It’s that time of year again. School is out, which means parents will plan fun activities and trips for the whole family to enjoy. Well, the word “enjoy” is to be used with caution when it comes to traveling with kids. That’s because everyone’s travel satisfaction can depend on any number of factors, including the number of kids and their ages, the destination and the amount of time it takes to get there, and the method of travel. Kids have a way of making even the simplest of trips feel like anything but a joy ride. Still, most adults feel compelled to take their kids on vacation, if for no other reason than the fact that any vacation is better than no vacation at all. So, to let all of the frustrated parents know that they are not alone, here are 15 vacation photos that show the struggles of traveling with kids.
15. Vacation anticipation
A vacation is supposed to be a fun, carefree time to rest and relax or get out and about and experience something new. That’s easier said than done when kids are involved, though. First of all, it’s not uncommon for them to dictate the vacation destination. But even if the family chooses to go somewhere “for the kids,” like Disney, that doesn’t mean the kids will appreciate the gesture. Even if they are grateful, they will still find something to complain about on the way there. And the more kids on the trip, the more stress for everyone along for the ride. By the time they reach their destination, everyone will be exhausted. That’s why it’s common to hear people say they need a vacation to recover from their vacation… and the cycle continues.
14. Sleeping like a baby
One of the best parts about taking a vacation is that it usually means sleeping in later than usual. Even when there is a day full of activities on the agenda, it’s still not as bad as going to work. It’s even better when the only activity planned for the day is to relax and get some much-needed rest. This baby hilariously looks like most adults do once they get the chance to chill out on the beach. It’s a good thing he is chilled out, because nobody knows just how long it will last. Who knows? He may really have needed that vacation, but there’s a good chance that his parents needed it more. Not to mention that we highly doubt he’s the one who paid the bill for whatever was ordered from the menu in front of him.
13. Too tired to travel
This family of four obviously had a rough night. Well, at least three out of four of them did. Despite keeping everyone else awake, the little one somehow managed to wake up the next morning feeling refreshed. It’s a good thing that they aren’t driving themselves on their trip, so that mom and dad can both catch some rest before the next stop. Even big sister needs some shuteye. The baby is in a good mood for now, but let’s hope she stayed that way after the picture was taken. The last thing this family needs is to be woken up once more while they actually have a chance to sit still and take a nap. Maybe the person in front of them who snapped the photo was able to keep the little one occupied while they slept.
12. Are we there yet?
One of the oldest clichés in travel history is kids asking the question, “Are we there yet?” Sadly, this is one cliché that holds true. Anyone who has traveled with kids anywhere that takes, say, at least an hour to arrive, has heard this one before. A simple “no” will never suffice, and no matter what answer is given, this question keeps on coming. So, what can a parent do? This parent had a brilliant idea that actually turned the kid’s own ammo into a weapon against him. This little guy will have a hard time asking any questions while his mouth is covered with stickers. Kids are clever creatures though, so it’s only a matter of time before he learns how to take them off. Then his parents will have to answer two questions: “Why did you use all my stickers?” and “Are we there yet?”
11. A long way to go
We feel bad for anyone having to travel on a long trip. We feel even worse for anyone having to travel with kids. We feel worst of all, however, for anyone having to take a five-hour trip with three kids. That has to be a stressful situation. Just when we think it can’t get worse, we see that these parents are doing all the driving, too. They haven’t even made it a good distance down the road, and two out of three of the kids are already screaming. The little one probably isn’t far behind, judging by the look on his face. Not to mention that kids feed off of one another and typically go along with what the others are doing. The good news is that they are bound to nap at least some of that five hours. Although the chances of them all napping at the same time are very slim.
10. Mile-high parenting
The good thing about taking a plane when traveling is that it not only saves time but also allows a person to get some rest. That is, unless there is a baby on board. Parents who have to travel with babies no matter what can see the benefits in taking a plane. They don’t have to drive on the way, and there is always a restroom within reach. Everyone else on the plane has a different point of view when it comes to flying high with a little one. The last thing a random passenger wants to see is a young family boarding the plane with a baby. Everyone waits in anticipation to see where they will sit. The seating arrangements won’t much matter though if the baby starts screaming and crying.
9. Check please!
One of the joys of traveling and taking a vacation is not having to cook and getting to try out new restaurants. Well, it’s fun to do that when the trip only involves responsible people who know how to behave in nice restaurants (or any restaurant, for that matter). Traveling with kids, on the other hand, can turn a delicious dinner into a nightmare. Anything more than a fast food restaurant with a plastic slide that lands in a net full of balls is likely to test a kid’s patience. A small pack of crayons with a cartoon menu can only hold the fort down for so long before any gourmet mac and cheese arrives. Kids will eventually resort to entertaining themselves, and then it’s the parents having their patience tested. Just know there’s no shame in getting a to-go box and hightailing it back to the hotel.
8. Unpleasant packing
Anyone who has traveled overnight with kids knows that they require a lot of luggage just to meet their daily needs. In other words, kids can come with a lot of baggage—literally. The longer the trip, the more they need, and it gets even worse with specific destinations like the beach. This dad and daughter are a picture-perfect example of the amount of effort it takes to go out on the beach for a day with a child. Adults can go down to the shore with as little as a water bottle and a towel, but that isn’t good enough for kids. They need multiple drinks and snacks, extra sunscreen, blankets for napping, toys to keep them occupied, and the list continues. Meanwhile, dad and mom have to decide if it’s better to haul half of their world down to the beach or make 15 trips back to the room.
7. Put a leash on that kid
The beach is obviously a popular travel destination for families, and it’s generally a peaceful setting. But whenever there are kids involved, parents often feel conflicted between catching up on some much-needed rest and keeping an eagle’s eye watch on the little ones playing by the water. So, what’s a parent to do when he or she wants to relax, but the young kids want to play near the water? These parents came up with an ingenious engineering tactic that allowed them to do both. Simply tie a leash to the toddler’s diaper, give him a little slack and hold on to the string. Then he can fish to his little heart’s content. Just make sure that whoever is holding the rope doesn’t relax too much and loosen up on his or her grip.
6. The perfect family photo
Speaking of beaches being peaceful settings, they also make a great picturesque backdrop for family photos. Many families gather together, often in coordinating outfits, for a nice family portrait that will likely adorn their next Christmas card. They take several posed shots and then have a little fun out on the sand. This dad got a little too carried away with the synchronized jumping and let the youngest daughter fall hard like a hot potato. There’s no doubt she will be sore tomorrow, and he will be just as sorry about it. Mom’s head is turned so that she can’t see what is going on, but big sister seems to be snickering at the fallout. We can only imagine what was going through the photographer’s mind as he or she stood helpless behind the lens. Maybe this shot will make it on their Christmas card or at least on the side of their refrigerator.
5. The interrupted couples’ photo
As moody as they might be, there are a lot of advantages to traveling with teenagers. For one, they usually don’t break into tears at any moment. Plus, they can take themselves to the restroom and don’t require any assistance wiping. Another advantage that is often taken for granted by parents is that teenagers can take decent photos. That’s not to say that little kids can’t manage to get an OK photo too. The difference is a teen would know that just as important as keeping the right people in the photo is keeping the right people out of the photo. This photo was taken by a 4-year-old who clearly didn’t realize that the two guys in the background were trying to ruin the parents’ photo. And it looks as if they succeeded at doing so.
4. Way to ruin the moment
Here we are back at the beach once more. A mom is happy to be kicked back with her feet in the sand and is getting her phone in place to brag about her current relaxed status on the beach. But just before she can snap a peaceful and serene photo to post on Instagram, a meteor shower of sand balls come flying toward her. It is none other than her own child behind the sand storm. Lucky for us, she still took a photo and shared it with all of social media. While much of the photo stayed the same, the essence of it all changed from calm and soothing to rather chaotic. Instead of making others jealous of her day, she gave everyone a good laugh and perhaps gained some pity from her Instagram followers.
3. The drunken toddler
We mentioned how teenagers, though moody and often bored, can make for much easier traveling companions than toddlers and babies. Things start to go downhill again though once kids leave home for college. They start thinking they are old enough to do whatever and may even get drunk and do really stupid things. Then, they start whining again just like toddlers. Funny enough, this little girl is a perfect example of how dramatic a child can get when he or she is sleepy. Even funnier is that her actions are all too similar to that of a drunken college kid. At least it should be easier to carry a toddler than a college student. There’s a good chance she won’t puke on the person carrying her either. Although, toddlers have been known for throwing up in weird places, too.
2. The FML minivan
Many young couples hold onto their vehicles from college as long as possible. That usually means a two-door sports car or single-cab pickup. But when a baby comes along, an upgrade is necessary. Four full-size doors are needed to load and unload baby carriers and haul all of baby’s accessories. Add another kid, and an SUV or a minivan is required. Many people loath the idea of driving a minivan, even though they are convenient and reliable. This woman was one of those people and admitted that her husband talked her into getting one. Ironically, it came with a license plate that reads, “FML.” That’s exactly what she had to be thinking as she stood outside of a minivan on the side of a desolate road, holding a baby, so that her oldest son could take a crap during their road trip.
1. No caption needed
So far, we have seen kids crying or acting up on road trips with their parents. Even babies on a plane were no better. Yet, there appears to be a solution to this problem that is even more effective than keeping a kid’s mouth shut with a ton of cartoon stickers. That would be a small dosage of Dramamine. Many adults rely on this particular medicine to calm their nerves or even put them out for a bit while flying. This parent wanted to use it not so much for the calming effect but more for the part where it puts a person out for a bit. It looks like a win-win though, because the parents will experience a calming effect at least until the medicine wears off of their passengers.
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