This week I am traveling with the family. A quick 4ish hour trip from home. I thought I would take today to talk about how traveling with a family is so different from traveling with just grownups. I hear people say all the time “You guys should travel more.” Or “I don’t understand why people don’t travel and get away.” Here is the thing, traveling with kids is a BITCH. It really is. Besides having to pack your entire house up, you have to be prepared for the unimaginable AND be prepared for everyone to be in a constant state of unhappiness. It is true. While adults LOVE to travel and adapt, children are the complete opposite. They become complete devils while on vacation…..at least mine do.
And maybe they aren’t actually devils. We are just in a new environment, that isn’t so kid friendly and I am on high alert of loudness and destruction. Like if you are staying in a hotel you have suddenly become the noise complaint. And even worse, if you are staying at someone’s home that is not normally “kid friendly”…well you are screwed. Your kids will wake everyone up, turn on a smoke detector, break a remote and shatter a vase within 2.7 minutes of your arrival.
Packing for a vacation when you have kids is almost laughable. It does not matter if you are leaving for 15 days or one night, you will have at least 7 suitcases per kid. And you will have to pack everything you own for every fucking scenario. In case it gets hot or cold. Rain or shine. Swimsuits or rain boots. Extra clothes for all occasions (because guarantee, everyone will pee or poop their pants at some point on your trip.) All medications must come with you. Even expired antibiotics that you gave your dog that one time….JUST IN CASE. Pillows, blankets, pack-n-plays, high chairs, booster seats. You own it? You have to bring it. Because what is worse than being unprepared on vacation with kids? Having to buy more kid shit that you know you have at home somewhere.
Then once we have gotten to your destination, sleep comes into play. Sleep is something that will surround your life for years once you have kids. You are always thinking about it, preparing for it and let’s face it, PRAYING for it. Even if you have the best sleeper in the world, as soon as you are on vaca, not sleeping in the normal place, all fucking hell breaks loose. Everyone forgets how and when to sleep. Babies hate their pack-n-play’s suddenly. Toddlers roam the halls at all hours of the night. Like no one gets any sleep. ESPECIALLY YOU. Matt and I don’t argue. Like ever. But after a few days “relaxing” with the kids, we are both so sleep deprived, we basically don’t speak the entire trip home.
So yeah, we should travel more right?! And we will. One day. When the kids are old enough to stay by themselves. Then we will come home to a house full of teenagers who just threw a party, drinking our booze and breaking our shit, but that is a long time from now. Traveling is just different right now. And we would love to do it more, but sometimes the idea of going through all of that sounds way more exhausting than just sticking to our at-home exhausting life.
I guess I should wrap this up. I can hear my children breaking Matt’s cousin’s fish tank as I type! I will try to enjoy myself a bit. And I know that as all of these fun stages of parenting go…this too shall pass. One day when we vacation with them they will won’t even want to speak to us we, will be so uncool in their eyes. They will yell at me as I try to pack for them. And instead of asking, “are we there yet?” every five minutes, they will ask, “are we home yet?”
So next time you want to ask me why I don’t travel more, just stop yourself. Don’t ask and enjoy your uninterrupted non-diaper changing, sleep filled, quiet vacation.