As avid travelers with two little ones, we decided to start this blog to chronicle our journeys and offer some advice to other parents that want to travel with their kids. Having kids definitely doesn’t mean you have to start vacationing at Disney World every year or avoid vacations all together. With proper planning and an adventurous spirit, it can be even more fun discovering new places with your kids.
Just to give you a little background about us, we thought it would be more insightful (and honest) if we each described our significant other’s travel style and then talked a little about the personalities of our boys.
Jen’s take on Russ’ travel style
Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry are planning a sitcom that would be a show about nothing? That pretty much sums up Russ’s ideal vacation. His perfect vacation would involve doing as little as possible – and spending as little money as possible would be icing on the cake.
His ideal day would involve sleeping in, going for a run, and then eating three meals worth of food at brunch. After the feast, there would be a nap, followed by a swim in the ocean or a hike in the woods depending on our destination, then a little reading – definitely one of the classics. At some point, he would remember that we are in fact someplace new and would ask me what I have planned because he certainly didn’t do any planning before arriving.
Poor Russ. It was almost impossible for him to take a relaxing vacation when he only had me as his traveling companion. Now our boys, Finnegan and Declan, have joined forces to eliminate any possibility of having a relaxing vacation!
As far as vacation destinations, Russ says he is a city kid and prefers to visit new cities, but his most common vacation suggestion always involve renting a cabin. Go figure.
The good news (and probably the reason that we’re still happily married) is Russ is generally very easy going and doesn’t grumble too much about the trips that I plan because they typically don’t align very well with my description of his ideal vacation. Although, we do have a trip coming very soon that should be one of Russ’s favorites of all-time! Here’s a hint:
Russ’s Take on Jen’s Travel Style
Traveling is seemingly my wife’s singular pleasure in life. But it is not all pleasure. There is serious work involved in booking and planning our trips. She will do more research on a prospective travel destination than she will on buying a new car or most other significant purchases (with the possible exception of home decorating, over which is similarly obsessive). Before booking a trip Jen will do exhaustive research and consult all possible resources: travel guides (Foders, Frommers, Lonely Planet), web sites (Trip Advisor etc), and friends who have traveled to the destination. Much like an advance team plans out every possible contingency before a presidential visit, my wife usually thinks of all angles before we leave New Jersey.
Given all of this research, my wife feels compelled to then see every possible attraction once we are at our destination, notwithstanding the human toll it extracts (on me). Prior to traveling with our children, our trips were often jam-packed days, with very little down time. While we usually saw and did a lot on our trips, I was often exhausted when we got back home. So much for a relaxing trip.
Now that we travel with two little boys, Jen has scaled back expectations on how much we can see and how much we can accomplish. I suspect this is only temporary; at least until the boys have developed the stamina to keep up with their mom’s ambitious travel agendas.
Jen is obsessed with national parks and would prefer visiting a national park rather than spend an afternoon in a cool new city browsing book stores or record shops. While I do like national parks, I also like experiencing new cities and believe that cities are not just places to take off and land.
The Boys – Finnegan and Declan
Finnegan is 3.5 years old and Declan is 1.5 years old. They have pretty different travel personalities so far, but they are young so things are constantly changing.
Finnegan was an extremely easy baby. As long as he was being held, he was happy. We took him to Thailand and Cambodia when he was 20 months old (more details on that to come as well), and the flight was no problem. I wouldn’t try a flight that long with Declan yet because he doesn’t like to be held for very long periods and wants to MOVE a lot, like pretty much ALL THE TIME. Declan still has a hard time sitting through an entire board book. As long as he can move and play, Declan is happy and easy going.
Like most kids, they both love anything involving animals, swimming, and being outside so we try to plan our destinations accordingly. They are both fairly adventurous eaters, which is a good thing in general and great if you like to travel a lot.
Since we both work full-time, we really look forward to our vacations and getting to spend a lot of quality time with our kids. We hope this blog contributes in a small way to encouraging and inspiring other people to get out there and explore this amazing world – with the kids in tow!