I was chatting with a friend the other night, when she recounted her most recent toddler travel story with me and had me in hysterics. Her two-year-old son was obsessed with trains and everything Thomas related, so rather than fly to visit her parents, she took him on his first train ride. To prepare for the three and a half hour ride, she packed coloring books, magnetic games, a few new books and enough snacks to feed all of the passengers in her car.

At first, her son was mesmerized by everything on the train — the doors that slid open and shut, the conductor coming by to claim the tickets, the whir of the engine, etc. But after 45 minutes, he had had enough. He wanted to run up and down the aisles, press the buttons on the doors and explore. That's when she realized the generally relaxing train ride — that was supposed to help alleviate the stress of the airline terminal with its security line and beverage restrictions — would not be as picturesque as she had envisioned. She and her husband spent the next two hours walking from one end of the train to the other as their son did not sit down for even a minute By the time they arrived at the station, she handed her son over to her parents and told them she needed a nap since she had gotten plenty of exercise!