When my daughter was first born, I wanted to go to my mother-in-law's beach house three hours up the coast from Los Angeles. Scarlet was five-weeks-old and I was tired of being stuck in the house. Until that point, I had followed that keep the baby home and away from any germ possible rule to a 'T' even though I really just wanted to get out and about with her a bit.
As a first time mom, I couldn't wrap my mind around leaving all my "baby stuff" to travel anywhere. "There's no changing table there!" I rationalized to my friend, Mileska. She's that friend who tells me to give less, um, fudges, because I can overthink it til' the cows come home. You know -- 'what color is the cow? Is it free range? Do I have enough grass to feed said cows when they do come home?'
Anyway, Mileska was all "What did people do before changing tables? Do that!" So I changed Baby Scarlet on the bed. She totally peed all over my mother-in-law's fancy comforter and I washed the whole giant dry-clean-only thing. Don't tell my MIL, but if that happened now with my third kid, I'd just dab dab that pee spot with a towel and call it a day.
Traveling makes me more flexible. It make all of us more flexible. And I am so super passionate about it.
I never had the Wanderlust bug until we had our kids. It hadn't really occurred to me to see the world, but now the list is growing of where I'd like to go, where I'd like to put my feet in the sand, and things I'd like to experience alongside my family.
My favorite way to travel with our kids being little is cruising because it's easy for me and actually feels like a vacation. There's a boat full of people to help entertain the kids, you have a home base with all of your essentials, and knowing that you can have a grown up meal for the adults, and the kids can still get their butter noodles and Shirley Temples means its enjoyable for all of us.
Our most ambitious trips so far have been to Europe and Alaska, and we did each trip with about half hotel hopping and half on cruises. I gotta say, hands down for me, the cruise portion is easier.
Here's what works for us:
- Traveling with Grandma makes it so much easier. My kids' Nana is great travel companion -- we enjoy vacationing at the same speed, which is so important. We all like to see a little, eat a lot, see some more and relax. We always get an adjoining room and let the kids fight it out over who gets to stay with her.
- Take the time for R&R. If you've traveled with littles, you know it can be tiring. Packing and unpacking for day trips, changing between bathing suits and clothes and then again for dinner, playing and entertaining, and everything in between. Take the pressure off of yourself to see and do every single thing -- it's totally okay to take a break a watch a movie and rest up.
- Let go. So your cranky toddler missed his nap? Take a breath -- it's gonna be okay and he'll probably fall asleep faster at bedtime without it. You can always get back on schedule when you're home, so just enjoy this vacay you've been looking forward to!
Wanderlust + kids = <3
What has your experience been like?