Worst Idea EVER? Traveling With Kids!

Thanks to Gigi over at KludgyMom for this fantastic way to vent!

Traveling with kids is just a bad idea. But before you disagree with me, let me clarify. I’m not opposed to traveling with a toddler. Or with an infant. But put together a toddler and two infants? Bad idea people, bad idea. I can now speak from experience on the subject.

Just over a month ago, I wrote about our upcoming trip to Parker. If you missed it, you can read about it here. This will in fact confirm I knew that taking all the kids would be a different trip than river trips of the past.

I am not a total moron, but apparently I’m on optimistic one. It must be a *foible* of mine. We had taken Tater when he was about the same age as the twins, and it was enjoyable. I’m a little miffed nobody, not family nor friends, mentioned the threat of impending doom that traveling with three kids brings with it. So I was walking around moronically optimistic about having a nice, enjoyable weekend.

You can grab the code to link up to Word Up, Yo! in my sidebar…this week’s word is foible.

Here are a few things I learned, and I’m flipping off most of them as well:

Kids do not like to be in their carseats for more than ten minutes at a time.
This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Four hours (one way!) in the car = screaming, crying, and whining. So to the long car rides required to go to fun places…flip off!

Kids do not like waiting in line for 40 minutes to check into the hotel after spending 4 hours in the car.
It’s not like I could put them down on the floor to play. It was not an enjoyable wait. Flipping off the Blue Water Resort and Casino for this one.

Kids get mad when you finally get to the room, but aren’t able to let them down to destroy play in the room.
We asked for a suite with 2 queen beds. We got a suite with 1 queen bed and a pull-out couch. Not exactly the same thing. So we had to be moved to another room. Downgraded, if you will, from a suite to a regular room. I’m not being a snob – we don’t normally stay in suites. The plan was to share with my sister and her family to save money. And flipping off the Blue Water again for not specifying the bed situation, and for making us pay more to stay in two regular rooms.

Kids do not like being lathered in sunblock, and will inevitably rub it in their eyes.
And having to do it multiple times a day is even less fun. And forgetting to put it on yourself because it takes so long to get it on everybody else? Well, that just equals a nice, uneven sunburn due to the fact that you accidentally did get some sunblock randomly over your arms and face while getting everybody else buttered up.

Babies view life jackets as medieval torture devices and will cry immediately upon just seeing them.
We put them on the first time, no problem. After that, anytime the babies saw the things they really would start crying! And they would continue to cry the entire time that we were in the boat…until it started moving. Then they immediately fell asleep. Until we stopped. Then they woke up crying again. So to the life jacket companies that make those things as uncomfortable as possible? I understand safety overrides comfort, but really? In all these years you couldn’t figure out how to make them more comfortable? FLIP OFF!!

Kids don’t sleep the same as they do when they are at home.
I think this sucked the most. We’d get the kids all to sleep. Then Tater would wake up crying and scared and would wake up the babies. I slept with Ms. L on my chest all week. Not fun! And they were all up multiple times throughout the night.

So overall, what I learned is that kids, vacation, and fun do not belong in the same sentence…unless the sentence goes like this: Taking kids on vacation is NOT fun. I’m sure I’ll have more about this horrible jaunt through hell experience once we get the pictures, but this post is already probably longer than any of you ever wanted to read! Thanks for letting me vent!

And last but definitely not least, I’m being featured at Mommy Monologues! Kate’s blog is amazing, so please go check it out!

And so it goes…


  1. Oh, Dear!!! I can't even begin to know what your "vacation" must have been like. I only traveled w/an 8 month old once (and it was only 1 baby...) and I learned very quickly to NEVER do that again! You're home now...life can go back to normal...and this weekend, treat YOURSELF to a pedicure...YOU DESERVE IT!!
  2. yeah, that whole vacay was one giant flipoff. I'm sorry it was rough :( sounds like a few of our past trips!

    on the positive..really impressed with you weaving in your Word Up, FFO and the story all into a neat package!
  3. The Empress says:
    I have to start thinking like you: you got it all in, the flip off, the word up, and the post.

    I get stuck on doing.only.one.thing.

    I have issues like that.
  4. That was impressive... multi-tasking like that. I'm taking notes. Sounds like you learned some valuable tips for next vaca and possibly won't be doing them again anytime soon, but if it makes you feel any better we've had plenty of crap trips too. The sunblock one made me laugh. Maybe because I can empathize. What I didn't mention is the crazy stipes all over my body.
  5. Oh dear. Oh sucky-ness in it's highest power! I'm so sorry about this, BUT I'm thankful for the warning and I will take your advice and not every put ourselves through this sort of hell. I still wanna see pics though:)
  6. Jessica Anne says:
    Oh, I am so sorry. I just learned this lesson myself. Never again. (Until September when I have to.)
  7. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    Oh no, you poor thing!

    We did a 16 hour drive to Disney, 8 hours each day. It was terrible, but thankfully we had a portable dvd player and he slept for a lot of it.

    I hate putting sunscreen on toddlers!
  8. Allyson & Jere says:
    I am so super sorry for the craptastical time you had. I can whole heartedly agree, traveling with kidlets is NOT a good time. Mostly because of the whole lack of sleep thing. Glad you survived and are home to blog again.
  9. Oh dear sweet Natalie!! I thought you were one of the bravest people I knew for planning a boating trip with 3 little ones!! Apparently it was naivity...not bravery! he he

    Oh..babies and boats. We are big boating people but have had to forgo much to our dismay over these past years whenever we have infants. It's just so NOT fun! I hear ya with the lifevests!

    And..who the heck wants to spend literally hours a day applying sunscreen!! It is still one of my LEAST favorite things to do and 3 of my children were blessed with the FAIREST skin on earth. I always get the inevitable streak across my leg or arm!! So sexy!!

    Sleeping...well, lets just say that vacation with kids is really no vacation at all. Nuf' said!! ;)
  10. Omgosh too funny. have been there and never want to go back. I am so picky about where we vacation. It has to be somewhere that we will all get good sleep, otherwise it is a waste of time and money! Best hotels are the ones with huge closets that fit playpacks and white noise.
  11. I have to bow on you for your bravery, Mama! I mean traveling with one toddler is hard enough so I totally salute you! Hail, super mama! :D
  12. Hey congrats on being featured. Well done. Loved the flips, so glad kangaroos don't travel so I don't have this problem. REally cracked up over the "medieval torture devices". Sorry it was stressful but it sure made a fun blog to read!
  13. Pumpkin and Piglet says:
    Good combination of WoW and FFO!

    I'm sorry your holiday wasn't as good as you hoped :( We've only done a 2 hour journey with Piglet and that was bad enough!
  14. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli says:
    We've got awesome life jackets for our girls. They are super comfortable. Cost a fair bit more but we wanted to be sure they'd be happy in them.
    My parents are 5 hours away. We've got car trips to a science. Constant snacks, stickers (though Laila tends to put them up her nose) and when desperate donuts and those $2 reststop dispenser toys. Which are much too small for your girls.
  15. Ouch . . . sorry about that experience. Let me warn you, though, don't think it'll get better when they are older. My daughter has been a great traveler . . . until about now - now that she has an opinion & has learned how to voice it. She's six.

    Have a great day!
  16. BLOGitse says:
    Blog hopping first time - nice to meet you!
    I hope your next vacation is more relaxing...when your kids are adults! :) sorry, I know - mine are adults aready!
    Greetings from Casablanca, Morocco!

  17. Sorry about that girl...sleeping arrangements are the worst when little ones our out of their element. Will always takes a couple days to get adjusted.
    We traveled to Chicago with Will on antibiotics and him watching baby einstein...it got bad about 12 hours into the trip. I think it does get better...little mini trips every now and again definitely help them get used to it.
  18. The Swanns says:
    I like comparing traveling with my kids a slow form of Chinese water torture (all girls....ages 7,4, and 19 months). When we head down to the beach, it is exhausting.......and we live less than 2 miles from the oceanfront. I'm a teacher, it's going to be a long summer.
  19. Dazee Dreamer says:
    OMG. That was truly a funny err I mean, tragic vacation tale. I had to agree with you on a lot of them tho. :)
  20. MommaKiss says:
    Well. Here's to being home.
    We took a driving vaca last summer. The boys were 4 and almost 2. It wasn't awful, I drugged them a lot for the car rides. I kid. Mostly. But the hotel sleeping? Yah, not easy. Especially when they woke up at 6am each day and there's no where to move, much less entertain.
  21. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:
    Oh Natalie! I'm so sorry you had such a rough vacay. Welcome to vacation + motherhood. Not the same as real vacations AT ALL. And I'm so with you on everything, esp. the car rides and life jackets. Diego is almost 3 and he still cries if you even breathe the word lifejacket. What the heck!! I must say though that you are brave to have attempted vacay with 3 kids that are that little! I'm proud of you that you tried. And hey, at least you got some good blog fodder out of it, right?
  22. Katie's Dailies says:
    All I have to say is that life jackets are the works of the Devil himself! Our boy,10, STILL sulls whenever he puts his on.

    Great use of all the games, you multiple-tasked you!
  23. I have to agree with you, although it sounds like your trip was a little rougher than mine. I can usually get a good hour in the car before everyone starts getting antsy. The sleep thing and the not being able to put them down thing was the worst part for me. Sorry it was so rough. Just think, in a few years they will be older and it should be easier.
  24. Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points says:
    Okay, I PROMISE it will get better.

    Ours travel great.

    Of course, they're 14, 16 and 18 now, but....

  25. The California Baby No Fragrance SPF 30+ Sunblock Stick works great and doesn't get in eyes. You might want to try it out.
  26. gringationcancun says:
    Hey! Found you over at Kate's. Your blog is really adorable :) I've always said when I have kids, they're not traveling until they're old enough to remember the vacation. This confirms it haha great stories, though!
  27. Hello! I'm Kate. says:
    One time my parents took us on a 15 hour car ride and they had five kids 9 and under! yikes! I have no idea how they did it!!! I just call them CRAZY!

    And Lboy BURSTS into tears when he sees his life jacket! It's miserable! He never gets happy in it!

    Hope y'all have fun though!

  28. I totally hear you on long waits when you can't put the kids on the ground. Like say, in the exam room at the peds office.

    Sorry your trip wasn't more fun and hope your sunburns heals soon!
  29. Belle's Butterfly says:
    I'm so sorry your vaca wasn't what you had hoped for. I got a bad sunburn over Memorial weekend from not getting sunblock on myself in time. Belle was all lathered up and only got a little pink on her arm. But I burned like crazy legs and everything, and I had the baby sunblock on. We were suppose to go camping for the 4th and I'm kinda gald we aren't. It took a couple days to get her back to her routine after the last time.
  30. amyblam.com says:
    Your header graphic always makes me smile! Because I am evil and all that, I didn't take bratchild on a vacation until she was 5 and throughly understood bribery and, more importantly, threats!
  31. Karen Mortensen says:
    It is amazing you survived at all. Your tough.
    Better luck next time.
  32. I'm sorry it sucked. Truly. And I would have been all, "You have GOT the be kidding me" when I walked in and saw the wait for my room!
  33. Aging Mommy says:
    Oh my! Sorry you had such a tough time on your trip. I can't really imagine traveling with a toddler and two babies. As for the place you stayed, waiting to check in all that time and being messed around with the rooms, that is so bad they deserve a royal flip off!
  34. Funky Mama Bird says:
    I'm traveling 2 hours to my parent's beach house with one toddler and I'm starting to freak out. I don't know how you did it!
  35. The Flying Chalupa says:
    There is nothing I enjoy reading more than a post about other people traveling with their kids. You are so right about the sleep. It's not so great at home - and it's HELL on the road. Which is why we don't go anywhere.
  36. Mama Hen says:
    Oh my goodness this is such a funny yet true list! We had the sunscreen in the eyes yeterday and no lifejacket was wanted! As for the carseat, yup, they don't like it for too long. But when Little Chick gets antsy, that is when I hook up the DVD player! She then is very happy! :) I only use the DVD player for trips longer than an hour or so and especially if I know we will get stuck in traffic. Have a great Friday!

    Mama Hen
  37. WTH am I Doing? says:
    Agreed, traveling with kids does suck a lot of the fun (if there was any fun to start with) right out of the vacation. Glad you're home safe so you can get some rest to recover from your "vacation." ;o)
  38. NanaDiana says:
    Yeah- but look how much fun you had blogging about your bad time! lol
  39. bitethebedbugs says:
    I had a three year old and infant twins and the farthest we got was Target. They are now 4 (the twins) and we MIGHT attempt disneyland. We camped a few times and that was great writing fodder and also culminated in a zoloft prescription for me. So, yeah. Props for trying.
  40. forty-something chick says:
    I think the serious lack of sleep on vacation by the little ones is the WORST, but you have several others that now seem just as bad! And the sunscreen in the eyes.....ugh, hate that!

    Natalie, welcome back home...hopefully you will stay a while.
  41. adriel, from the mommyhood memos says:
    so funny natalie!! we're not to the life vest stage yet... but i imagine levi would act the same. he absolutely flips out when i try to get him in the baby bjorn... until it's on of course and we're on the go together. then it's all fun and games. these little ones just don't like to be confined do they??! :D
  42. Courtney says:
    LOL! Sorry, girl. Hope your next vacation is much better.
  43. The Urban Cowboy says:
    LOL...oh wow, sounds like a crazy time. I would give that casino, in the words of Momma Kiss, a double flip off!
  44. Sorry to hear that it was a bit of a disaster. This post was not the best thing to read as we are planning an old school road trip with the kids in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
  45. We are going to be travelling by plane for the first time with our 4 year old. 10 hours. Help. Me.
  46. Alyna @ Better Your Blog says:
    Hi Natalie!

    LOL! This sentiment seems to be going round today. I just saw Jessica Anne (from Adventures With Three Girls) say something just like this on Facebook or Twitter.

    Wow - FORTY minutes to check in to a hotel??? What, were they still building your room? In this day and age of computers and key card, check in is usually such a breeze. That really sucks. :(
  47. Sharlene T. says:
    You got away scot-free! Where was the story about how the little darlings locked themselves in the bathroom and you had to wake the manager in the middle of the night?...the rest is all part of the package...so, until you've had the screaming child in the bathroom situation, I'm afraid you have at least one more vacation with the kiddies!...do a short one, this summer, and get past it... 8-)

    Twitter: SolarChief
  48. TornadoTwos says:
    Yes, yes and YES! You hit the nail right on the head with this one. I should pass this onto my mother in law, maybe then she'd finally understand why I hardly ever make the 4+ hour trip down to visit her. She keeps telling me to bring my fab-five down by myself and stay with them so I can relax. Relax?!? HAHAHA!
  49. Claudia says:
    Sooooo right! I could write books about our holidays with our three kids. There were times when I thought we should stay at home, spend our holiday budget on hire someone to clean the house and cook for us and spend the most lovely time AT HOME!! But - we never did....
  50. moveovermarypoppins says:
    You're just driving home my point that we might want to consider stopping at one...

    Also, grabbed your button for my chalk drawings column!
  51. I like vacations but traveling with little people is hard. Hubby keeps saying he wants to go to Hawaii..I tell him go...go alone and enjoy...The kids are better off here with me...less painful.
  52. Brandie says:
    This is exactly why the first real overnight vacation we ever took our kids on was when they were 7 & 5. Our friends would take their very small babies to the beach and I was like....I dont think that would work well. The kids being older when we did do our first "real trip" was the best idea we ever had. I agree small children...life jackets/ water when they cant swim/ hot humid day/ long car rides.....not a vacation at all! lol. Glad you survived!
  53. You deserve a little halo for dealing with this--the vacation commercials of frolicking family is just a sales gimmick, not real! It does not help that you are a mom who wants to make sure everyone else is happy, at your own expense. It will get easier when they are older...except for the sunscreen thing-my 12 yr old still whines like a baby when I try to put sunscreen on him!