Before I became a parent, I saw all those parents who took their children on vacations and cruises, and I thought, “I am going to be just like them.” Then I had my daughter, and I thought, “I’m never leaving my house again.” Miss C was about six months old when my wanderlust got the better of me, and we decided to plan a weekend trip to Solvang, CA. We’d been to Solvang before, so I didn’t really do any research. It could have been better- a lot better. I refused to go out to dinner once the baby was asleep so we ate take-out in our hotel room. I came back determined that I would not be like that again. Still, I was glad that I had gone. I was determined to not live a life afraid of going out.
Know your child
Every child is different. I know you hear it over and over, but it really is true. I have friends who have super-chill, easy-going kids. I also have friends who have clingy children who scream at the top of their lungs whenever they are two feet away from their parent. You know your kid better than anyone and
Be Inspired, Not discouraged.
Remember #1. Well, what if your little Timmy just will not let go of your leg? But your friend’s child goes with them to sushi restaurants and is an angel in public. You can’t force Timmy, but you shouldn’t say well, that’s it, I’m done. Just start with baby steps and see how far you can go. Yes, you might not get to that hike in the Andes, but you might get to that weekend trip you’ve been hoping to take.
As much as you know your child/children, you need to know your limits as well. You and your spouse/travel partner need to be on the same page. If you like to be out all the time and they like to be in, chances are you should talk about it.
Research and Plan
Do your research but don’t get overwhelmed. When it comes to kids, don’t over plan your day. Any parent can tell you, you have to be flexible with kids. I usually pick the highlights, give myself plenty of time and then I’m flexible. Make sure you have the basics: a change of clothes, diapers, water, and snacks.
So now that you have kids, you know everything is going to be on the cheap right? Well, no it doesn’t have to be that way at all. If you like the finer things, go for it and you can try and do it on a budget, just plan for it.