Traveling with kids can either be fun or a one-way ticket to hell. Sometimes it's a combination of both things, with a bit of excitement thrown in for good measure.
When my twins were two, I thought a Mediterranean Cruise commencing in Barcelona was a grand idea. While we were crossing the Pond, why not spend a week in London, and hey, the French Open would be in progress, what about taking the Eurostar to Paris for the weekend? My husband has still not forgiven me for that trip and the children are nine! I blame my over-zealous travel plan on post-pregnancy hormones and a badly suppressed desire to "flee". My reasoning was definitely flawed on many levels. My first error was not giving realistic consideration to the needs of my young children, and the tolerance levels of my typically- patient spouse. When I envisioned our European vacation, I saw smiling faces and a background of beautiful Amalfi. Nowhere in that image featured a suitcase of diapers, wipes, food, bottle sterilizers and frustration, the latter actually featuring front and center in most of the post-journey memories.
We did enjoy the “odyssey” on many levels but even I, (a persistent optimist or veteran "glosser") could not call it a "vacation". It was more like a season of "Survivor" but with unsuspecting "contestants".
In retrospect, the other “flaws” in planning became apparent. I should definitely have used a professional Travel Advisor, set a budget, and not selected such an ambitious journey for a young family. I managed to overlook the pitfalls of a 5-hour time difference and its impact on sleeping and eating schedules. We had so many pieces of luggage - twin strollers, car seats and suitcases with food for the children as well as seasonal clothing, because London required layers and Spain was sweltering. When we arrived at the airport in Barcelona, the regular taxis wouldn't take our group, despite, or maybe because of, the crying children. I should have considered pre-booking airport transfers to and from the hotels. We were overwhelmed.
A seasoned travel consultant would have been able to steer me through the madness and helped me to make more informed, appropriate choices for my family.