Today I am introducing Stacey and her family whose blog has a motto I can get behind: Love, Laughter and Luggage – what more could you want from life?
What is your family travel? Full-time, part-time, digital nomads etc.
We are part-time travelers. I am a high school teacher, and my husband is a respiratory therapist in a hospital.
How has your travel style changed since becoming a family?
When my husband and I married, I had a seven-year-old daughter. We’ve mostly travelled as a family. Then we had a baby together, so we had to adjust to bringing an infant with us. I think, in general, we just take things slower. You have to be conscious of the needs of the kids. Sometimes that means grabbing take-out and having an evening in the room or going for a swim. It also means planning activities that won’t disrupt the experiences of others.
What was your baby(ie)’s first trip? Why did you chose to go there? What were the highlights/lowlights etc?
My youngest child’s first big trip was to Colorado Springs, Colorado, when she was eight months old. We had done some weekend trips before. We chose a trip that focused more on outdoor activities and nature rather than museums and cities.
The best parts was when we were exploring, no one was really around us, so if our baby was loud, no one was bothered. She enjoyed exploring Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds, although we were on a tour in the cave. I was ready to leave if she was loud, but I just put her in her carrier strapped to me and she looked around at everything. We also did the Royal Gorge and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, so we were definitely doing family activities. She was also at an easy age to just bring her food and diaper bag and take care of her as needed.
The most challenging was we decided to take the cog railway up Pikes Peak. It was a long ride to hold a child who wanted to stand on your lap the whole time and go from my husband to me. I thought we’d never make it up and down that mountain. If I were to do it again, I would drive up the mountain with her strapped in her car seat!
What is your favourite family travel gadget and why?
I don’t know about a favorite. I like to use a portable DVD player and plenty of battery sticks for our phones.
What is your favourite family travel destination and why?
We’ve had so many great trips! We go to Disney World in Florida every other year, and we always end that trip at St. Augustine, Florida. Besides that, I think we just pick where we want to go and adapt it to the kids. We went to Gettysburg, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and the Smoky Mountains this summer. We also live near Branson, Missouri. It’s great for families. We’ve been to South Dakota and Mount Rushmore. We’ve been to Chicago. We’ve driven up the Mississippi River to Minnesota. All of these trips have given us great memories!
What is the most family friendly accommodation you have ever visited?
I don’t think you can get more family-friendly than Disney. We love to stay onsite there and use their transportation. Branson is also a family-friendly place and really affordable. We usually try to pick accommodations with an indoor pool and a hot breakfast when we’re on a trip.
Family travel bloggers can be guilty of showing only the good stuff – what is your worst family ravel experience?
True! I can’t think of one horrible experience, but we’ve learned to not let the kids get too tired or hungry. We’ve had some meltdowns because we pushed too far.
What are your top three tips for other families who wish to travel?
Read up on your destination and make plans—know when places open and what activities they have so you don’t miss your must-dos! Get to attractions before opening to avoid crowds. Take a mid-day break for a swim and/or nap. This goes for the parents, too!
What do you wish you had known or done before starting family travel?
I grew up travelling, so I guess there was never a time when I didn’t think we wouldn’t travel. I think you just have to get out there and do it. It’s not really that bad. I’ve travelled more with kids than without. Bring the items that may make your travel easier, and follow your kids’ lead. Be flexible. Again, sometimes you may need to just chill in the room or go for a swim.
What are your future family travel plans?
We have reservations now for a June 2018 trip to Disney World and St. Augustine. We are going to end that trip in Charleston, South Carolina this time. In June of 2019, we are tentatively planning to go to California. We hope to sprinkle some smaller trips in too!
Thanks for joining us Stacey!
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