We took our toddler where?!!

Last summer we decided to take our once in a lifetime trip to Alaska. We had a rough few months where we lost several family members so we decided to go ahead and go for it, carpe diem, even though our daughter was only 22 months old. Who takes a toddler to walk on a glacier? Who takes a toddler on a massive ship and watches whales frolic in the distance? Crazy people. We were the crazy people.

My mom offered to babysit her for us and give us a parents-only break for NINE days. I turned her down. As much fun as that may have been, we couldn’t imagine making these amazing memories without her. Even though she’ll never remember going, we remember. We will always remember all the sweet memories we made while on that 113,000 ton playground.

Turns out we took her at the perfect time in her little life. Kids are free to fly if younger than 2 (praise Jesus) and she was also free on every excursion we chose because she wasn’t 2 yet. We took her to a totem village (where she acted like a wildling) and to an exciting Lumberjack show in Ketchikan where she ooohed and ahhhhed at all the sounds and stunts (while picking her nose because #toddler.) We took her in a helicopter where we flew over majestic mountains and landed on and walked on a breathtaking (and freezing cold) glacier in Juneau. We took her on a several hour long train ride in Skagway and even though she slept for 1/2 of the ride, she was PUMPED when she woke up and we were on a real train (she was obsessed with trains last summer.)

Was this trip significantly more work because we took our rambunctious toddler with us? You bet. Was every memory so much sweeter because we took our rambunctious toddler with us? You bet. It was worth the one trillion items we had to cart across the country just to keep her entertained.

Prime time travel season is upon us so if you’re thinking about taking a spectacular trip but you’re hesitant to take small kids because they won’t remember anyway, take them. The sweet memories you’ll make are worth it. Take a million pictures and relive those trips when you tell them about it as they grow. Heck, when this sassy child complains to us that we “never let her do anything fun” I will yank out the pictures of her teeny tiny self standing on a freaking glacier and shove them in her little complaining face.

Take the kids.

(Full disclosure: my in-laws went on this trip with us so we were still able to get some adult time here and there, thank goodness)

Bethany Wiggins

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