June 19, 2012 by Gina
Melissa just wrote yesterday about her upcoming trip to Las Vegas. How terrific and a much-needed vacation for just the two of them away from their kids to celebrate their marriage! Melissa’s post got me thinking about how much I love to travel, especially to new places. It could be a new place in the U.S. that I haven’t been to or a new country halfway around the world. I just love to explore new cultures, food and experience something new.
However…I do NOT enjoy travelling with small children. This is something I have learned over the last three years since I’ve had kids. I don’t like traveling even a few hours away and having to stay overnight with my children. Despite this admission, we end up traveling quite a bit. My parents live two hours away and Brian’s parents live three hours away. I realize this is actually quite close to family after living very far away from them before I had children.
Yet, it might as well be farther away. Regardless of the distance traveled, my kids are completely off their routine when we travel. They go to bed later (despite a huge effort on my part to keep them on schedule), have a harder time falling asleep in a new (even if somewhat familiar) environment and when they do finally fall asleep, they often wake up during the night. Naps are often thrown out the window when we travel. After all, who could possibly nap when there are cousins around and so much activity? I also don’t sleep well when we travel (heck…I don’t sleep well at home so it’s even worse when we travel). We’re all tired and cranky when we arrive home even when we’ve had a ton of fun!
Our last big vacation was about 18 months ago when we took our first plane trip with Finn (he was 18 months) to Hilton Head, South Carolina. We took this vacation with Carin, Brian and Grace. Other than getting away for a week and being in a beautiful setting, it was a disaster! Finn didn’t sleep, Brian had just returned from his deployment to Afghanistan and everyone was exhausted. One month later we took another trip to Spokane, Washington for a military reunion at my alma mater, Gonzaga University. We stayed with family and the trip was much better but the flight there and back were miserable.
I’ve just decided that traveling with small kids is really tough and of course, this too shall pass. Soon we’ll be enjoying family vacations and road trips that I’m sure will be enjoyable, educational and memorable for more than poor sleep, forgotten naps and crankiness. I’m looking forward to those adventures!