We got back late Saturday night after a week in Hawaii. Jeff and I hadn’t been to Hawaii in 2 years since our honeymoon. For a while, we had been going to different islands for Jeff’s birthday since we started to date. Last year, Jacob was not even a year old but the snow was epic in Mammoth so Jeff wanted to spend his birthday skiing.
Vacationing with a toddler is a different kind of vacation. Let’s start with the logistics.
(1) Packing: I (we/you) can no longer get away with carry-on luggage. We are going to have to check a bag. I make my packing list for Jacob and me about a week in advance. My list has plane essentials (back-up clothing, snacks, movies on the phone, diaper bag) and the rest of the stuff that can be checked. I have to pack his outfits/shoes/diapers and my outfits/shoes. It takes a day or two. I copy and paste my packing list from my last trip and edit it as needed.
(2) Plane ride: Jacob is almost 2 and we’re trying to save money for as long as we can by taking advantage of him being a lap infant for another month. Plane rides when Jacob was under 9 months were easy peasy. He nursed upon takeoff, was awake to play a little bit, then would sleep for a few hours, wake up to nurse, then back to sleep, nurse upon landing… Sigh. That is no longer the case.
Jacob wants to roam the aisles, look out the window, touch EVERYTHING- I (we/you) cannot wipe down all the surfaces he could possibly encounter on this plane. Seatbacks, the seat, seat belt, windows, arm rests- if I wipe it, he will find something I haven’t cleaned to touch. Do I still bother? Of course I do!
Jacob was entertained with Disney movies like Finding Nemo, Moana, and maybe Minions for most of the trip. I was able to get him to sleep for a few hours for a little P&Q for myself. I thought I would read or nap but I just sat there in a state of stress hoping he would nap the rest of the trip and I didn’t want to disturb him.
(3) Food: Jacob has become a picky eater at home and is even pickier when he is traveling. He enjoys milk (thankfully), potato chips (loved the Maui onion chips on our flight), pickles, fruit pork sausage and pasta. Usually, anyway… For the week, he ate sausage for breakfast a few times, fruit and chips throughout the day. Somehow, he managed to still poop once or a few times daily. I was surprised and ecstatic that he was able to poop so I fed him whatever he wanted to eat- smoothies, juice, oatmeal raisin cookie, chocolate smoothies. I was happy he was eating something.
(4) Sleep: We were debating whether to get a 1-bedroom suite/AirBnB/apartment but ultimately decided to save a few hundred dollars. Spending a lot of money on a hotel hurts me deeply because (a) we’re not really in the room during the day except to sleep and who knew if/when Jacob’s nap would be (b) would having Jacob in his own bedroom promote him sleeping through the night by himself? We’ve had separate bedrooms for him in past trips and he still wakes up and wants to cuddle.
To no surprise, he woke up 6/7 nights shortly after I tried to put him to sleep or wouldn’t go down by himself so he slept with us. As much as I love to cuddle with him, he is an active sleeper -he rolls around, kicks Jeff or me, reaches out (or slaps our arm/face/neck) to make sure we’re still there. I woke up many times a night to make sure he was okay and check where he was in the bed. I was exhausted and looked forward to napping with him when he napped during the day!
All in all, Oahu was wonderful – it was warm, water was 78 degrees, our hotel had a little lagoon and ton of pools. Jacob loved the lagoon, sand, pools, He happily played for hours. While we’d be playing for a few hours, Jeff would surf. Watching and entertaining a toddler while being hyperviligant about sun exposure, traveling too far into the water, staying hydrated/nourished is exhausting.
I was happy to return home to San Diego where there was some routine to our home, kitchen, and bed! I think Jacob enjoyed being home too since he slept through the night in the comfortable sheets of his own bed. Now I’m back to work and need a vacation from this vacation!
Thank you for reading about my travels! If anyone has suggestions to make traveling easier, I’m open to any and all advice!