You’re at Whistler. It’s a powder day. And you just did West Cirque. Does it get any better than this? Yup. Head a few blocks north of the village to the Scandinave Spa Whistler, and prepare to find peace. Hike up the gravel path through a Tofino-like forest. (Don’t worry if you’re not relaxed yet. It will come). Light blue signs seem zen-like against the bright green trees, and running water stimulates you to breathe deeply. (And make you need a ladies room, but the ambiance continues there too).
Last month, my daughter and I were very fortunate to be guests of the San Juan Marriott in Puerto Rico. While keeping my eyes open for all the hotel had to offer babies and toddlers, my daughter and I also got to experience all that Puerto Rico offers families. It was a great little break for the both of us, and baby brother was left at home in the capable hands of Daddy. Or so I thought.
Just don’t do it if you can help it. If you are traveling internationally with kids, don’t choose a route via the US which will require a border crossing. Trust us. Even if you just pop through the States en route back to Canada, you will probably be subjected to a multi-hour wait in one of their hubs, where children, babies and visibly pregnant women are made to wait in a Homeland Security immigration line with hundreds of other able-bodied adults. No water, no chairs, no assistance. I became so irate after my 1 and 3 year old were at risk for dehydration, diaper rash was setting in, and our rancid yogurts were the only grub around (security confiscated my ice packs) that I had to cause a stink.
“Should we bring the car seat?” It’s a top question asked by traveling parents. It seems like such a hassle – the pile of luggage is already so giant once you’ve figured out what to pack for baby. For me, in a word, the answer is yes. A lot depends on your destination and the type of trip you’ll be taking. Most countries (Canada included) don’t require infants or small children to be in a car seat in the back of a taxi, but just because it’s not against the law, do you really want to take the risk?
March Break is now upon us. Airports and popular destinations will be at their busiest, and you will be too if you’re planning on taking off. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first family vacation, if you’re going to maintain any semblance of sanity, you’ll need to remember one (not-so) little thing, and it’s not food or a toy. You’ve tailored your travel arrangements to suit your child’s schedule. You are super-organized, and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.
There are a couple of travel stories about me as a toddler that are often repeated in my family. One is how when we were in Scotland, I dumped a chicken dinner on my mom’s lap when she was wearing her white pantsuit. Another is how on a plane one time I spilled a full glass of orange juice on her lap while she was wearing her white pantsuit. Now that I’m a parent and a traveling one at that, I have a question, “What on Earth was she thinking wearing a white pantsuit?”
In the wake of the attempted Christmas Day bombing on a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit, parents traveling with children and babies will have an even more difficult time carrying food and toys aboard for their flights. The RCMP has put measures in place which restrict carry-on baggage on Canadian planes bound for the United States. Parents don’t have to cancel plans yet, though, as many baby-related items will still be permitted.
I think it’s been a while since the heyday of travel – when hopping on a plane was an experience in itself. I know my mom always looked forward to being able to just sit for a few hours and have someone bring her a hot meal and a glass of wine (obviously I was older by this point!) while she thumbed a book or napped. Unless you’re flying first class or by private jet, it’s safe to say those days are long gone, and now the “fun” of air travel begins before you’ve even hit the departure lounge.