Vacation with a toddler: Is relaxation possible?
We’re back! Man, I needed that. It’s been so long since I’ve had a real vacation. I started out my career as a travel writer, and I still sometimes write travel stories, so whenever I’m on the road I compulsively take notes. Either because I have to, or just in case. It’s a nice gig, for sure, but analyzing every detail—the server’s casual colloquial comments, the water’s exact shade of blue—does tend to prevent one from winding down.
So there’s that, plus the fact that we have a toddler. We really haven’t set aside vacation time for the three of us because, well, why? Why take precious time off, pack up all the comforts of home and pay good money to gamble that he’ll weather a museum visit without a major meltdown, chase him around a foreign restaurant and then sit around in a pricey hotel room all afternoon while he (hopefully) naps? It’s easier on everyone to enjoy one choice local sight and then have the boy home eating a black bean quesadilla before noon.
This vacation was an exception. We moved into a home, full of other adults just as capable of occupying a toddler as we are. The activities available were beautifully minimal. There was no plan. We were free to act moment to moment. Feel like a bike ride? Go for it. Rather take a nap? No problem. Want to plunder the mountain of snack food? Do it. It’s about time you learned what new flavors the Pringles people have dreamed up.
Roy really loved it. He loved stealing Papa’s hat and getting chased around the cabin. He loved playing trucks with Uncle E. He loved applesauce with cinnamon as doled out by GGO. He loved begging sips of water off Grandma Nancy. When I tried to put him down for naps, he’d resist, sobbing, “Boat! Boat!” Thankfully, all the activity and fresh air would work its magic against his will, and he’d eventually snooze for three hours straight. When he awoke, we’d head out on the boat.
Now we’re back, unpacked, with the last load of vacation clothes spinning in the dryer, and ready to tackle real life with fresh energy.
I’m curious about your method of tackling vacations with toddlers. Success stories and cautionary tales welcome.Add a Comment