I am starting a short series on Travelling With Small Children. It will include:
- Road Trip Tips: This will include what kind of things we bring along, how we handle cranky kids, etc.
- Camping Tips: We camp with small children a lot and have learned a lot along the way. I talk to people sometimes who are nervous to camp with small children, particularly tiny babies. We took my second child camping when she was only a three weeks old. It was surprisingly easy! I will tell you about it.
- Healthy Eating While Traveling: What we eat has a big effect on how we feel. It affects our sleep, our energy, and has a big affect on the trip as a whole, really. Although eating fun food is definitely a big part of our vacations, I try to make healthy choices as much as possible to balance it out and keep everyone feeling great.
- How We Keep Our Vacations Super Cheap: My husband is a high school teacher and I am a stay at home mom. Vacations would not be an option for us if we did not keep things cheap. But even if we were wealthy, I like the idea of staying frugal. I will share some of the ways we are able to keep the costs down and how we can afford a vacation on such a tight budget.
- Flying With Small Children: This can be really intimidating. And although I can’t give you advice on how not to have the kid on the plane who is screaming (not fun!), I can at least give you some tips that could make your whole experience a bit less stressful. And less stress can help you be more prepared to deal patiently and successfully with a cranky toddler 🙂
- And maybe a few others that I haven’t thought of yet!
I love to travel. Growing up my mom and I would go on a “big” vacation every other year and on the off years we’d go to Yellowstone because it was nearby. For a single mom and a young girl, we sure saw and did a lot of cool things. She is the reason I love to travel, the person who taught me to travel on a tight budget, and my inspiration as a mother. I learned the importance of exploring the world with children, despite challenging obstacles. She taught me to have curiosity, to use my imagination and to learn. She taught me to love.
In high school I had a lot of opportunities to travel. I went on two music department bus trips, traveling to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and on another trip down to Disneyland. I went on two Key Club trips- one to New York and Washington DC with a lot of fun stops on the way and another over to Seattle and down to Annaheim again. My friend and I took a senior trip to Florida with my mom and the highlight of that trip was swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove. My grandma took each of her 4 grandkids on a cruise when they graduated high school and I got to go to some cool places in the Carribean. And one of the most awesome trips was a Spanish department trip to Spain. I got to go with friends from school and my mom and grandma came to chaperone. My grandma also just LOVES to travel and goes on trips all the times- I guess my mom and I can blame her for all this 😉
Since moving out, being on my own and starting my own family, my trips have all stayed pretty close to home. We have family in San Diego so we travel down there quite a bit. We did a big family reunion trip to Texas/New Mexico one time. I did a college volunteer trip to Arizona once- we stopped at Arches National Park, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas and took a side trip to Mexico, but mostly volunteer at a wildlife friendly ranch helping to take down and put up fences. A lot of my traveling has been Washington and Oregon…two of my favorite states. I love that they have big beautiful mountains, lush green forests AND the ocean. The San Juan Islands, Olympic National Park and the Oregon Coast in general are my favorites. And I just love Portland as far as cities go.
Even though it’s not fun at the time, some of my favorite memories are things that went wrong on trips. On a trip with my girl friends we had a car break down- smoking a ton- and it was a Friday afternoon so we got stuck in Seattle over the weekend. We’ve gone the wrong way or tried a scenic route that ended up adding a lot of hours of driving to our day. We’ve gotten rained out camping and had to spend a day at a laundromat drying all of our sleeping bags and other camping stuff. With the right attitude and a flexible schedule, those things just turned out to be happy little adventures. Of course there have been some really not so fun things go wrong- getting stuck in the snow and spending an entire day, not trying to get our car out, but trying to get the dumb tow truck unstuck because nobody would just lend us a shovel. Running out of gas on the interstate in Orange County in the hot hot sun during rush hour…with two small children. But even those are good stories now!
I look forward to writing this series and hope you stop by again to read about some of the things we’ve learned throughout all of our adventures. And hopefully it can inspire some people to do things with their kids they might be hesitant to do. Or decide that they can afford a trip that they didn’t think they had enough money for. Thanks for reading 🙂