It’s almost summer time, and you know what that means: vacation season is upon us. For parents, it’s not so much a vacation as an opportunity to get woken up at 4 a.m. in a slightly more exotic locale, but even with the inherent hassles of taking kids on trips, one UK dad blogger wants parents to know it’s still worth it to go.
Matt Coyne is dad to six-month-old Charlie and recently took the tot on a trip abroad, during which he learned many hilarious and relatable lessons. The first, of course, is how distasteful other people find the idea of traveling with a baby.
“One or two people were a bit judgey about the idea of taking a 6-month old away,” Coyne writes in his now-viral Facebook post. “‘So, you’re taking him on holiday?’ Yeah. ‘Abroad?’ Yeah… ‘On an aeroplane??’ By which point I was tempted to answer: ‘No, me and Lyns will be going on the plane, but we thought we’d get Charlie there by driving him to Dover and firing him out of a f*cking cannon.’”
Coyne assured everyone their vacation would be just fine, and it was, but that doesn’t mean he came out of it without a few hilarious pointers. For example, traveling with a baby means packing pretty much everything you own. “To go away for a whole week its roughly the same amount of stuff that the nazis took to invade Poland,” writes Coyne.
You should also probably be prepared to get seated next to a grump who hates babies, because unfortunately they’re very common. “We hoped to be sat next to a kindly old Angela Lansbury type, with a soft spot for babies,” writes Coyne. “In the end we got sat next to a woman who had a face like a cat’s arse being burned at the stake.”
Then, of course, there’s the fiasco of trying to change a diaper on a plane. “When airlines say they have ‘baby changing facilities’ what they actually mean is: ‘a shelf,’” explains Coyne. “Imagine trying to carve a turkey in a phone-box… now half the size of the f*cking phone box, and arrange for an incontinent dickhead to bang on the door every five seconds.”
Once you land, there are other challenges to keep in mind too. Coyne calls baby passports a “rip-off” and hilariously compares putting sunscreen on a baby to “wrestling a seal that’s just left a massage parlour.” Even worse, he writes, is trying to get a six-month-old to keep on sunglasses and a hat, or stop them from eating handfuls of sand.
Even though his post is hilarious and highlights pain-in-the-ass details to which we can all relate, Coyne still says he’d advise anyone with small kids to go ahead and take a vacation. “I will always remember Charlie’s face as he curled his toes in the sand for the first time,” he writes. “His delight at being pushed around a hotel pool on the back of an inflatable crocodile. And, his fascination as we sat on a bench, hand-feeding a sparrow some crisps, overlooking the deep blue of the mediterranean sea.”
It might seem crazy to travel with a kid who can barely walk and probably won’t remember the trip anyway, but it’s not just about them. It’s about the experience, and the things parents can take away from it too. Like the old saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. If you have the luxury of vacation time and the money to do it, the memories you make with your babies are more than worth the minor frustrations.