have toddler, will travel

We’ve headed down to the in-laws again for a few days. John’s Dad is doing pretty well, and has been in a rehabilitation place for the past few weeks. We managed to arrive there at mid-afternoon yesterday, a remarkable accomplishment. Our plan was to leave home at 10:00 a.m. (It always drives me crazy when I end a sentence with “a.m.” or “p.m.” What do I do with the punctuation? “a.m..”?). Our plan was to leave at 10 in the morning. And we were out the door by 10:59 sharp!

I’ve been wiped out the past couple of days. Can’t stay awake at night. (And no, I’m not pregnant. Just tired.) I think my schedule and ongoing lack of sleep are catching up with me. I had several days this week that were scheduled up the wazoo. And I spent most of Wednesday (my unscheduled day) doing research, not school or job research, but research about a trip to Europe this summer. I’m planning/hoping to go to a conference in Germany at the beginning of August to present a poster that I’ve co-authored with a couple of professors I work with. John and Phoebe would go with me, but probably not help with the poster presentation. (Though Phoebe is good at pointing, and could perhaps Vanna for me.) It turns out that the venue is in a city that is not terribly close to any major international airports, so we will need to plan on a train trip as well as the flight. And it turns out that it’s just as quick to get there from Paris by a newly opened TGV line than it is to get there from Frankfurt. So, we’re thinking a holiday in Paris would be great.


The idea of travelling with a toddler is Daunting™. (Funny how I feel too tired to deal with footnotes, and yet I just felt compelled to hunt down that ™ symbol.) I did find somebody’s post on travelling with small children that looks helpful. Though things look no less daunting. (cf. other tales of toddler travel.)

We have to decide about whether or not to take the car seat, for one. We will be taking public transportation, so we will need to lug everything around with us onto subways and trains, and possibly busses. We need to figure out sleeping arrangements. We’ll probably need a crib in our hotel room. We may rent an apartment in Paris.

We need to decide all of this very soon. We did apply for Phoebe’s passport, but actually getting her passport may lead to more stress, as I’ve heard that things take much, much longer these days. (There are new regulations requiring passports for travel to Canada and Mexico, leading to many, many more people needing them. Passports, that is. I’m not sure that people need Canada and Mexico in greater rates than previously.)

7 thoughts on “have toddler, will travel

  1. yeah, passports.. I just reapplied for mine, and the guy at the post office said they were taking 10-12 weeks. Got home to hear on the news that 3 months is the standard wait time at the moment. Did you pay for the expedited processing? That’s supposed to happen pretty quickly, but I don’t know to what extent that’s been held up as well.

    I like how you verbed Vanna.

  2. bs-
    Ugh. 10-12 weeks? We did pay for the expedited processing, but I’ve heard that things may still not be as quick as we’d like. There’s a good chance we’ll have to camp out at the Boston passport office once the travel date gets closer. At least we’re lucky enough to live close to a city with such an office.

    As for verbing Vanna, I think I first heard that used in reference to sign language interpreting, for those instances when the interpreter can just direct the audience at a talk to a presenter’s slide.

  3. Oh! I wish I hadn’t scared you with that post! Really, a holiday in Paris sounds lovely. And heck, you managed to get out of the house this time only 59 minutes later than scheduled. That would be an accomplishment with us (and THAT has nothing to do with Mme L and everything to do with Joe…I am surprised that I, an amazingly punctual person, ever married him).

    Psst. You need Canada WAY more than you think.

    I’m not really sure why, but it seemed like an appropriate thing to say.

  4. we had to get M’s passport when she was 3 days old – we were heading to central america during maternity leave. it’s the most hilarious picture i have ever seen.

    i say go for it. it might be hellish at times, but such is life. (we are heading to belize in aug and just finished discussing the same thing!) but for me, DUDE! the airfare for three people…damn.

  5. NotSoSage-
    Ah, but perhaps we need the scaring. We need to have some semblance of preparation, or at least moderately appropriate expectations. Yes, only 59 minutes late did seem like an accomplishment. I wonder if trains will wait that long for us? (And yes, I’m sure I need Canada plenty. Possibly more than I realize. I just doubt that overall Canada needs have been affected by the US passport policy change. Though US policy/administration changes of the past few years have made me consider an increased desire for moving to Canada, which I suppose could reflect an increase in Canada needs.)

    Yeah, airfare for 3 people is not to be scoffed at. And it certainly is a consideration. I wish I knew of someone who had travelled with a toddler “on lap” for a comparable trip to Europe. The only people I’ve consulted so far have taken the car seat, and bought another plane fare, and then I guess travelled by car.
    And wow, a passport photo from 3 days old! She’s probably changed a wee bit.

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