family time
The Web-Enabled Mom on Vacation

Sooner or later, it had to happen. After sixteen long months of raising an infant/toddler, I had the opportunity to leave behind the shackles of the sleep/work/daycare/eat/sleep cycle and jet off to a remote tropical locale, with all the blender drinks I could wish for and buff half-naked men spreading on the suntan lotion. At least, that was my daydream. What actually happened differed only slightly.

One baby=18 suitcases

I guess on a daily basis, you just don’t realize how much junk it takes to raise a kid. Not only do you need to worry about your own packing, but also: the car seat, the stroller, baby’s clothes, baby’s beach toys, baby’s food and the "I hope this keeps you busy on the plane" carry-on (in addition to your own). We looked like we were going underground.

Look for your proof of citizenship more than two days before departing

Now, I love my husband. But every man I have ever met has a "thing" (quirk, eccentricity, whatever you wish to call it). Let’s just say that I heard the words "I’m sorry sir, I’m going to have to deny you flight." He eventually found "proof of citizenship" and arrived only one day later.

The weather in the Bahamas is just like the weather in New England

What more could you ask for than 5 days of rain, wind at 25 knots, and the beach just laying there, all white and beautiful, taunting, "You wanted a tan now?"

Now, my experiences recounted here aside, there are some planning and precautions you can take to try to make the most of your vacation.

Tips & Resources for traveling with your child

Ideas/Planning: Check out Great Family Vacations: Northeast (The Globe Pequot Press). Designed as blueprints for family fun, you’ll find these updated editions packed with savvy advice for keeping kids entertained when traveling, transportation options, what to see and do, where to eat and stay for every budget, seasonal celebrations, and much more.

Also, for planning flights and hotels on-line, my favorite is The interface is very user-friendly, and allows a broader range of options than some other travel sites. is the leading on-line provider of restaurant reservations, and can help parents find restaurants that are reasonably priced, conveniently located and kid-friendly.

Other sites you may find helpful:

What to Pack

These things saved my life on my vacation:

• Disposable Bibs (in the diaper aisle at the supermarket)

• Little Swimmers™ diapers

• New toys never seen before for the plane; especially flash cards (inexpensive and you can talk a long time about just one.)

• Favorite books: ours were Big Red Barn, Sheep in a Jeep and Richard Scarry’s Big Word Book.

• Favorite snacks for traveling and once you get there: graham crackers, Kix cereal, grapes, squeezable yogurt sticks or drinkable yogurt

And don’t forget the most important thing of all - a sense of humor!

Kris Bylan-Rydel is a graphic artist and mother of Trevor, an eighteen-month old who (remarkably), didn’t make a peep on the flight to the Bahamas. She and her husband Phil live in East Hampton.


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