Canada with a Toddler

Jolie is mum to one little man; Oscar, when Oscar was 15 months old Jolie and her little family travelled to Canada for a holiday, here is their story:

Oscar was 15 months when we travelled and currently is 20 months old. We went to Canada on a skiing and driving holiday for 3 weeks.

We had a 15 hour Flight to LA with a Brisbane stop over on the way and we also had a few internal flights in Canada which averaged about 4 hours each. We did a lot of driving and the longest we were in the car at any one time was 5 hours.

The flight was ‘interesting’ but we did prepare; l packed new toys that Oscar hadn’t seen before, he adores books so l packed small ones (Mr Men books) and packed plenty of snacks (sultanas, fruit sticks etc.) l also packed a homeopathic “Calming solution” just to take the edge off, Lavender lotion to relax the bubba at night also some Vick’s Balm to help assist in clear breathing.

He wasn’t thrilled about being confined to one seat for 15 hours (he is very active and was walking at 11 months) but we coped by taking laps of the aisle and we were lucky he charmed his way into a few “hosties” arms and was given a tour of the plane! The car was pretty much the same; new toys, plenty of milk and pointing out animals and trucks during the drive.

We took a pram, but just a basic one so if it got damaged or thrown around during flights etc. it’s didn’t bother us as it wasn’t expensive. We took a portacot that folds down into a small tent like bag, we never used it once because every hotel we stayed in had a cot available but at least the cot had a good tour of Canada! Oscar loves books so we were thankful we bought those along (purchased some along the way too) his small collection of cars were also great and a tube of vegemite for the breakfast toast.

We took Oscar to the zoo to see polar bears and seals, a science museum that was hands on; plenty of button pushing and touching (like l said Oscar is very active and interactive and in general a social butterfly!) We took him out on the snow fields to play in the snow (loved it!) We also bought a small soccer ball, so that was kicked around various tourist sites and the large chateaus with wide hallways, Oscar had loads of fun walking around while kicking a small ball. He also loved catching the trains and running around the large shopping malls in Canada. The airports were also very fun for Oscar; he LOVES planes.

Oscar is a pretty resilient little fella and didn’t seem too bothered about anything and didn’t even seem to notice any changes. He still ate all the food we put in front of him, he drank the different tasting milk, if anything there was a little jet lag and he woke up at 2am in the morning but nothing a fresh bottle of milk didn’t fix. He was just as excited as us to be experiencing new sites and sounds. He wasn’t bothered with the endless layers of clothing he had to wear to stay warm and just loved being out and about.

The queue jumping when travelling with a baby was BLISS! And the staff on our Qantas Flights (both times) were fabulous and were so helpful with Oscar.

The security check points in the USA were absolutely ridiculous! They would take everything out of Oscar’s neatly packed baby bag (baby food etc.) and scan it in case it was a bomb even though it was clearly labelled. One woman even ripped a bottle from Oscar’s mouth while he was having his nightly milk, she tested it as she thought it may be a dangerous substance and took probably 20 minutes to check as the machine wasn’t working, needless to say Oscar screamed the whole time.

We stayed at various hotels (we usually follow the Marriott chain) sometimes we were lucky and got a room that had two mini rooms so we could pop Oscar in one, but most times we were all in the same room. At Lake Louise we stayed in a small unit with kitchen which was perfect to prepare meals for us and Oscar.

Oscar slept like a log during the trip. He was a little jet lagged at the start but he quickly snapped into our routine. We ordered cots at every hotel and l took a small blanket from home for comfort. When we were out and about Oscar slept in the pram or in the car.

Travelling with kids is challenging but loads of fun if you don’t have high expectations of the trip and just take every day as it comes and be prepared for any situation and pack lots of small toys and snacks for bubba and also be prepared to have early dinners and early nights. I’d advise booking a long haul flight for night time travel so the bubba can sleep.

My favourite memory from the trip is playing in the snow at Lake Louise as a family; Oscar thought that was just the ‘bee knees’ that Daddy was throwing snow at Mummy!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jolie, it sounds like a great trip. We hear a rumour you are visiting Japan with Oscar soon, we’d love to hear all about your next adventure when you get home - TWT

 Check out Jolie’s blog on child friendly restaurants in Canada here