Toddler Traveler Challenges

Travel has always been an important part of our lives and we have been determined to keep it up since we brought a child into our world. Living in London, frequent work breaks, budgeting, travel experience and a child with an adventurous/adaptable temperament have all made this possible.

That's not to say it comes without challenges. Here are some things our 2-year-old did on our latest holiday to Edinburgh:

* We began our drive at 4 - she fell asleep immediately for 2 hours. By the time we stopped for dinner and got back in the car, she was wide awake and impossible to entertain for the dark hours (enter cartoons on the iPad - she probably had it planned that way).

* The Edinburgh Zoo has two pandas (there are only 6 in Europe). You have to book tickets ahead of time in 15-minute increments to see them. It's a huge deal and the pandas are so cute. As we listened to the keeper talk in the panda exhibit, Dash laid down on the floor and shouted, "no pandas! want see monkeys!"

* Laying down in protest is apparently her new thing - which was inconvenient because she did it just about everywhere. On busy Princes Street, at the coast, in abbey ruins, at the park (because it wasn't a playground), on multiple sidewalks, etc. The best incident occurred in the throne room of Hollyrood Palace. It's almost like she was saying, "I'm the queen!"

* We rarely stay in hotels anymore because it's cheaper to rent an apartment, nice to have more than one room and (perhaps most importantly) we don't have to tidy up before we leave in the mornings. Dash left this place relatively intact - apart from drawing on the door, flooding the bathroom (by pouring cups of water from the bath tap on the floor) and getting her fingers stuck in the closet.

* Her preferred mode of transportation is for us to carry her - but not in a proper carrier because that's too restrictive. The stroller is fine for a bit, walking is ok for a while. But she wants to be carried on our hip or maybe Daddy's shoulders. To entice her to walk, we made up games. Like, we picked up a handful of leaves and promised to throw them if she walked to the lamppost. Or, we hid behind stone pillars at the palace so she would chase us there. It got a little ridiculous.

Really, all of these things would have occurred at home. Insert "supermarket" for "throne room" or "local sidewalk" for "Princes Street," etc., you get the idea. Why not be somewhere different and interesting for these antics?

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