I don't know if you are ready for a vacation like I am... But I am guessing you are. That's why you're here reading this.
Every year summer comes and we don't have a ton of plans. Sometimes we have things that have to happen at certain times, and having kids with a dad elsewhere in the world makes it more creative. Some of our summer time is spent working around the big kids going to visit their dad and making sure we can still do things with them around those visits. The last few years have been more fluid with him living in the states.
This summer Scott has some time to burn from work because last year we didn't take any time off really. Thanks Covid. I think from now until September Scott only works 4 Fridays. I will take it!
Back in January we planned days off and time off for him from my Birthday through school starting. We figured we would be working on our addition to the house, but with lumber prices skyrocketing that isn on hold. We did buy a CAMPER back in March and have been renovating it which will bring us more vacations. However, I wanted to share a few tips on planning your summer vacation today!
I have found that Google Flights are a lifesaver. They will show you the best prices for all the dates. When I was looking at tickets to take Courtney to NYC for her 18th birthday, I looked there and found them for less than $260 a person round trip. This will help you to plan your time off for your trip rather than finding somewhere that fits in the budget. You can pick the place, see when it is the most affordable and then get the time off.
For short trips (think 3-5 days) I like to stay in the same time zone. It keeps my energy normal, no jet lag and you don't have to have travel time to plan for. That being said, when we go to NYC we get in Friday evening and leave Monday evening. we still get 3 full days in the city.
If you are going on a long trip (5 days or more) I love to plan it so there are times to rest. When Scott and I went to Paris a few years ago we packed a lot in. But we also planned in breaks and naps. I think one afternoon we slept for like 3 hours and it was glorious. It also helped reset my internal clock. I think if you plan a couple of afternoons to just chill you will get the most out of any trip that is longer!
Traveling with Kids
I have been a mom for nearly 18 years and I am no expert... Yet, I have travelled a lot with my kids. I always keep super low expectations. Like lower than anything. And I am always surprised when my expectations are exceeded. It is the best. One thing I like to remember is that we have taken our kids out of their normal environment and we can't expect them to keep their normal demeanor. I like to keep as close to their normal routine as possible, naps usually go out the window, but bed time is very much normal so everyone gets a good nights sleep.
Packing for a trip for me is the worst part. I pack myself and in true mom fashion I also end up packing the two small kids and then whatever odds and ends will be needed for the trip. But, after learning about packing cubes I am a complete convert. It keeps everyones clothes organized and no more mess in the hotel room.
Make sure you plan stops, and fun ones at that will create memories. It is the journey that it takes to get somewhere that often have lasting memories. I remember when I was driving from Oklahoma to Virginia and stopped at the Longaberger Factory and got to make my very own Longaberger basket. I still have it to this day. Or on our drive to Washington one year we stopped and visited Multnomah Falls.
Things To Do
While I love having an itinerary, I also love going somewhere that the itinerary is very easy. Hawaii, easy. Beach. Disneyland. Parks all day. Seattle. Visiting with friends and family and eating my most favorite food in the world.