Family Vacations + Travel with Kids
An international flight with a toddler - or really any flight, for that matter - makes us all want to crawl into the fetal position yelling noooooooo!!!!!! But as someone recently told me, You can endure anything for an international trip!
It’s the truth. Know it’ll probably be difficult, but just keep yo’ head up and knock back a couple glasses of wine (or a few?) to relax…it’ll be over in 10+ hours. People looked at us like we were crazy when we told them we were taking our 1 and 5 year-old girls to Europe…but we did it, and we survived (and even liked it!).
First I must say that Jeff and I are by no means the travel experts. We are learning more though, with each trip that we take, and are getting better at cruising through the unexpected. Most of the time we are just laughing at ourselves…like when our kids are sprawled all over the floor in the customs line, licking the poles. I’ve learned so much from friends who travel often with their kids, as well as from other bloggers who have shared their family vacation experiences. My hope is that you can take away some small bit from our adventures and mishaps, that will encourage you to do a trip of your own!
Recently we returned from 12 days in Portugal and England. We had originally planned to go sans kiddos for our 10 year anniversary last summer, but then baby Lola happened, and voila - happy anniversary to us. We decided at this point in our lives, we’re just going to have to bring these little rugrats along with us on our adventures. It’s a short time that we’ll be able to say that, right? As much as it physically hurts me to longingly watch adults at restaurants sipping their champagne and having uninterrupted conversation (while we sit next to them pretending to be allowed in such a place with our piles of food strewn across the floor, noisy iPad, and hyena-noise-making baby)…there is something charming about the chaotic, sweet, impromptu, hilarious memories we’re making with these girls.
I’m a major planner. I love travel planning, home organization planning, day planning, anything planning. When it came to our trip, my motto in planning our packing was: keep it minimal. Except for that flight. I packed everything I damn well pleased that might have a chance at keeping my babies happy. I went to Target and spent an absurd amount on special snacks and trinkets, brought their pjs and blankies…even an air mattress. Yep, you read that right. An air mattress that we blew up and let Ella (5-year old) sleep on at our feet! Most airlines, even the budget ones, allow for a free carry on. Pack that sucker full. More on flying with an infant or toddler and travel games for kids here.
Admit it! We all love the places where kids are not usually flourishing. Except Jeff and I try and bring our kids (trust me, I love babysitters, but we can't have one all the time). Granted, it’s painful when you learn that the cocktail bar at your hotel just received the award of “best cocktail in the world”, yet you can’t even visit the bar because kids aren’t allowed. I smile at the challenge of making the kids sit through an afternoon of wine tasting (they can run around the outdoor area!). In London, we walked for miles every day, went to a few museums….but we got LOTS of ice cream. Doing what we adults love, but making sure there’s something in it for the kids too….I think that’s the secret on family vacations.
I’m excited to share more about this 12-day adventure we just powered through, including some of what we all packed in our suitcases (more like what I packed in our suitcases! I love my dear husband, but let's be honest, mama does all the packing around here).
So, welcome officially to my blog! Here you’ll see some of my passions…travel, everyday fashion, my hubby (Jeff) and our two little girls (Ella Kennedy + Lola Maxwell), our adventures in the Bay Area, and tidbits about life. I strive to be the real deal. Laughing at myself, while also trying to love myself, is what I aim for. I’ll do my best to show you the real me, and I can’t wait to get to know you too.
Nighty night, friends!