Making travel plans for my family of five has to be one of my top favorite things to plan. Something about searching for flights, hotels, road trip routes, attractions, restaurants, etc., just makes the planner in me so stinkin’ happy! Some 12 years ago, when it was just my husband and me, we knew that making memories in different cities, whether it was on our own or once we had a family, was one of our highest priorities. The means to do, however, sometimes isn’t the easiest to get by. But we figure it out and go, because it’s THAT important. We make it a point to go on one big family trip every summer (right around my husband’s birthday). But this year I’m switching some things up and adding more cities to our planner and some may or may not include the kids.
Get Away With Yo’ Man!
The last time my husband and I went away together [aside from our honeymoon], my oldest (now 11) was about 18 months old! In 2018, I gifted him a surprise birthday complete with air, hotel, and fun things for us to do in Miami, FL. It took three to four months of advanced planning, but I pulled it off. I even contacted his boss (unbeknownst to my husband) to request his time off. With so much on our plates and not having taken a trip in about a decade- JUST THE TWO OF US– it was about time he and I had a weekend of R&R away from our three super-active boys. That trip made us realize how important time away for JUST US actually was.
This year we have a new city in our sights. Well, I have a new city on our sights, because I’ll actually be surprising him with a San Francisco weekend getaway early this year.
Go on the Road
We ended 2018 by tagging along with my parents on an epic 20 hour/1,400 mile road trip to Pasadena, CA, to watch the Rose Parade on January 1. My parents were gracious enough to let us join them on what was supposed to be their journey. I made each of the boys make puppy dog eyes and beg to let us go; how could they deny their only grandchildren?! I kid, I kid! Sort of.
But really, I had never taken a road trip of this magnitude, let alone with three young children. I didn’t quite know what to expect. I did how I always do: plan for the worst and hope for the best. Luckily, I packed enough snacks, games, puzzles, books, colors, markers, play dough to get us their safely and sanely. I should mention that I researched Pinterest A LOT! And one thing that made the hours seem not-so-long was this idea, especially since one of my boys is very much into maps and calculating the time it takes to get from point A to point B. I filled the bags with anything from make-your-own pipe cleaner name bracelet to glow necklaces once it got dark. Although I won’t be taking that long of a road trip any time soon, I’m glad we did this time around. On our way back home, the 20 hours was split into two days and we even got to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX.
Taking a road trip this year might just be the way to go. Once your little one gets old enough to have their own seat on the plane, it can get expensive quickly. You may not want to start with trekking 1,400 miles just yet, but there are plenty of neighboring cities to visit that won’t require nearly all the bells and whistles I brought along and will make for a fun and memorable Road Trip 2019.
Take a Girls’ Trip
This one is still on my bucket list. Something about being with the girls in your life who know what you’re going through, or are in the trenches with you, makes for a fun, stress-free time away from the routine. Check out this post about a 4.5-hour road trip/girls trip to Fredericksburg, Texas. Wine. Need I say more?
My top 10 Girls’ Trips locations in the U.S.:
- Napa, CA
- Santa Barbara, CA
- Palm Springs, CA
- Sedona, AZ
- Austin, TX
- New Orleans, LA
- Nashville, TN
- Savannah, GA
- Miami, FL
- New York City, NY
Just Get Away- ALONE
To certain people, this may seem awful. For the introvert in me, I absolutely LOVE this idea. It’s something I’ve thought about for some time now, but the dreaded “mom guilt” would creep up and I would never follow through. Taking a weekend trip (or even a day trip) to discover a new city, try a new restaurant, getting to go to restroom BY MYSELF, seems so glorious! I’ve had thoughtful consideration for making self-care a priority in my life so that I can be a mom who’s not only fun to be around but also content in any situation. Even if a trip by yourself seems like too daunting of a task, still make self-care a priority in your life. It can be anything from: taking a long, hot bath to treating yourself to lunch (alone!), or a mani/pedi.
Tips for Planning Travel in 2019:
- If researching on your own seems like too much, find a great travel agent who can take the guesswork out.
- Whether it’s your one big trip for the year or a sporadic weekend getaway, make sure to start checking flights and hotel ASAP.
- If a road trip is more your speed, research the stops you anticipate taking as well as how much time in the carseat your little one can handle.
- Find local attractions, restaurants and events by searching the City Moms Blog Network
- Just go for it! Make 2019 the year you travel more.