They say traveling broadens your horizon. But what does traveling with a toddler do?
I know, I know!! It doesn’t look good huh!
Before this vacation, I had my doubts about it too, and I read my share of “How to”, “To Do” and of course “Dos & Don’ts” on vacationing with a toddler. My 2.5 yr old boy ain’t a fussy traveller, but he still is a toddler with his share of tantrums, mood swings, emotional outbursts etc. I got a lot of articles on how traveling / vacationing with a toddler is no vacation at all. Or on how to make it easy and all that jazz. I also found some great content on being prepared for everyday and for a rainy day. There was a lot more but I had run out of patience & time too.
Anyhow, we are back now & when I sit back and reminisce about our travels, I can only smile and say, “It ain’t that bad people!”. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. He/she can be the perfect travel-minder, making our vacation amazingly enjoyable. All we need to do is, shuffle between our needs to Travel & Explore and our child’s need to Explore & Play.
So, other than all we had read & absorbed and of course experienced from earlier trips, we also did all this to make it special for our sonny bunny.
To start with, whenever possible, we would indulge our little one with a trip to a nearby park/play area. He loves his swings/slides & looking at him play just made us happy. The Brussels Park, Amsterdam Vondel park, Cologne Zoo, Munich English Gardens all worked perfectly for us.
Sand Play @ Brussels park
Happiness in a Swing – Vondel park, Amsterdam
Well, both hubby & me do enjoy our bit of sightseeing and we did all we could to make it enjoyable for him too. Each day our itinerary would have one or more kid friendly attractions. Informing him about the places he would see, and what they were about, a day in advance kept him excited all along. The Atomium, Mini Europe & of course Auto World worked perfectly for all 3 of us in Brussels, & the BMW museum took the cake in Munich.
At times we selected sites preferable to each of us and visit those on our own.
Learning his Alphabets -Atomium, Brussels
The dream machine- Auto world, Brussels
Yey- I can Drive- Olympic Stadium, Munich
We let him binge on ICE-CREAMs & WAFFLEs & CHIPs & CHOCOLATES whatever kind of food, whenever he wanted! Slurp!!! It kept him happy & satisfied on the food front. No fuss about how many fruits or veggies or nutrients or blah blah blah. Just Eat what you like kinda thing.
We went along and did his thing, like he did ours. Swinging in the park in Amsterdam, cooking Pizza in a playhouse in Munich, riding a toy train in Cologne & Climbing the staircase of the church a million times, we’ve done it all. We went wild and crazy with him and I wouldn’t be lying if I say, ” WE LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT”.
Father & Son- Joy in Brussels!
Crazy Mama & Sonny- Amsterdam
We helped him make a lot of new friends. He had a ton of fun interacting with them and learning from them.
New Girlfriend & Miffy – Amsterdam
Hello Mr Goat- Zanse Schans
And most important of all, we just let him be. He was happy, just playing with his car or running about the streets.
Driving a matador on the streets of Brugges
20 days travelling with him was a breeze. There were momentary ups & downs, but I wouldn’t count them against the billion smiles we shared. All in all, it was about striking a balance between all our needs and demands on a day to day basis. Our plans changed everyday, but we kept going on and on.
Here’s all I have to say on this topic. Hope this will in someway be useful to you. Enjoy!
Cheers & Joy, Always!