It’s been almost three years since I started Have Baby Will Travel, and in all this time I’ve been a total cheerleader for family travel. My goal with the site has always been to inspire and motivate new parents to travel with their babies and toddlers, and I think a big part of the motivation comes from hearing stories from other traveling parents.
The last trip was my 4-year-old daughter’s 8th and my 9-month-old son’s 3rd. Other than the usual hassles of a giant pile of luggage and figuring how to make sure both kids are fed and occupied on the travel days, it went off without a hitch. Come to think of it, the very first trip we took with our daughter also went off without a hitch, but I was still a very stressed out new mom who wanted to make sure we got to our destination in one piece physically AND mentally, and enjoyed ourselves once we were there.
But when I think of that first trip, that’s not what I remember. I remember how she kept dozing off in odd places during the first couple of days. I remember her squeals of absolute joy as she hit the beach and crawled in the sand for the first time. I remember her pointing at a cat and saying “cat”, and pointing at a dog and saying “cat”.
Much like childbirth, you just kind of forget the bad stuff. Like how I cried out of sheer exhaustion and frustration when she wouldn’t nap and woke at all hours during our first few days. Like how out of sorts I felt until we established our “vacation routine”. Like how I panicked when I realized the pasta with tomato sauce she was greedily eating had shellfish in it, and I hadn’t yet introduced her to that yet.
As my site nears its 3rd birthday, it’s a wakeup call of sorts for me to not forget where I came from. That first trip was tough, and as much as it’s easy to forget the bad, it’s important not to. I don’t ever want to seem smug or glib about the troubles and hassles involved in getting from point A to point B with a baby in tow. They’re real and they exist and I think being prepared is half the battle.
And also just like childbirth, it’s totally, totally worth it.
Corinne McDermott is the founder of Have Baby Will Travel, your online guide for family travel with babies, toddlers, and young children. Connect with her online at www.havebabywilltravel.com or www.twitter.com/hvbabywilltrvl