The Traveling-with-a-Toddler Mishap That Wasn’t So Bad After All

My family and I have been planning an extended international trip for a few months. I had everything planned out and most of the logistics in place. I made a list of things we would need to take to make sure our stay would be as comfortable as possible. Besides the usual packing essentials, I packed fever medicine, favorite stuffed animals, and new books for each of us. Since our trip would cover summer, fall, and winter, I made sure to include season appropriate clothing. I even made sure to pack some holiday decorations. I was set for our three-month visit overseas. Except I forgot one major thing…

Stroller-free travel with baby

A three-month stay away from home means a lot of things were packed. 250 pounds worth of baggage, to be exact. There was no way my midsize SUV would have fit all of that. It hardly fits my growing family and a trunk full of groceries. My cousin picked us up in a vehicle one step up from a cargo van. We loaded the girls, our luggage, and as many travel snacks we could possibly eat during our flight.

Well on our way to the airport, with my typical daily stressors behind me, I took a deep breath and thought forward towards our much anticipated trip. I felt really good knowing I had everything I needed with me. As we crossed the toll bridge, and neared the airport, it hit me. I forgot Baby Z’s stroller!

I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten such an essential baby item, especially while traveling when I needed it the most! I had a heavy purse, each girl had her own backpack stuffed with inflight essentials for kiddos, and an independent toddler that loved to explore when not strapped into her stroller. How was I going to make it through our travels?

My wonderful husband came to my rescue. He didn’t see it as a big of a deal as I saw it as. He was very relaxed about the situation which helped calm me down. We soon found out that traveling without a stroller turned out to be a bit of a blessing.

Stroller-free travel with baby

Zaynab rode on her daddy’s shoulders while people watching and taking in the cool airport sights and sounds. If she wasn’t up high, she was running around on her little legs, chasing her sisters, climbing airport chairs, or scouting out fellow baby travelers. In other words, she was physically and mentally occupied. That translated into a sleeping Baby Z on our flights!

Without a stroller, we didn’t have to seek out hard to find elevators. I wasn’t as slowed down checking in our stroller at the gate as I normally am while trying to juggle three kids, boarding passes, and three carry-on bags. And upon arrival, I didn’t have anxiety about whether my stroller would arrive in one piece, if at all, at our destination.

Stroller-free travel with baby

I thought it would be a total disaster traveling without our stroller, but with a patient husband, a toddler with a fantastic sense of wonder, and a mom with a sense of humor, it turned out just fine.


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