Vacationing with Small Children


The Bishop family just embarked on our first “family-of-four” vacation with the five-year-old and three-year-old. Here are some tips for when you’re getting ready to exhaust yourself for “fun.” (We went to SeaWorld and the Zoo.)

  1. Always bring or rent the double stroller. Always. The kids may be fine walking, but you may want to be pushed. Ignore the stares. You may get some high fives. 
  2. Write down the things you want to put in your backpack/diaper bag for the vacation outings. IF you don’t, you will bring the entire kitchen sink, not use any of it and then your husband will ask you why you’re cranky and walking funny. It’s OK to punch him.
  3. If going to SeaWorld, buy the refillable cup – it will pay for itself in 10 minutes. Do not buy the all-day dining pass, as you will feel obligated to eat a bacon cheeseburger every 90 minutes in 110-degree heat with 160 percent humidity to get your money’s worth. 
  4. Bring straws. Apparently, they’re worried about the environment at SeaWorld and don’t provide them. Your two-year-old will need a straw unless you’re a world-class parent and have somehow taught the rabid squirrel demon how to drink out of an open cup like a normal person. Otherwise, he/she will dump it all over themselves and drama will ensue. 
  5. When you’re on the final stretch at the zoo, just race right past the birdhouse. They won’t know and nobody cares about birds. And they smell. 
  6. The aquarium at both places is air-conditioned – try to live there if possible. 
  7. On the train ride, do not let your children play with their plastic lions. One of them will drop it out of the train, forcing you to make a scene (nothing new here) by bailing out, retrieving the lion and then running behind a moving train like you’re an outlaw trying to catch a stagecoach. 
  8. When you’ve done all there is to do and are hot, exhausted and finally, in the car, the kids will not want to go home and will want to head straight for the next “fun” thing. Prepare to not lose your mind at this, screaming like in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?!?” 

You’re welcome.