Erin Stewart: The agony and ecstasy of traveling with small children

Erin Stewart

Erin Stewart’s girls with a whole lot of stuff they probably don’t need to take on their trip.

Traveling with kids is one of those things that’s way better in theory. Like going to the beach with infants — two cups of digested sand later, you wonder who thought this was a good idea.

So as I packed up my family this year to go on our first big vacation with our newest addition (our now almost 1-year-old son), all the craziness of trying to pack and travel with a baby came flooding back to me.

First, there’s the packing. Oh, the packing. How can such a small little human need so much stuff? And of course, I have to pack as if we will be miles away from civilization where no one has heard of diapers or baby food. We were, after all, headed to the exotically remote destination of Orlando. (That’s right, we’re taking a 1-year-old to a theme park, so you know you’ll be hearing about that experience soon, assuming, of course, I live to tell the tale.)

But I digress. Back to the packing. As I loaded up every bottle, spoon, diaper, piece of clothing and toy the baby could possibly need for a weeklong excursion, I decided to focus on the good aspects of traveling with children.

Here’s what I’ve got:

1. If I never went on trips, my toilets would never get cleaned. It’s no secret that I’m not the best housekeeper, so things like toilets, sinks and that weird spot behind the trash can where half-eaten strawberries always migrate never get cleaned. Ever. But before a trip, I clean. Why? Well, because the only thing more terrifying than some horrible catastrophe befalling us while on vacation is…

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