^ I bet you read the title of this post and went – hell yeah. Of course, travelling alone with toddlers sucks. I mean, it’s challenging enough to raise a toddler at home, let alone while on the road. But I thought I’d cover over the few things that are exceptionally sucky about solo travel with young children.
Travelling with Toddlers is Challenging
This get up and go kinda person means I often load up two kids and just go. Some trips my husband joins us, but some trips, it’s just me being the solo parent on an adventure. These are trips to the Vancouver-area to visit my family, but nonetheless, it’s just me and my two toddlers. My last trip, it was just me and a baby and toddler, but now, I have two toddlers and the challenges are ever evolving.
Whether you have an extra set of adult hands or not, travelling with toddlers is always going to be challenging. When you take on the task yourself, then the challenges become exhausting.There are a few things I find particularly challenging about travelling with multiple toddlers/young children.
5 Things About Travelling Alone with Toddlers that Suck
Using the bathroom in public continues to be a prominent challenge for any situation involving young children. The mere task of taking multiple tiny people into a strange, often dirty, TINY enclosed space and behave is #gameover.
- Someone is always going to open the door on you mid-wipe.
- Someone might to find a garbage can and investigate.
- Someone is going to pee on the seat, poop on the change table, or dump your entire diaper bag occupants onto the floor.
- Someone might lock themselves into a bathroom stall or even an outhouse at some random rest area an hour from anywhere.
There’s a whole array of scenarios that come to mind when trying to use the washroom with toddlers. It’s easier to do it with one, but keeping two on track is hard. Sure, finding a stroller and containing them might be easiest, but not all strollers fit in tiny restrooms, and not all mamas have a double stroller (some of us, until recently, were still chilling with our single and mini board).
Survival Tips: Find family restrooms and everyone goes at once. Find a pelvic floor physiotherapist and work on your bladder control (likewise, you might consider scaling back on the overall liquid intakes). I find it easier to to the diaper changing song and dance in the back of my vehicle instead of a public rest room, then one child can be contained within a carseat.
Have you ever tried to feed a toddler? Mine are increasingly unpredictable. One day they love grilled cheese sandwiches, and a day later you might as well be poisoning them. Sometimes they eat all the snacks, and the next day they just aren’t interested. Therefore, trying to figure out the food situation is my nightmare when you don’t have access to your pantry and fridge.
- Grocery Stores are your friend and it’s best to stock up on as many “healthy snacks” as you can trick your toddler into eating (while also holding onto on a package of chocolates for bribery).
- However, taking small children into a grocery store to accomplish this feat is not fun.
- Fruit Pouches and Luncheables for as long as they will eat them. At less than $3 per pouch, a fruit pouch is an affordable travel food full of fruits and vegetables for your child.
- Yes, that’s expensive, but have you taken your child out for a $9 Kids meal only to eat 1/3 of it?
- Milk these for as long as you can.
- Fast Food Restaurants with drive-thrus are my lifeline when travelling with two kids because we can get the job done without unloading, chasing, and meltdowns.
- McDonald’s fruit smoothies and muffins are my go-to choice for my toddlers.
- Live the Vacation life because you only live once, and it’s okay if you eat mini donuts for lunch because tomorrow is a new day, and I’ll try to convince you my Kale Salad is delicious.
- But, if your toddler becomes backed up because all he ate is muffins and granola bars, you might consider sourcing some pear/prune based fruit pouches.
Eating Out Becomes A Race
You can only live on fast food for so long, and one of my favourite parts of travelling is eating all the amazing food in local areas. With two toddlers in tow, this has become increasingly challenging. I’m no stranger to taking the kids out for dinner, but I miss the luxury of enjoying a place and the food.
Now I feel myself in the ever-present hurry to sit down, order, and eat up before the ticking time bomb that is my toddlers expire. Find out more on how to survive eating out with toddlers here.
With this said, I’m finding some amazing kid-friendly eats.
The ENTIRE Sleep Situation
From figuring out to do nap time to convince your toddler to sleep in his very own travel bed, the entire sleep situation while travelling just sucks. It’s easier when I have back up support, but the bedtime routine as a solo travelling parent is just struggling bus when it’s somewhere else doing something else.
- Conquer Naptime with strategic car naps, or long boring walks in the stroller.
- Don’t forget to schedule out some naps in a bed, while car naps are the cat’s meow, there’s something to be said about the value of catching a snooze in bed.
- Do what works for you, because for me, fighting with toddlers isn’t worth it and I let them continue to sleep with me and we’ll renegotiate sleep boundaries when we get back.
Being ON 24/7
Much solo parenting at home, travelling alone with kids is exhausting. Being the sole care provider for kids 24/7 in strange, and foreign places is just draining. You’re always making sure they aren’t tearing shit apart, running away, or being a nuisance. There is very little opportunity to just turn off and be. Even when I’m sleeping I’m on because we are in a different space and the kids are struggling.
- Find a Place Space to just let it go whether indoors or outdoors.
- It’s okay to use a bad habit to just zone out for 20-,30 minutes, you deserve it, mom.
- This suggests that, yes, I do plop the kids in front of the TV and just do my thing.
- Maybe try to get the family to babysit.
- The challenge here is I never know what to do with myself afterwards. I usually attend a LLL meeting in a different city for lack of know-how.
Have you travelled Solo with Toddlers?
Tell me about what worked and didn’t work. Sometimes I’m also just looking for ideas on how to survive the next trip. I’m not brave enough to fly, but we will be taking a few more road trips this summer with the toddlers in tow, and dad back at home working.