Last weekend we had a family reunion in South Lake Tahoe, CA. There were 8 adults and 6 children and we all met at a big cabin on the water in the Tahoe Keys. Even though I don’t have any children of my own, my family is growing and I’m getting used to family functions being geared towards little ones — or so I thought. This time it was three days, all in one house and everyone trying to agree on where to go and what to do. I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting it can be to travel with young children. I now have a whole new respect for people who travel often with their kids.
When Scott and I go on typical weekend trips, they usually consist of being active during the day and relaxing at night. Often times we are camping and during the day we hike, surf, or swim. At night, we like to cook dinner and relax around the fire with some quiet time or read a book. I realized last weekend that quiet time does not exist when you are on a trip with children, at least not in my family.
Scott and I would often walk down to the dock with a few of my nieces and nephews and feed the ducks or hang out in the sun. I imagined it to be peaceful not only for us, but for the kids as well. But then the questions began. “Why, why, why?” Or they would want to run on the dock and jump across jagged rocks, which forced us to be on constant alert of one of them getting hurt. They just couldn’t seem to stay in one place, and it was exhausting!
Packing the Necessities:
I also realized that packing for a trip with kids is a lot more involved than my measly one small suitcase or backpack. It seems everyone in my family brought everything from home except the kitchen sink. All the kids clothes, toys, stuffed animals, favorite blankets, vitamins, snacks, games, movies, bikes, etc. And all the toys and games seemed necessary when we wanted to keep them occupied and entertained.
It was comical how many times us adults talked of going to the casinos after the kids went to bed. Of course, there was the obvious argument about which one of us would be staying home while the kids slept. Once we got that part figured out, gave the kids baths, and got them ready for bed, we were ready for sleepy time ourselves and never ended up making it to the casinos. I’m not complaining though. All I ever do at casinos is waste my money, so in reality this was a blessing for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore my nieces and nephews and I love being around them. I’m just saying that this was a big eye opener for me on what it takes to travel with little ones. I’m curious how others feel on this subject. Those of you don’t have kids but plan to someday, do you plan to keep up the same lifestyle of travel that you have become accustomed to? And those of you who have kids now, what is your take on traveling with them?