OMG! OMG! OMG! This blog post has been on draft mode since January! And because I’ve been sooooo busy like never before, it’s only now that I am trying to finish this so I can finally publish it!
This is a two-part blog post, a bit long yes, but I think I owe it to you (and myself) since I haven’t really posted in a while.
The first part is about tips on how to travel with a toddler. The second part is a photo summary of all our travels in 2017. I want to have a look back at the past year first so I can appreciate more how wonderful 2018 is turning out to be. We’re only in the 3rd month of this year but so many things have already happened and I’m just so grateful for everything!
Just in case you’re new on my blog and you’re wondering how we can do so much traveling, it’s because we don’t work in the corporate world. We’re setting up our farm in Mindanao and I work online which means we can pretty much travel when we want to as long as everything in our life is in place – our workers at the farm, my online work schedule and our finances.
Anyway, I first drafted this post while we were doing our annual trip to Oslob, Cebu 3rd week of January and I was hoping to not leave without recapping all those wonderful travels we did last year! But then life happened — I hit the ground running at the start of the year with work, Tuz was very needy, we were traveling a lot, I had to rest and sleep… the usual, lol! — so I’m only able to write about it now. I know I am super behind in sharing here with you my travel posts. What I usually end up writing here are things about my life as a mother and provider in general and all those self-help stuff I’ve learned (I’m a Psychology graduate so I really do like dissecting my thoughts most of the time by writing them down here). As one of my resolutions for 2018, I want to write more travel posts since we’re traveling most of the time and I’m starting it with this one — our 2017 travel recap and how to travel with a toddler (coz Tuz is two years old now…Yep, time really flies fast, I know!) Hopefully, it won’t take me another 2 months or so to write the next one!
I blogged about How to Travel with a Baby before. That was 2016 when Tuz was still less than a year old. In 2017, when Tuz was already on the way to his terrible two’s and has learned how to walk, it’s a totally different ball game! He doesn’t need as much stuff anymore as compared to when he was still an infant, but my goodness, did he need A LOT of attention!!! He has so much energy, much more so than when he was still an infant or was still crawling. Now, he runs everywhere! He runs, he jumps, he skips, he dances, he falls down, he gets back up! He is just so tireless! He is like an energizer bunny! Lol! ‘
If before, Mahal and I get to have a ton of quality time because our baby would just sleep during our travels, now, it’s goodbye real quality time! He would even get between me and Mahal in the middle of lovemaking whether in the shower or in bed! Lol! There was a time when we’d take turns eating, looking after Tuz, taking pictures, etc. But recently, we did find a way… *blush*… we started disciplining him by giving him little spanks coupled with loving explanations and hugs. As for lovemaking, we’ll either let him sleep first or just let him do his thing (like crawl all over us) without stopping our love session as well. Lol! Okay, that’s TMI.
Furthermore… baby Tuz is getting heavier and heavier every day, it’s like carrying a sack full of rice! It’s a wonder why I haven’t lost that much weight yet! Lol! Oh yeah, it’s usually Mahal who carries baby Tuz. Me, I get tired easily. Thank you to my prince charming for always saving me from carrying such a meaty, heavy toddler.
Anyway, I’m going to share with you the steps we take when traveling with a toddler. You might want to refer to this list too if you plan to travel with your own toddler this year.
HOW DO YOU TRAVEL WITH A TODDLER IN TOW?
1. Make sure that you have the go signal of your toddler’s pediatrician. Pediatricians know when there’s a certain epidemic going on at a certain place. So ask his/her permission first if it’s safe to travel where you want to go even if it’s just in a nearby town. We can never be too careful and health is always wealth!
2. Bring all the essentials with you particularly your toddler’s papers, vitamins, medicines and other medical supplements.
I will list down below the things we usually bring with us every time we travel with our little energizer bunny.
- Car Seat (Always, always, secure your baby in a car seat when road tripping as much as possible. However, for us, there came a time when we did our big move down south last September that we didn’t anymore bring with us his car seat because of lack of space in the car. We also didn’t buy a new one, well, because we just didn’t have the budget and car seats tend to be so expensive. I just carry Tuz on my lap these days or let him sit beside me when we’re in the car and make sure I have the seat belt on for me and him. Also, whenever Mahal would go up the farm without me, he would just strap in Tuz in the passenger seat. So far, we’re okay. Tuz is a physically big for his age of 2 right now (everyone is saying he looks like he’s 4 years old!), and he already fits well in the passenger seat. That’s us right now. If you have the budget though, go buy your toddler a car seat.)
- Stroller (This is optional for us. Although I still see a lot of toddlers these days riding a stroller. But for us, since we left ours in Manila and didn’t get to buy a new one anymore, plus we live in the mountains most of the time now where the soil is either dusty or muddy, we just let our toddler walk when we’re sight-seeing. If he’s tired, Mahal and I would take turns carrying him. It’s a good exercise for us all. This way, our toddler’s energy is expended and by night time, he’d be tired enough, hopefully, to fall asleep until the next morning.)
- Day clothes, spare clothes in case he soils his clothes, and sleepwear (I now bring a few more of these because he tends to get nauseous and vomit in the car)
- Several plastic bags for puking incidents
- Extra milk bottle/s
- Boiled drinking water (we bring a water heater with us like the ones in hotel rooms since we usually stay in budget hotels or tents with no water heater available; and a separate bottle of purified drinking water)
- Bonnets for cold weather (which he rarely wears now because Tuz doesn’t like it as much as when he was still a baby)
- Sweater or jacket (which he rarely wears too but we still bring it just in case he would really need it)
- Wet tissue
- His favorite toys and books
- Toiletries (baby oil, citronella spray or oil, Cetaphil for cleaning him up or at least to keep his face and limbs clean, baby soap and baby shampoo for bathing him, baby toothpaste and baby toothbrush)
- SPF lotion for kids in case you’re heading to the beach or spending time under the sun
- His favorite snacks in case he looks for it (Tuz likes cereals, yogurt and fruits)
- Glycerin suppository (We actually stopped bringing this with us since Tuz rarely gets constipated anymore… until we celebrated his 2nd birthday last November 2017 and he couldn’t poop! He was crying all night in our hotel room in Ultrawinds… poor baby! So since then, I told myself to always, ALWAYS, bring glycerin! You never know when constipation will strike again!
- Manzanilla or Chamomile oil (Just like glycerin, you never know when your toddler will experience some tummy aches again. Better be prepared especially if you’re traveling.)
- Calmoseptin (We always have a few sachets of Calmoseptin with us especially now that Tuz lives at the farm most days of the week and he always gets insect bites and allergic reactions to grass. We put it on that part of his body with rashes or insect bites)
- Vitamins (Tuz takes Tiki-tiki and Ceelin)
- Pedialyte and Hydrite (This is for when your baby suddenly has diarrhea. It’s good for adults too. Just have some with you when you travel.)
- Zinc Sulfate (This should be prescribed by the pediatrician. We had this with us when Tuz was having diarrhea and we needed his poop to not be watery).
- Cetirizine Allerkid (This is when your baby has colds due to allergy.) Give this to your baby before bedtime. Dosage according to age at the side of the package.
- Ibuprofen Dolan FP in case the baby gets feverish.
- Emergency medical kit filled with gauze, Povidone, cotton balls
3. Bottle full of milk. Our toddler still drinks from his bottle and he never leaves home without it. We think it’s his security blanket. He drinks whether we’re out adventuring somewhere or while out on a date!
4. Be mindful of your toddler’s diapers. Most often than not, they’re at the stage where they are already so hyperactive that they don’t notice anymore when their diapers are full or with poop. So as soon as you notice, change the diaper to make sure he’s comfortable and won’t contract UTI or rashes.
5. Let your toddler play around but with strict supervision. When heading to the terrible twos, they’re getting more hyperactive than usual. They climb everywhere, touch everything they see, put stuff in their mouth, etc. It can really be dangerous! There was this one time we thought we lost him inside a mall! Good thing a lady found him after almost 30 minutes of looking for him! I thought I’d get a heart attack!!! Then I remember one time, when we were at the farm…suddenly Tuz was holding a big knife! OMG! My heart just stopped! Instead of outwardly panicking, I walked slowly towards our toddler, smiling and just talking mildly until I got hold of the knife and took it out of his hand. Whew!!! Never, EVER, leave your toddler unsupervised! Or at least hire a helper to watch over your kid. As for us, we had no luck in finding a yaya so it’s just really us juggling parenthood, travel and work.
So there you go… Basically, these tips will make your toddler safe, happy and tired at the end of the day which will help you all get a good night’s sleep. Toddlers now sleep more straight hours than usual unlike when they were still infants. So this means lots of sleep for you too. If your toddler was not able to expend his energy throughout the day, he might have a hard time falling asleep at night which will keep you awake as well, which will in turn ruin the schedule you made for the next day because all of you will be “puyat” or sleepless (which happened to us several times and it’s not good).
So when your toddler is safe, happy, comfy, and got a good night’s sleep, then everything else comes easy and you just repeat the process the next day and the day after. You get to explore places you wanna explore. You get to take a lot of pictures. You get to travel again. But then again, rappelling, spelunking, canyoneering and bunjee jumping are out of the question unless you have someone you trust to look after your baby while you do these other adventurous activities. You can also just reserve that for when your baby is not with you or when he’s much, much older so you can all do it together as a family which we plan to do.
I hope you like my tips! May they prove to be helpful for you as well. And now the cute part…
A YEAR OF TRAVEL WITH OUR TODDLER
I’ve already shared with you on two other posts what January to December 2017 was like for us in terms of our goals of setting up a mushroom farm here down south. They’re here:
Now, I’ll share with you the travels we did the whole year of 2017, both for leisure and for our dreams. Here are some photos I’ve collated during our second year of traveling with our toddler…
This month was all about our travels from Manila to Mindanao. It was a month-long road trip where we passed by so many places. I’ll create a separate post for this in the future to give you all the what-where-when-how-much details. The whole goal of this trip was to visit our farmlands down south so we can have a better idea where to eventually set up our mushroom farm. But of course, we mixed business with pleasure along the way. (^_^)
After that month-long road trip from Manila to Mindanao and back, we just stayed put this month of May and enjoyed our time at home taking care of each other and planning for the realization of our mushroom farm dream.
This month was all about the first part of our BIG MOVE…
The next set of travels were part of a road trip we did as we headed to Mindanao to start our new farm life. We passed by the following places:
SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2017
These months have been all about balancing our life at the farm and at the city here in Mindanao. I’ve blogged about these things here:
Aside from spending time at the farm, we took short breaks and traveled to the following nearby places:
The last month of 2017 has been a blessed and fun-filled one. I’ve blogged about it here:
So there you have it! Whew! That was a loooooong post! But I’m glad I am able to finish it. It really is a wonderful feeling to be able to look back at the life you’ve had the past year and feel such a tremendous amount of gratefulness well up inside of you for all the blessings that you’ve received. I just wish for more of the same things — good health for us, happy travels with the family, bonding with friends and feelings of pure love and bliss all throughout 2018. If God will grant us more, then that’s a bonus! Anything is possible with HIM. He is the almighty, powerful God after all and to Him we give all the glory!
A blissful 2018, everyone!
If you liked this post, you might also like How to Travel with a Baby? (A 2016 Travel Recap)