A month after our simple civil wedding in 2012, Rowjie and I went on a quick Southeast Asia trip for our honeymoon. We really had so much fun chasing flights, meeting new friends, roaming around on a motorbike, tasting each country’s local beers, and agreed to do it again in the future but with our kid/s. This was finally realized when we got to do 12-day backpacking (or not because luggage you know) Indochina trip last April with our, nonetheless, Little Boss Ilog plus my mother, brother, and her girlfriend in tow.
The whole thing—planning, booking of flights and hotels, tours, budgeting—started November last year. My brother and I had been talking about going on an international trip since he hasn’t been to any. We didn’t miss the chance to book flights to Saigon when I learned that Cebu Pacific was holding a promo fare. We paid a total of Php 18,314.00 for six seats (or Php 3,052.33 each) and a 32kg checked baggage. I’ll talk about our itinerary and expenses on my next posts.
Anyway, I was able to convince my brother to do the Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Phuket – Kuala Lumpur route because Rowjie and I have done it before, and our familiarity with it can help in our planning. The only difference this time is we’re traveling with a toddler whose needs must be addressed before anyone or anything else.
Traveling with a Toddler
Since Ilog was born, we’ve been bringing him to all of our travels. I believe that, as a family, no one should get left behind. Traveling is one of the most memorable bondings you’ll ever have with your kids.
In December 2017, we went to Bali for a Christmas holiday, which is Ilog’s first trip abroad. Before this, he had already been to Boracay and Cebu, but this is the only time we learned three key things about traveling with a toddler (or babies and kids in general).
- Travel at your baby’s pace. When s/he shows signs of exhaustion regardless if it’s just 1 PM and you can still do so much more, wrap your day up and continue your activities the next day.
- As everything depends on the wellness of the baby, do not be overly optimistic that things will happen as you wish. Expect hiccups, and brew alternative plans.
- Always bring a thermometer and first aid kit that includes medicines for your baby. Ilog had a fever, luckily, on the last day of our trip. We didn’t bring any of the things I mentioned so we purchased them, a bit more expensive and we aren’t familiar with what was prescribed by the pharmacy. We had to rush to the hospital the moment we landed back in the Philippines. He acquired mild pneumonia.
Now that he’s growing bigger, we’re continuously learning more things with every travel. Here are a few more addition to my list above.
- Bring toys, books, or anything that will keep your baby from getting bored or throwing tantrums.
- Never leave the house or your hotel without snacks and water for the baby. They tend to get easily thirsty and hungry.
- Always bring a decent set of clothes, soap, sanitizer, and wipes in case s/he accidentally spilled something on his/her clothes, peed, or you know what.
- Bring a handheld fan especially during summer. These little ones sweat like there’s no tomorrow.
- Dress your kid where s/he would be comfortable. Don’t let him/her wear drifit shirt when on the beach (another mistake I did, which won’t happen again. lol)
- If the baby is too young for long walks, using luggage instead a backpack immensely helps with your mobility.
It may seem overkill, but you never know when you’re gonna need it. Corny as it is, but it’s better to be prepared and safe than sorry. Put yourselves in our shoes during this one instance when we failed to bring soap and a set of clothes for Ilog on one of our travels and he pooped. Since we didn’t have anything to clean him with, we had to wait to get home to do it. We were stinking while onboard the vehicle. We couldn’t be sorrier for our driver who was getting all the whiff from the monster that our little boss created. Never again.
Oh and another important thing every traveling family should not forget: have fun and cherish each moment.