Picture it: in the dark, wet days of winter I plan a sunny SoCal family getaway 3,800 kilometres from our chilly, rainforest home. The goal: a few days spent staying in a stylish, bright boho disco Airbnb while we explore the increasingly not-so-hidden gems north of Joshua Tree National Park.
In my head: we’re heading to the slower-paced yet ever-so-funky Yucca Valley to stay to soak in some California sun. According to my research (and advertising by local tourism marketers) the average temperature in February is 24C. Balmy. Warm. Pool-friendly. Full of Joshua tree-filled hikes, visits to outrageously thrift stores, stars gazing events under sparkly, black skies. But the universe had other plans.
What do you think of when you hear the words: family travel? For me, this phrase used to inspire both hope and fear. Hope for future bouts of wanderlust with family in tow and fear that I couldn’t find trips that were wallet-friendly.
When I heard the term ‘family travel’ before motherhood two visions popped into my mind. Vision number one was of my super-traveller, self-sufficient friend Susie who packed up her 18 month-old (and big pooch Igor) and drove solo many hours to our annual Tofino girls’ weekend. Her SUV was full of toys, she had all her snacks packed and she even brought a portable enclosed play area (think playpen on steroids). Family vaca vision number two is of the Griswolds on their chaotic US roadtrip, station wagon packed to the gills and misadventures befalling their every turn.
Given a choice, I’ll choose the Susie situation any time. Planning, snacks and efficiency help make any (family) trip a bit less of a gongshow. Part of my family travel plans these days always include thinking about how I can shave some of the dollars and cents off my trips. Recently, my fellow blogger Sarah from Smile and Conquer asked me to share some of my wallet-friendly, wanderlust tips with her blog readers.
Below you’ll find a couple of tips from the article after the jump. If you want to read the rest be sure to stop by my Smile and Conquer guest post to end up like Susie and her wee one not Clark and the gang…. Read more
If my family had a customized license plate made it might read something like: ‘Will brake for awesome public pools‘. Or more accurately, will drive two extra hours to swim in THE BEST pool in the region.
And so is the gist of an unexpected road trip we ventured out on, last October from Prince Rupert to Kitimat, B.C. We were headed to Terrace from Rupert anyway on a grocery trip, so we thought we would add a couple extra hours to our drive to check out their supposedly sweet public pool. The rumours of the awesomeness of the Kitimat public pool popped up in multiple conversations during our trip. So we thought, ‘what the hell?’ Let’s go.
This time of year begins the North American tradition of giving thanks. In Canada we give thanks during Canadian thanksgiving in October, in the USA Thanksgiving takes place in November. Canadian Thanksgiving which usually means road tripping to family, wearing our cutest (but stretchiest) outfit and gorging myself on a minimum of three turkey different dinners (#twosetsofparents) stuffing, gravy and pumpkin pie. This year we’re staying home and not making the 23 hour journey by car or flight -to-Europe X3 plane trip home. We’re enjoying the fall weather, hopefully will go mushroom picking (my new obsession) and eat waaaay too much pumpkin pie.
I thought I’d round up some travel thanks for 2017 so far. I wrote earlier this year about the positive effect of saying ‘thanks daily’ and developing an attitude of gratitude, but to be honest I’ve fallen off the bandwagon lately. So why not start again in a super public way? Here goes, some travel thanks for the last few months.