Remember what it was like to travel alone for fun? Not for business, but all for fun? I did that. Who was that girl? She sounds like someone I’d like to know! And what about when it was just you and your significant other…when it was possible to make a quick call (no texting way back when) and say, ‘hey babe can you escape work early…let’s run away for a long weekend.” Maybe it was a spontaneous vaca somewhere easily accessible by car or train or just a quick flight away? All it took was 15 mins to pack a quick bag and you were out the door! And so what if you forgot underwear, throw caution to the wind and enjoy your easy breezy day (literally). How carefree was that? You get the point. A vacation was the real deal. Sure you face inconvenient delays, small seats and germs galore but it’s always worth it to end up somewhere great.
This summer is the first summer we will travel as a family of five. Can you say opposite of carefree? I can see it now. 4 checked bags and $200 later in roundtrip checked baggage fees and we’re on our way! Oh wait, no we’re not. We need three car seats, diapers, wipes, formula, a double stroller, a baby carrier and what else? Exactly. How am I going to remember everything I need? Oh that’s right, I’m an event planner this should be easy to remember every little detail. Guess what? It’s not.
Let’s assume (and we all know how that ends) that we remembered everything and got ourselves to the airport in time to make the flight without killing each other since we’re likely on the earliest flight out to avoid further flight delays as the day goes on…then we can decide how to entertain the kids on the plane and where everyone sits. First, we pack a bowling ball heavy backpack filled with snacks, iPads and books, and a second backpack filled with diaper, wipes, bears and blankets. And that doesn’t include the diaper bag for the baby. What’s that you say? Make the 6 and 4 year olds carry their own stuff? HAHAHAHA Good luck trying that…they enjoyed that novelty for 5.2 seconds the last trip during which time I was pregnant and ended up schlepping a Frozen carry-on throughout the airport, in addition to my own carry-on. Now once we’re on the plane who sits where? Three seats together and the other adult is across the aisle with the baby. Which is the better spot? That would be NO spot—screaming baby who will poop herself at some point, or older children who will inevitably end up hitting/kicking/screaming at each other and embarrassing us all. It’s really a toss up folks. Take those damn ear phones off Adam, you’re not listening to podcasts on this trip while I play referee AND give the baby a bottle!
Once we finally arrive at our destination, we can figure out sleeping arrangements. What’s the point though? These kids are going to change beds numerous times throughout the night and into the wee hours. Even if we have two rooms and 2 or more beds, everyone wants to sleep with mom or dad. One kid kicks while he sleeps and wakes up at the crack of down. The other child likes to sleep in.
Then we can find childcare so mom and dad can enjoy 5 seconds alone. But wait, then mom can worry about her babies every single second, rush dad through his beer...
But it’s all in the name of memories, right? #worthit