Travelling is fun, but would you still say the same if you have a toddler with you?
It was my husband’s birthday last October 2018 when he decided that we are going for a 3 days 2 nights Ilocos tour. During that time our son is only 1 year and 8 months old and we are only on a Joiner Tour which means we don’t have our own car and we are travelling in a van with other people who also happens to avail the same package tour like ours on the Travel Agency we booked.
I know some of you will be like, “Whoa wait, are you serious? Travelling with a toddler without your own car?”, “What if the child throws a tantrum it can be really embarrassing to other Joiners”, “What if the child needs to change a diaper, what would you do? Are you just going to ask the driver to stop, that’s hassle to others”, or even say “How can you enjoy the place if you are looking after your child?” and the questions goes on and on and on.
I am hesitant also at first, but I am excited at the same time. What did I do? I just plan ahead of time. So here’s what I do before the trip.
- Review the Itinerary
The travel agency automatically gave us the itinerary for our Ilocos trip, so I’ve used it to figure out how many clothes do I need to bring for the 3 of us, what do I need to bring like for example at day 2 we are going to the beach, so I’ve pack extra clothing for swimming. I’ve searched on the internet the places listed on our itinerary and see if it is child friendly. Like the Paoay Sand Dunes, we didn’t try it because the ride is not safe for our son, we only do a pictorial for remembrance. Also, it includes the meeting place where the van will pick up all the Joiners, so lucky for us that the Travel agency is just a few subdivision away from us, so we asked the owner if we could just go to their office and just wait there for the van and they said Okay!
2. Plan what stuff to bring
It is so hard to pack light when you have a toddler with you. But what I did, I list down first all the stuff that my son needs. I started with his milk, diaper, wipes, alcohol, baby bottles (which I already fill up with water for his consumption while we are travelling and we just bought a 5 litters of distilled water when we are already in Ilocos), the brush and soap for cleaning his bottles, a towel and for his clothes I make sure that I packed extra in case he gets dirty while eating or playing (which is expected from a toddler) and his rash guard. I’ve also packed his sandals, his vitamins, his toiletries, snacks and toys to make him busy. And for me and my husband, I’ve just prepared enough shirts, shorts and underwears that we are going to use for 3 days and 2 nights stay, separate swimming clothes, slippers as well, our toiletries, 1 towel for both of us, phones charger and powerbank. I’ve also packed the petrolleum jelly, Vicks, mansanilla, efficascent oil, some Biogesics, mosquito repellant and eco-bags (for Pasalubong). I also bring a little pillow and a thin blanket that my son used when he’s sleeping while travelling. The only thing that I’ve regret not bringing is his bottle steamer, but good thing the owner of our transient house lend us this big steamer that I’ve used to steam my baby’s bottle.
I’ve fill up 3 bags for the our stuff to bring. 1 large bag with all the stuff that we don’t need to often while we are travelling. A backpack baby bag with lots of pockets, here I put all the stuff that my son needs while we are travelling like his bottles, toys, snacks, couple of diapers and toys. And last is my carry-on bag, where we put all the things that we need often like the phones, powerbanks, wipes and alcohol, wallets and keys.
3. Expect the unexpected
Though our son is sleeping most of the time during our travel to Ilocos, I still prepared my self for some unexpected scenarios. What I did is every stop over, I changed his diaper to avoid leak and also to check if he poop (fortunately everytime he poop we are on our stop over). When he threw a slight tantrums, I gave him his toys and sometimes I let him watched his favorite Cocomelon video on our phone (with low volume so that the other passengers will not be disturbed) or gave him his milk or a snack.
Believe me travelling with a toddler is not easy. There’s a lot of things to plan and consider. I’ve also asked myself a lot of “WHAT IF” and “HOW CAN WE”, before the travel days. But, I just told to myself, “This is our first family trip and I want it to be special, memorable and fun.
Here are some of the beautiful places we’ve visited during our Ilocos trip:
By: Joanne C. Villarosa