So next week I will be taking the girls (aged two and three) by myself on a little road trip to Tasmania. Veggie Dad has some other travel to do, so it will just be the girls and me, boarding the Spirit of Tasmania for some work I’m doing with them, and getting to know the only state in Australia I’ve never visited. I am super-excited, because TRAVEL, and also slightly apprehensive because SOLO WITH KIDS.
In my oddball way of looking at the world, I keep thinking “how hard can it be? I live every day as the primary caregiver of a toddler and a preschooler, how much different is it going to be there than it is here?”. But having travelled with them fairly often already, I also know that there is a slightly-elevated level of stress, no matter how well-behaved they are, or how relaxed I am.
My usual response is “yeah, I might have a slighly elevated level of stress, but it’s a slightly elevated level of stress in Tasmania. On holiday“. I’d prefer that than to never go at all! And with all the travel we’ve ever done, I have to say, we’ve never had an issue with the kids. Not on planes, not in cars, not on road trips, not in hotel rooms. We pack, we go, we hang out, we come home, we unpack (two months later) and nobody raises an eyebrow. It could be sheer luck, it could be that my kids are lazy, it could be that we’ve happened to go in stages where they weren’t too much hassle, or it could just be that we’re raising good travellers. I’ve no idea. Probably a bit of all of that. And wine. And iPads.
But that was definitely when there were two adults and either one or two kids (or one adult and one kid, which, now that I’m a parent of two feels like a holiday in itself), not outnumbered skinny little me, against two loud and energetic children who are a combination of slightly too fast for me to catch, and slightly too heavy to carry more than a metre.
We’ll be taking the ferry overnight there and back, and driving around during the day, stopping each night to stay somewhere. We’ve done a seven-day road trip before around the south island of New Zealand, and it was a breeze. I’m going to go with the headspace that this will be a breeze too! I’ve got a healthy playlist of audiobooks (Stephen Fry reading the short stories of Oscar Wilde is a favourite), music that doesn’t make me want to scream (i.e. Wiggles: NO, Playschool: YES), I’ve nailed the snack department, and I’ve loaded the iPad with plenty of Care Bears and Dora. There will be much looking out of windows, much getting out and running around, and many memories made.
Do you travel with kids?