Hello March!We have officially been on the move for 2 months. Every day has been filled with a lot of new. I’m slowly figuring out how to balance moving, homeschooling, traveling, and blogging. Then there is trying to spend time with Jesus, do all the mom things, grow as a wife, connect with real human beings (over the age of 6), and on and on. Truth bomb: this life is not for the birds, but by golly, it is for me. Traveling has always gotten my adrenaline pumping, but the itch to travel is stronger than ever as an adult.
From the time I was in the womb, my parents were taking me on trips. We always jumped in the car and went on adventures. It wasn’t odd for my family to pack up the car, and decide which direction we were traveling as we pulled out of the driveway. I know that many people thrive on a plan, but that’s just not me. Most times, we drove wherever we were going. It’s not only more cost effective, but we were that family that would drive 20 minutes off course to read a historical marker (thanks, dad), or spend an extra day exploring a city on our way to our final destination. I feel like I was made for this path that has been laid before us.
TRAVELING WITH KIDS
HOW DO YOU DO IT? I get asked this question all the time. It’s not a new question since going on the road. From the time my oldest was tiny, we started taking trips. We’ve taken our kids on airplanes, cruises, and road trips. I like each of them for different reasons. I definitely don’t have all the tips and tricks there ever were, but here’s a thing or two I’ve learned over the years.
PLANE VS. CAR
Pros of flying
1. If you are on a time crunch, flying is the way to go. Time is of the essence these days. Driving can kill a ton of time. It may be only a partial day or a whole day, but if your time is short, I can totally understand not wanting to waste a single minute.
2. Pressure is off. You don’t have to worry about getting you and your family to your destination safely. Sit back (say a prayer) and enjoy the flight.
3. No food or bathroom breaks. Snacks and drinks are brought right to your seat. Bonus: it’s free. HA!!! Not really, you paid a ton for your seat. They also have snacks and meals (depending on the flight) for purchase. Your kids won’t be crying in the gas station over that Ring Pop that they can’t live without. Just my kids?! I doubt it. The bathroom is right in the plane, so unless you have a layover, there won’t be any stopping. I have girls, and we all know how long girls can take in the bathroom.If you’re flying with kids…Pack snacks, coloring books, suckers or something to suck on while taking off and landing to help with their ears, play dough, ipads with movies already downloaded (if you’re pro screen time), and headphones. I am also all for pushing your stroller through the airport and checking it at the gate. This is a LIFESAVER when those little legs just can’t keep up. Lastly, stay calm. If your kid cries, keep your cool and odds are that they will calm down too.
Pros of driving
1. I have found that you get to see way more driving. You have the potential to experience more cities, states, restaurants, countryside, and pit stops.
2. Relax. No, you can’t sit back, relax, and enjoy, but you don’t have to be in a complete rush to get where your going. No mad dash through the airport. No unpacking in the airport because your bag is overweight. No tossing out your new hairspray in your carry on because it’s over 3oz.
3. Save. We always feel like we can spend more on food, hotel, and entertainment when we drive because we typically save so much money driving instead of flying.
4. Kids get seat breaks. If you’re child needs to run around, scream, or go potty, you can stop at your own convenience and not bother anybody else. I am a kid person through and through, but if we’re being real, listening to a screaming kid on an airplane for 2 hours or more is not enjoyable or even tolerable for anybody even if it’s your own kid.
Y’all…. If you are traveling by car, do not travel on Sundays. I’m partially kidding, but Chick-fil-A is our go to when we are on road trips. I’m not just saying this because Anthony works for them. They have clean bathrooms, yummy food, and the kids can play in the play place for 10 minutes and feel charged up and ready for more hours in the car. We always promise the kids one treat per day on the road in the afternoon (typically they pick a push pop sucker). It keeps the complaining to a minimum and it’s a good bargaining chip. We also pack lots of movies, snacks (in a basket between them), and a few small toys. My kids love the little ones they can hold in their hand because they can have multiple ones at once. If your kids like to draw or color, bring along clipboards or trays to hold their paper, book, crayons, etc. Oh, and don’t forget the pillows and blankets for those extra long naps in the car.
I’m a true believer in family vacations even if it’s only for a night or two. I think that getting away from all the chaos, schedules, and distractions cultivates a family bond that is not easily broken. A vacation doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just has to be TOGETHER.
Here’s a tiny trip down memory lane while traveling with our kids
Whether you’re traveling to Oregon, California, Georgia, Washington D.C., Florida, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, or one of the many other great states, the moral of our story and maybe even the message is TAKE THE KIDS