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Traveling with a 1-year-old vs. a 2-year-old

Even though we took our daughter to Spain last year, she has changed so much that it's hard to predict what it will be like traveling with her this time around. When we were deciding whether to go to Germany this summer, we tried to think about what might be different this time around. Here's what we came up with:

Plane: Many airlines charge full adult fare for a 2-year-old, but our daughter was already unwieldy and unhappy as a lap child when she last flew at 22 months. Having her in her own seat will give us much more space.
Advantage for the wallet: 1-year-old
Advantage for one's sanity: 2-year-old

Transportation in Europe: this time we will have access to a car. There will be less wrestling with a stroller on buses and subways. We will also have more freedom because we won't have to adhere to a train schedule to get from city to city.
Advantage: having the car, which happens to be with our 2-year-old

Stroller: An older, more mobile kid gets tired of her stroller faster.
Advantage: 1-year-old

Food: Last year, we packed baby food and bought some more in Spanish supermarkets. We won't have to do that this year, but we will have to choose restaurants that have some kid-friendly choices.
Advantage: ??

Naps: We typically get 1 a day. Last year, our daughter was sometimes doing 2. She never settled into a full 2-nap routine in Spain, but she would sneak in catnaps while riding in the stroller. In general, though, fewer naps means less difficulty scheduling activities around nap time.
Advantage: 2-year-old

Potty time: On last year's trip, our daughter was in diapers. She threw tantrums on changing tables, and we weren't quite adept at changing her while she was standing up. We're good at that now, but with potty training starting at preschool, we aren't sure what our situation will be at the end of July. Advantage: ??

Bath: Hotel rooms and apartments don't always have bathtubs. Last year, we could manage bath time in the sink when there was no tub. That won't be possible this time around: we'll be trying out the shower or doing a sponge bath in the shower stall.
Advantage: 1-year-old

Communication: Our daughter can talk and understand much more now than she could last year. This can help us explain new situations to her--or so we hope!
Advantage: 2-year-old

The tally:
2-year-old: 4
1-year-old: 3
??: 2

The 2-year-olds narrowly have it--at least by the numbers. We will see what lived experience tells us. After our trip, I will revisit this post to see which of our predictions held up.

Posted by amikulski 21:06 Tagged children europe

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