Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Travel tips

We have friends that newly became parents. And some of the things that they said & planned during the first three months of having their newborn just made me laugh. It wasn't that I was laughing at them, just that their innocence was so touching, it made me laugh. For instance, they asked us to join them on a trip to Singapore or some place where we would take a flight and stay in a budget hotel, so that we can spend the rest of our money on shopping. And they invited other couples, who happen to be childless, to join also. First of all, even though this may sound wonderful, it just isn't practical. If you want to go on vacation with a newborn or an infant even (doesn't even have to be a newborn), you will have to travel with all sorts of equipment: stroller, carseat (optional but sometimes necessary), diapers, changing mat, wet wipes, bottles, formula, thermos, etc, which limits your movement a bit. Then the baby will cry most of the time on the plane. And then you can't just stay at just any hotel, it has to be a child-friendly hotel. You will not feel comfortable in a cramped room in a budget hotel. You will need space, first of all, to put all the baby equipment you brought, plus all of the stuff you brought for yourself. And then the baby needs space. Space is important. You need space as a time out from your baby, too (if it is constantly crying).

Travelling with other couples that have small kids may sound like fun, but it may also dampen the mood if each couple has to wait for the other to catch up (say if one couple's children need a toilet-break or something like that). And childless couples will hate this. So don't travel with them, even if they are your very bestfriends, because unless they love babysitting, they will most likely get stressed out by all the extra activity. And even though it may sound like fun to go on a shopping spree vacation trip, lugging around that stroller and diaper bag will just tire you out, and it won't be fun. When you have kids, the trip cannot just be about you, you have to plan some activities that your kids will enjoy, too. Kids (even if they are newborns) don't like shopping all that much, I find.

When we travel with our toddler, we travel alone. And it's more fun that way because we can take our time doing things. And we specifically look for hotels that have a great children's pool or children's room or playground. And we love restaurants that give plastic plates, cups and cutlery when we order the kids meals. Even better are those restaurants that let kids eat for free with an adult meal. New parents have to discover these things for themselves, I think.

Even though I have about a month and a bit left to my pregnancy, I am still looking for vacation deals or hotel packages. Just for a short weekend getaway. I want to rest and relax somewhere nice. But I know it won't be fun if my 2 year old isn't having fun also. Those spa getaways won't be worth it if the hotel doesn't have some sort of activity for the kids too. Which is why I'm still searching. If you know of a good place, do leave me a comment, thanks!

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