Travel With Kids – It’s All About Perspective

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My husband and I were together over a decade before our little guy was born.  In that time, we were fortunate to enjoy traveling to destinations both near and far away.  When it was up to me to do the planning, I’d jam each vacation full of  ALL. THE. THINGS. to make the most of our time away.  Honestly, after returning from these vacations, we sometimes felt we needed a “vacation” to catch up on sleep!  Even with exhaustion, I loved every second of this type of travel.
 
During my pregnancy, we took several road trips around the Midwest and had our babymoon in Texas.  Then, I was given the “green light” for one last getaway before having to hunker down near home to wait for baby’s arrival.  Well…. that “last adventure” wasn’t the week-long beach vacation I was expecting… I ended up bringing my baby home with me a month after departure!
 
So, now that we have an infant, my love for travel has not changed one bit.  What HAS changed?  My perspective & expectations!
 
We are in the midst of discovering our “new” normal in the travel world.  
 
I set DIFFERENT expectations for our travel now.  Will we be zip-lining, horseback riding, or SCUBA diving like before?  No. (well, OK at least not together…. as one of us hangs out with the little guy!)  Do I think we will have a nice, romantic, uninterrupted dinner with a scenic view like in the past? Nope.  But that’s ok!
 
Two recent trips have taught me a lot.
 
A few weeks ago, I was so stir crazy that I decided to road trip to Ohio to visit some friends.  My husband had other plans that weekend, and I was just not going to sit home.  I decided – what the heck – I’ll drive alone with my (then) 10 month old.  I had things mapped out.  Every 2ish hours we would stop to change his diaper, eat, and get our legs moving at some attraction along the way.  We would stay overnight halfway, and all things would be fine!  Well, THANKFULLY my own rock-star Momma, decided she was up for a little road trip and the 3 of us set out on this journey together.  
 
The drive was going fantastic!  We were making good time, and with another adult in the car, we didn’t feel the need to stop as often.  Daydreaming of a nice early arrival time at our final destination, and then… IT HAPPENED.  Wait, is that OUR car?  Or is that loud noise just a bumpy road?  OHHHHH Where can I even pull over??  
 
Yup.  Flat tire, right as we were in the thick of traffic on the north side of Chicago.  I had no idea where we were at the time, other than “near Chicago”.  And, did I mention this was also during the cold spell so it was 11 degrees out?  Tow trucks were swamped that day, but after a few hours, we were able to get our spare tire on and check into a hotel for the night.  I couldn’t get new tires until the next day – late in the afternoon, so we decided after the tires were replaced we would head home.  There just wasn’t enough time to make it to Ohio and back and still visit.
 
So that was a huge bummer.  But, you know what?  My little guy had a blast!  He was clapping and giggling when the car was on a jack.  He was jamming out to Baby Shark (how fitting that the line “safe at last” was playing when the spare tire was finally on), and he adored all the things at the hotel!  We received a phone call at midnight for a “noise complaint” from our room, – we were all sound asleep- and then at 4:45ish in the morning…. the fire alarm went off!  So, we bundled up, and boy did my little guy like seeing the firemen and truck!  He was such a trooper.
 
Was this the trip I was hoping for?  No!  I was SO excited to see my friends, and obviously, that didn’t happen.  BUT, this trip was still awesome.  Why?  I had to slow down.  I had to live in the moment because I was literally stranded without a car somewhere I didn’t know anybody.  We enjoyed time with each other & laughing about our “bad luck.”  I joke my mom is never going to want to travel with us again.
 
Our other recent adventure had a lot of firsts.  Baby had his first airplane ride.  We went to Jamaica!  Was I nervous flying with an infant?  You bet I was!  But we tried to pave the path as best we could.  We took a direct flight from Chicago to Montego Bay and stayed at an all-inclusive resort a short drive from the airport.  The only other time we have done an all-inclusive, we ended up taking multiple day-trips and keeping extra busy.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) with an infant most of these types of things are not an option.  We picked a resort with a waterpark that we thought our little guy would enjoy – he LOVES swimming.  So, what did we do?  Nothing.  Yet also, everything!  Most of our days were spent in a couple hour blocks.  Swimming, then back to the room for a bottle and a nap.  Sometimes we’d nap poolside.  Sometimes we’d skip naps because we were having too much fun.  Not having the distractions of media, or housework, and being with my little family was the best thing ever.  We all got to reconnect.  We got to enjoy the simple things in life, and we were able to be present and just take in the moment.  
 
Our vacation to Jamaica was booked through Costco, and it was a great bundle!  Oh – Hey – in case you missed it, you’re going to want to check out the recent post from Cathie, “52 Ways to Save at Costco This Year… And One Thing I Would Skip” ??  
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Christie is originally from Appleton, WI.  She & her husband met in college, and they settled in Manitowoc shortly after graduation for his career.  In order to follow her dreams, Christie went back to school,  which resulted in a long distance marriage for 4 years.  She was thrilled to move to the Green Bay area in 2018 to split their commutes to work, & be closer to family.  In spring of 2019, Christie embarked on what she thought was her "last vacation before baby" however, her little boy had other plans & arrived early - while she was in Florida!  Thankfully he is healthy, happy, and growing like crazy (& that hubby made it to FL in time for the big event!).  Christie also shares her home with 2 cats and 2 dogs.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, & blogging at https://sunsetscribbles.com/ & http://stitchsense.com/