We don’t have a vehicle. Neither one of us even has a driver’s license so we’ve always gotten around via public transit.
Sure, it’s not ones first choice to get around but living in Toronto having buses, street cars and subways just about everywhere it’s not as bad as you’d think.
When we have to go places as a family I generally try to make sure I have everything on hand to make it as smooth as possible. Here are some of my tips I use to simplify my commute with my kiddos! They can even be applied for those who do have cars too!
Don’t lug big unnecessary things on the go! I have two small kiddos and a sit n stand stroller. No one wants a sit n stand on a bus or busy street car. So if you can take a small, fold up stroller or better yet babywear if you can!
Pack non messy snacks! Cheese cut into cubes, crackers and even slices of cucumber, carrots or celery are great to bring on the go and don’t create much mess!
Save the drinks for after the commute! If there’s one thing I’ve truly learned in the 4 years we’ve lived here and relied on public transit is to wait on drinks. They are messy and cause unnecessary bathroom breaks.
Bathroom breaks – go before! Always, always make sure everyone uses the bathroom before heading on out! My kids used to always have to go the minute we got on whichever mode we were taking so now, before we even leave the house it’s mandatory bathroom for all! Public bathrooms are so gross anymore, especially at any station so I avoid at all costs.
Pack 1 bag and don’t bring carry on’s! This may be hard but I find letting one kid bring a tonka truck and the other a Barbie isn’t a great option. They can get forgotten, lost and even clog up a decent spot in your bag when they get tired of carrying it. So, no unnecessary carry on’s!
Pack accordingly! If it’s a simple quick Commute I don’t bother with much but if it’s long like ours usually tend to be I make sure to have a few items in the bag that can keep the kids entertained (books, tablet, ipod) one bag with everything in it is how I make sure things don’t get left behind, the bag isn’t to heavy and we have everything we need.
Know exactly where you are going! I tend to get lost often. So I have started writing out my directions and which buses, subways etc I have to go on before I leave if going sans husband. If I am not sure where I’m going it creates unnecessary panic for me so I usually have everything written down.
Ignore any nay sayers. This is a must for me every time we go out as a family. Someone has something to say usually about how many kids we have. Ignore it or better yet prepare a witty comeback before even leaving the house:)
Be alert! If there’s one thing that still bugs me is how busy my city is and can get on all transit. Keeping my kids right by my side and eyes on them at all times isn’t an option. It’s a must. My kids aren’t the ones running around or hollering. They are sitting or standing nicely waiting to get where we need go go. Accidents happen and strangers happen. Better to be much safer, rather than sorry.
Simple and Smooth. Two things I really aim for when out and about especially if we are taking transit. It can be a lot with kids, and stressful. Sometimes people ask how we even do it. Well, if I go out alone I take only a few kids, very rarely do I
What are some ways you do for yourself, or family to make commutes simple and smooth?