Vacationing with a toddler. What our days looked like!
I have to start this post but giving a shout out to Kathy, Kate, Kristen and Ashley for suggesting the topic! I absolutely love this topic for a blog post so thank you ladies for encouraging me to write it!
Basically, Kathy asked me what a day in the life of the Manno’s is like on vacation. Specifically what it’s like with Molly. And I loved that idea because I thought many other parents out there might be wondering what their future trip will look like with their toddler, and maybe I can offer little pieces of advice that worked for us that could work for you!
I’m not gonna talk about flying with a toddler in this post since that’s a whole post of its own that I’m going to do soon! But I will talk about what our days were like.
This trip was the first trip that we traveled to a time zone that was west of Los Angeles with Molly. We’ve traveled with her to the East Coast multiple times and honestly, the three hour difference has never been an issue for us. She normally goes to bed around 6:30 PM. Maybe a little later now since daylight savings time changed pushed it back. But basically, when we travel to the East Coast we just put her to bed at 9:30 instead and try not to get her off her schedule at all! We just move everything three hours later. Which is actually kind of nice for us because we like staying up a bit later ourselves when we travel and sleeping in a bit as well. So since she goes to bed on the East Coast at 9:30 she would sleep till closer till 9 AM. It totally works for us. However, things are completely different when you travel west.
Since her bedtime is closer to 7 PM these days, she was ready for bed at 4 PM in Hawaii. Obviously we didn’t want to end our days at 4 PM and go hang out in the hotel room. Her grammies were with us so they would’ve happily taken her back to the hotel room for us, but we wanted to all be together. So while we were there we slowly tried to push her bedtime back. An hour the first night and another hour the second night. So she was going to bed our last few nights there between 6 PM and 6:30 PM which we were totally fine with.
However, she was waking up at about 4:30 every morning. Which honestly wasn’t that bad. 4:30 AM in Hawaii was 7:30 AM in Los Angeles and we usually get up way earlier than that anyway. But it was pretty weird getting up when it was still super dark out. The sun didn’t rise until about 650/7 AM every day.
Kevin is pretty much the sweetest husband ever and tried to quietly take Molly out of the room so I could sleep longer but once she was up, I was up. By the way, I should mention that Kevin lets me sleep in every weekend when we’re home since he goes to work early during the week. Which basically means Kevin never gets to sleep in because he let’s me sleep in. Talk about husband of the year!
So we would drink coffee in our hotel room and then head to breakfast when it opened at 6:30 AM. We were always the first people to the pool in the morning since we got there right as the sun was coming up. But hey, we got the first pick of lounge chairs at the pool! I kind of loved that!
But backtracking for a second, we always get a suite when we travel now with Molly. I just think it’s almost impossible not to. And I know everyone can’t afford a suite since they can be a couple hundred dollars extra a night but it was just something we had to do. If Molly was sleeping in the same room that we were hanging out in, that would mean that we had to go to bed at 5 PM when Molly went to bed at 5 PM. It’s not like we could put her in a hotel room and then leave while she goes to sleep. Any parent out there reading this totally gets what I’m saying. We’re very fortunate that we were able to do a suite while in Hawaii.
Naps were definitely difficult on our trip. The first day we tried to put Molly down for a nap she completely freaked out. Naps are hard for us in general with her. She’s been refusing naps pretty much every other day while at home, so while in a strange new place she definitely wasn’t going to go down easy. So we tried to put her in her crib with all the blinds drawn and a white noise machine on that we brought with us. But she screamed for about 15 minutes so we had to take her out of there. I think she only napped in the crib once while we were there. For all her other naps we had to resort to using her stroller and walking around the resort. It rained quite a bit while we were there so we actually didn’t mind walking around the resort with her in the stroller. It was soothing for her.
We also didn’t do one dinner while we were there! Instead, our hotel had an appetizer hour from 5 PM until 7 PM that we always just stopped at 5 PM to eat. I know that sounds crazy but by the time we sat down for dinner at 5:30 (when places opened) and ordered, we wouldn’t get our food until after 6 PM which is when we were starting Molly‘s bedtime routine. She would’ve been so fussy sitting down to dinner so we decided it wasn’t worth it. But we’re pretty easy and we didn’t mind eating the appetizers for a meal. Plus we saved a lot of money that way! Ha! You guys know I love a deal and I’m a budget shopper so I’m the same way when I vacation. Although, I have no problem buying as many virgin piña colada’s as my little heart desired while laying by the pool!
Like I said, Molly was in bed by 6/6:30 PM every night and honestly we were probably in bed by 8 PM every night. It felt good going to bed that early and waking up that early! I honestly want to try to go to bed even earlier at home now! Kevin and I already get into bed at about 8:30 PM so it would be hard for us to go to bed much earlier, but I think we want to try! I’m totally proving myself to be super old right now aren’t I?! Ha! Oh well, I’m proud of my grandma status bedtime.
This blog is getting long but I hope I offered some useful information that could maybe be helpful for anyone planning travel with a toddler in the future! Thank you guys for reading my blog and if you want info on what I’m wearing in these pics, of course I put it below the pictures using thumbnails in case you want to snag it for yourself! I may remember I wore it a couple month ago for this sweet little shoot I did with Molly and “baby”
Share you tips for vacationing and switching time zones with a baby or toddler in the comments below!!! I know this won’t be our last trip with Molly (obvi) so I wanna know what works for you guys too!