Why Traveling With My Little Kids is Special
Yesterday I shared Eight Truths of Traveling with an Eight Month Old, and seven out of the eight truths were centered around challenges of one sort or another. Those challenges are real, don't let me or anyone else fool you, but I wanted to expand upon the eighth truth a bit. The one that centered around "smiles", and it deserves a bit more time in the sunshine.
Now that we are unpacked, and Baby S finally graced me with a good night of sleep, I find myself starting to dream of the next trip. On the one hand that is certifiably nuts given that we just got back and it wasn't all easy peasey. This is also the day we were supposed to be headed to New Zealand on a huge trip that I am so glad I cancelled because it wouldn't have been the right fit in any way, shape, or form. Still, I know what it is about the trips right now that I crave, and it is not very different than what I realized after my first trip when our littlest was a two month old.
Right now travel with our kids is worth it primarily because it provides the space to just experience and enjoy each other's company. At home we just simply don't have that space the way we do on vacation. My husband is currently working quite a bit both during the week and even on the weekends, I work as much as I can daily, my six year old is at school during the week, my littlest one is hot potato-ed between all of us + grandma and grandpa, the laundry, the dishes, the birthday parties, the activities, etc. are at times relentless, and simply getting through the day is usually the prize, not the enjoyment.
I wish I could fix that and make our home life peaceful and serene, but apart from hiring full time maids, chefs, nannies, etc. I don't see that happening in the near term. However, on vacation I can basically arrange for most, if not all, of those things to be simplified. For example, at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva we had access to yummy all-inclusive food and beverages at every turn, including via room service, so we didn't have to worry about food.
Housekeeping comes twice a day to refresh our suite, so we didn't have to worry about that other than keeping our clean and dirty clothes organized. The Kid's Club is free for kids 4-12 and they worked with us to arrange for babysitting a few hours a day for Baby S, so we had a good mix of family and adult time.
Neither of us worked much on the trip, so we had the time carved out to just be a family of four. Now, it isn't always easy to operate as a unit of four since we don't do that for very many hours a day at home, but it is very good after the first day or so when we get into the swing of things.
I love the feeling of not being late for anything other than extra time at the pool. I love having time for morning smiles and cuddles with my littlest...and the biggest when she will tolerate it. I love having time to play with my six year old in the pool, or on the beach, or in the evening instead of having her on one electronic or the other while we try to get through the chore list. I love not feeling stressed about the logistics of the day and everyone's schedules.
I love not having to load anyone into car seats and run errands here, there, and yonder. Right now there is no happier spot for the four of us than a resort vacation, preferably at a beach with great pools.
Three or four days here or there to reconnect like this may not seem like much in the context of a 365 day year, but it sure does feel pretty special. So special that I want to do it again as soon as possible.
I wasn't always a "stay at the resort" type of traveler, but right now I am thrilled to have found our travel sweet spot so we can soak in some quality time with our littles during this brief time that they are so small.
Did you find your travel style adjusting (dramatically?) to match the stage your family is in?