The hubby says he still hasn’t recovered from 12 days in the car heading to and from South Dakota. I often feel like I need a vacation to get over the vacation we just took. The children handle it fine, but then again they are young and resilient. It’s the hubby and I that are worn down after carrying all the bags (and children), getting up earlier than we’d like to get us somewhere on time and staying up later than we’d like packing and planning.
I remember driving back from the beach last October by myself with a 4 year old and 3 month old thinking I’d never leave the house again. What should have been a 4-5 hour drive turned into 10 hours on the road because I couldn’t bear to hear my infant scream from more than 10-15 minutes at a time. I never traveled with the little boy alone until he was about 2, so I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into. Little priss can ride much longer now, but I still find myself pulling over if she is crying for more than 10 minutes. Another challenge is boredom. In a car you can always pull over to stretch your legs or run around. On a plane, you pray the snack cart makes another round.
It’s good to have a general idea of what we want to do. It’s not good to try to schedule it. A schedule leaves us all frustrated as we hurry to finish one thing so we can rush to the next. I’m the worst about trying to get started and finished at a set time. There’s no better way to zap the fun right out of a trip than that. I’ve definitely had to learn to go with the flow more on our trips.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to travel though. There are often places close to home we visit for next to nothing. The farther we go, the more it costs. I certainly don't want to come across as an over privileged brat bragging about the places we go because we have so much money. We don't have lots of money. We are blessed to have good jobs and healthy children, and we like to spend our money and time doing something we love. Traveling is important to me, and I make sure to budget accordingly. We also get some help from credit card points that pay for portions of trips we take.
If we are going to carry our children on trips, then we’ve got to make the trips fun for them. The South Dakota and Washington DC trips were all about the little boy’s interests. The hubby and I had a great time too because we both love history and science. I’m already thinking about getting tickets to a Fresh Beat Band concert for little priss next time they come to a nearby city. I don’t particularly love that show, but I do love how my sweet girl gets so excited to hear the songs and dances along.
Memories are made in a lot of ways. For us, travel is one of the things we all enjoy, and it creates the kind of memories I desire for us to have as a family. I am always looking for a new place or a way to head back to somewhere we loved or just a reason to get away. The hubby is not going to be the one to plan a trip, but so far, he’s been happy to go along for the ride. I love to hear the little boy talk about what he remembers from a trip. Some of my best travel memories revolve around food. As long as I’m well fed, I won’t complain (much). Get me somewhere for hours without food and it’s a different story – that goes for the little boy as well. What I especially love, though, is the feeling of being somewhere, anywhere really, with my bunch!