Saturday, June 13, 2015

traveling with children

It's easy to travel with children: kids are flexible by nature, and don't require strict routines and constant vigilance to avoid collapsing into a fiery pit of screaming madness. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your travel experiences.

Travel with children

First off, bring the kids along. Why leave them at home taking advantage of grandma's generosity, enjoying good food and sleep while you navigate distant cities with ease and naught but carryon luggage? Instead, you can bring them along and make the whole vacation feel a whole lot longer. Not only will you significantly increase your waking hours, but you'll also slow down your sensation of the passing of time.

Some people miss out on their vacation by not pacing a hotel room at 2AM with a screaming child, trying desperately to not get run out of town on a rail by an angry mob of neighbors. These extra moments give you more time to appreciate the fact that you are on vacation, spending hard-earned time off in a fruitless pursuit of relaxation.

The same applies to your daytime touring. Far from being the leisurely strolls through the hallowed halls of ancient European architecture, walking in the steps of Charlemagne and other greats, you can instead do a panicked run-walk through Seattle's public library as your child issues forth glare-inducing yawps. While your beeline to the elevators may only take one tenth of the time you spent in the presence of Holger the Dane,1 it will feel immeasurably longer, like you have spent an eternity dragging your feet through molasses as your child discusses his love of books with the rays of hatred being spread forth on your path like Cyclopsian laser beams.

Lastly, traveling with children helps you achieve a state of zen: scraping your infant's body weight of poo off of him and his onesie in the middle of a public park, surrounded by tourists who keep walking by and staring at your misfortune helps you retreat inside yourself to achieve the ultimate sense of mindfulness.

Stay in hotels

Sure, you could rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere and find a dark room to place your child and feel infinitely less stress when he peeps at night, OR you could instead get a hotel and try to pretend that you aren't in the room when you put him down so he doesn't feel like he has a right to stay up and party. You're then free to spend the hours from six until midnight desperately trying not to pee because he ended up on your bed anyway and the slightest sound is going to get him back up whereupon both your wife and the other hotel guests will shiv you in the back with a rusty spork.

Staying in hotels ensures that the three of you will get absolutely no sleep whatsoever, so when your child starts eating grass in the morning you won't have enough energy to care, and just figure you'll end up changing grassy diapers later. This is good for the child's immune system, according to various uncited journal articles you lazily slur your way through an explanation to your germaphobe and even more sleep-deprived wife.

Fly to your destination

Having spent thirteen hours in a car on a road trip earlier this year, where approximately twelve hours fifty minutes of that time was accompanied by blood-curdling screams of an infant, you should decide to fly to your destination. This is good for the global economy, because when you wake up on Wednesday morning for the eighth time and throw in the towel, Southwest2 will only charge you a billion dollars for the privilege of flying out a day early on a non-full flight.

Tell your friends about your experiences

People are caring and loving and will be empathetic about all parts of the vacation except the kids part where they will fake sympathy, because every parent is secretly intensely competitive about her or his child being better than yours. For example, "my kid sleeps through the night" is another parent's way of saying, "I'm better than you". We all know Jack is going to make the history books, but for the time being, the only way to handle losing the parenting competition is to reach down inside of yourself for that mindfulness you picked up along with all of that poop.

1. Stults, we need to travel again someday. It was so much fun.
2. Motto: we call our change fees "difference in fare".


brittney perry said...

Here's the real secret to traveling with kids: have the funniest, best husband ever. That way, when you have an emotional breakdown in an airport, he tells you some good jokes, buys you a tasty chicken sandwich, and then you're happy again.

Michelle Glauser said...

I like Brittney's side of the story. :D

Rachel said...

Hahaha! I love you both. But seriously the zen thing is SPOT ON. There's nothing that helps you retreat inside yourself and "find a happy place" like being confronted with a bodily secretion disaster in a public place. You're too busy making sure your kid doesn't touch their poop and accidentally ingest it to care to count how many strangers are staring you down. I'm sorry your vacation didn't go as planned, and you are much braver than Chris and I, because when we go on "vacation" these days we stick firmly to visiting family and not going out and seeing many sights. Haha.

Aroura said...

All of this is giving me vicarious PTSD symptoms. And don't worry, when you finally realize it just isn't worth taking your kids with you out to public places, you'll have family tell you the REASON your kids don't behave in public places is BECAUSE you don't take them out enough. Good times.