolling suitcase, one checked bag, and a diaper bag. When we got to town, G’s mom had bought Silk and diapers, so we were set with the supplies. This trip was a little bulky, but we still had no clue what traveling with a lil one was really like.
And then last summer, it really began. While packing for our fishing trip, Mr. Burgher and I were arguing about how to shove the last flip flop in the truck. Our neighbor came out to ask if we’d remembered the kitchen sink. She wasn’t kidding. A’s carseat was barely visible among all of the “stuff” we felt it took to travel with a toddler. There were DVDs, a cooler, G’s computer, three suitcases, a pack n’ play, a stroller, diapers, wipes, lifejackets, watershoes, blankets, pillows, towels, sheets, Ellie, Baby, 4 pairs of shoes for A, 5 pairs of shoes for me, and 6 pairs of shoes for G (just kidding). Some pregger lady just HAD to stuff in a full body support pillow ::ahem:: and a tote of toys. There were presents for friends with newborns, camera, camcorder, and a bag of snacks. I think somewhere in there, we really did have the kitchen sink.
But did we use half of that stuff? Of course not! In preparing for our first trips with A and E (a 2-and-a-half year old and a 6 month old), we sure don’t want to pack as heavy, but we just don’t know how we’ll get around it. I mean, for an overnight trip to my parents, we notoriously take 4-5 eco bags plus a duffel and pillows. Is any of it necessary? No!
I think it’s time to call in the experts. What MUST we bring with us and what’s ok to leave behind? How do you travel with a toddler and a baby without looking like gypsies? Is it possible?
Packing isn’t all there is to traveling with toddlers. More thoughts on this will be forthcoming here at lilburghers.wordpress.com!