(I wrote this post when we were away in Spain and Portugal, but I forgot to publish it for some reason.)
When we were thinking about where to go for our honeymoon we obviously considered where would be a good place to take our daughter as well as where we wanted to go. We decided on a road trip through Spain and Portugal for a month thinking that Ava would probably adapt quickly to a new and varied routine, and would get used to driving between places.
We thought for most of the travelling parts she would sleep for a while and then we had lots of fun little games, sticker books and games in the iPad to keep her entertained the rest of the way.
We also hoped that we would get into a routine where we would have a little siesta or at least a rest in the afternoon after lunch, and then we could have a late dinner like the locals do, and Ava would stay up quite a bit later than usual. Restaurants in Spain usually don’t open until 7 or even 8pm so we couldn’t just have our dinner at our normal time. Plus we really liked the idea of nice long days with a nice rest in the middle, where hopefully Ava would sleep and we could get a bit of time to ourselves and get ready to go out in the evening.
Now I feel a little bit naive that we thought it would be easy, but we really thought that at three years old she would adapt to a new day-to-day routine, and general way of doing things very easily. Everyone says kids adapt easily don’t they? I don’t know if it is just her age or a stage she is going through, or if we expected too much, but it has been way harder than we thought it would be, and a lot of the time it has been more difficult than fun I am sorry to say.
Almost every meal time has been a battle – she doesn’t want to eat what we have chosen but she is really hungry, but she won’t try anything different. She is constantly saying she is hungry even after she has just eaten. We have barely had any relaxed meals unless it has involved bread, chips, ice cream, or chocolate. She won’t touch any fruit or salad and as we have struggled to find vegetable dishes in restaurants, she has barely had any of those either. That wouldn’t be too bad if we were away for a week, but as we are away for a month it is worrying me quite a bit.
Every journey has been a nightmare at least at some point. She has been so whingey, crying and miserable unless she has the iPad or my phone to play games on which I obviously don’t want all the time. And the times that she has been so tired and we think she will fall asleep immediately, she has stayed awake for hours crying and unhappy. It has been horrible. They haven’t been particularly long car journeys either. The longest has been about four hours and we have broken them all up with lunch stops, or a little run around, or even a swim in a lovely river in one place, and still she complained for the rest of the way there. She has no real concept of time at the moment but still constantly asks how long until we are ‘at the hotel’. It’s so draining. Obviously we try to entertain her as much as we possibly can in a car, but it doesn’t make a difference.
When we are out, if she doesn’t get her way about something she has a big fat mardy straight away, however little a thing it is, and this happens several times a day. It is hard work every single day. We have both been particularly looking forward to our few days in a seaside resort because it will just be beach and pool, and relaxing every day, which should be a lot easier because she loves doing those things and we can easily go back to our room to relax for a bit.
We’re still having an amazing time, but it just has the edge taken off it a bit I think.
Have you ever done much travelling with children? Would you do it?