They say that it’s harder to travel with toddlers 18 to 24 months old than any other age. We only read about that after 5 trips though. So, having travelled with our twin toddlers to Nafplio, Xylokastro, South Pelion, Tinos and Skyros island during those “hard” months, first we decided to take some time off traveling. But we also gained so much experience, enough to practice it on our own travels. And there is plenty to share in an article for you!
So, what have we learnt?
1. We need to follow their cues
George cried a lot on our first day to Skyros. He obviously didn’t want to get in the car and he refused leaving the beach. On the next day, we let him play for 5 minutes. Then, he willingly sat on his car seat. Τοddlers don’t want to do what we must do. Thank god it’s our holidays so we can actually let go of the must’s. What a great opportunity to let them enjoy the moment until they move on to something else, so that we can continue with our “schedule”, which surrounds their naps and sleeping time. Because…
2. We all crave for their nap time
I know when it’s their nap time. You know it too. So why on earth did we decide to go at a tavern at that time, I will never understand. No one ate. But when we chose to keep on driving when the twins napped in the car, we actually took on the views and enjoyed a cup of coffee.
3. Co-sleeping works wonders on the road. For us
I know it’s not for all. But we like to take advantage of the large 4 bedded apartments we are given when traveling, to bed share all 4 of us. It’s the only way Orpheas sleeps through the night. And having just one baby to nurse is a luxury!
4. We notice what works and we stick to it
When we realized that it’s best to go to the beach after breakfast, we had found our day schedule and it was perfect! The twins were lazy, so we didn’t run after them on the beach. They slept in the car on the way back and I left them in the car parked under the thick shadow of olive trees with their father, while I took my bath, washed our swimsuites and got everything ready for our lunch walk and our afternoon drive. When the twins woke, they wanted to play with the water hose, so we bathed them then and there. They got hungry in the meantime, so tavern it is! Then back to our garden or a beach to play, right before we drive some place nice to watch the sunset while the twins play some more. The twins fell asleep on the drive back, so I could cross off my to-do list the dreaded “nurse them to sleep” task.
5. We make our lives easier with less to do
They don’t need to be dressed in the summer. They don’t need waterproof diapers or swim suites. They don’t need a proper bath. They don’t need all these “must’s” we follow blindly in the city. I don’t need them. They can just enjoy being naked and shoeless. They can swim naked and feel the sand between their toes. Of course, their safety comes first. Hats and sunscreen are obligatory. But all that taking their clothes, shoes, diapers, swimsuits on and off and on and off again is a nightmare. And we need to relax!
Last but not least, keep in mind the basics for less tantrums:
1. Make sure they don’t even get to the meltdown point: feed them and make sure they nap when needed
2. When they do melt down, hug them, caress them and make them feel safe, accepted and loved. Though I notice that their brother making funny faces helps a lot more!
3. They love our carriers. They relax.
What wisdom can you share on traveling with 2 year olds?