17 awkward & awesome toddler travel moments

travel with toddlers

There’s never a dull moment traveling with toddlers. We have two of them. We know. Like babies, they are learning new things everyday. But they have newfound abilities to express themselves verbally and physically. There is an element of surprise.

As a result, family travel with toddlers is even more interactive and unpredictable. Some of it is hilarious; some of it requires the patience of a Tibetan Buddhist monk crafting a sand mandala.

Here are 17 awkward and awesome toddler travel moments from our recent adventures. We thought we better write them down, and celebrate them, since time moves as swiftly as their little feet when they sprint in the opposite direction chasing a wayward pigeon.

Maybe you’ve experienced similar laugh-out-loud moments, and challenges?

1. When you put your stroller on the belt in airport security and your toddler sprints away from you into the section that’s secure.

This was a security test. Airport security failed. #yourewelcome

2. When your toddler decides to try walking backwards in a crowded city street.

Do toddlers have a conspiracy to try and make you use the word”No”? #badidea #enoughsaid

3. When your toddler roots under the airplane seat and emerges with someone else’s stray goldfish and hollers “Floor snacks!”

Teach them about inside jokes.

4.When your toddler promises to walk and stops walking completely.

That’s why you have shoulders… Remember to duck in old-town doorways.

5. When your toddlers realize everyone in the entire mercado/marche/maarkt  has a lollipop behind the counter and shamelessly bat their collective eyelashes at each shopkeep.

They’re just baby teeth, right?

6. When your toddler calls your wine-tasting pour “mama juice” at a refined French chateau.


7. When your toddler decides to play echo during a cathedral visit.

Bet you’re sorry you taught them that game.

8. When your toddler says they need to pee during a hike, so you head the minimal distance off the trail, and they make a giant pine cone of a poopy.

Bathroom humour. Because it’s funny and true.

9. When your toddler bids everyone in the restaurant goodbye and thank you.

But you all forgot the toddler’s fuzzy  friend under the restaurant table so you get to go back and say good bye twice. Take a bow.

10. When your toddler joins the pigeons in the fountain.

The never-ending appeal of flying rats.

11. When your toddler throws their entire sandwich into the river for the duck family.

Generousity is a good thing, right?

12. When your toddler stays in character as a dog, dino, tiger etc. during a restaurant meal.

On the plus side, you have a convincing argument for them to eat whatever the animal they are in character in eats.

13. When your toddler yells, “I’m going to touch the butt…” in a sculpture park with nudes.

Thanks, Nemo.

14. When your toddler approaches strangers, such as truck drivers on smoke breaks at gas stations near Barcelona, to discuss their similar wardrobe choices.

You’re the one who picked her cherry-red jacket.

15. When your toddler forgets they are not wearing rain boots and goes for that small pond of a muddy puddle in sneakers far from anywhere you can obtain spare footwear.

Thank you, Peppa Pig.

16. When you have to purchase a strange but effective anti-yeast diaper rash medication in Spain, which turns out to be un-washable electric pink. The pharmacist describes it as scandalous.

You get to walk around with radioactive hands for a week and your other toddler thinks her brother’s bum looks like birthday cake.

17. When your toddler decides to wear their newly acquired fez – or any other elaborate costume – throughout the trip.

It’s an excellent conversation starter.

About author

Small Folk Travel

Small Folk Travel is a family travel site by mama and travel writer Taraneh Jerven. The Jerven family (two toddlers, one bun in the oven) travels incessantly. When researching our trips, we couldn't find the family travel coverage we were looking for. We did our own research. We wrote the family travel guides ourselves. Taraneh Jerven writes for international travel publishers including RoughGuides.com and DK Eyewitness Travel. We cover good stuff for discerning parents and their little ones. Often these overlap. If they don't, we take turns.

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