Vacation with Kids

Traveling with kids is not exactly what comes to mind when you say “vacation”. Vacation to me implies relaxing and traveling with my kids doesn’t really scream R&R.

Gotta love when they all sleep! This is not the norm.
Sometimes we make changes that are unplanned. When we took our first trip to Disneyland and we were finding it overwhelming we quickly pivoted to adjust and enjoy. This was an unplanned detour to Palm Springs. We rented a car and drove to have some relaxing pool time. It was fantastic. Then we returned for a day to Disneyland refreshed and ready for chaos.
Travel was always a bit more challenging with kids and now with Covid it has added a whole new type of challenge but I would say some of our best trips have been this last year when we stayed within BC. We just wear masks, pack sanitizer and plan a little more than normal. This photo was our second trip in the Fall up to Whistler (and second time seeing Vallea Lumina, I highly recommend checking it out!).

However, my husband and I didn’t really travel as kids with our families, I feel like travel was a luxury in the 90’s and something our families just didn’t do. I didn’t have a desire in my 20’s to go travel, my sisters were off in Australia and living in England but I didn’t have that same urge. It wasn’t until I had kids and started to see so many beautiful places and experiences as a family that I decided travel was worth the effort and was a gift I wanted to give my kids and do as a family.

I used to think to be a “traveller” you needed to be hardcore, explore far away places and go to exotic destinations. As I get older I realize a quick weekend to the Cariboo can be an adventure and a short trip over to the island can be amazing. I am always trying to remind myself travel doesn’t have to be expensive or high end, you can travel on any budget and go near or far!

I have a growing Wish List of places and experiences I want to do as a family. Some of the places include:

  • visit Yellowstone
  • explore Florida
  • visit Alaska
  • road trip for 6 months through the USA (homeschooling and traveling is a must now that we have homeschooled so much during a pandemic)
  • safari through Africa for my 50th Birthday (as a family, the kids will be great ages to experience it and so will I).
  • explore more of BC. I loved seeing the Kootenays this year and would love to spend more time there and explore more of it. Fraser and I have been to Bella Coola and we would love to visit again with the kids, even try to take the ferry there. I also have always wanted to do the Coastal Circle Route (Sunshine Coast, Comox Valley, Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Nanaimo) we have visited all those places individually but I think doing them consecutively would be beautiful and fun.

With our kids getting a little older (6, 5 and almost 4) we have discovered that it does get easier to go away. Packing has changed (no more strollers, diapers, play pens and bottles). I mean we have learnt how to pee on the side of the road, everyone has gotten better at holding it til the next rest stop and of course the kids have learnt to love hotels, exploring new places and trying new things.

Green Lake in the Cariboo.
Ski Lessons at Mt Timothy. We love warm weather summer vacations but I feel like I am always surprised at how much fun the Cariboo is any season!

One big thing about travel for us has been including our kids in the planning process. That can mean asking them about which accommodation they like, if there is a must have (our last trip it was a hot tub!), discovering ice cream shops or candy shops that they want to try or even talking about an amazing beach and the things we want to enhance our experience (ie Wetsuit in Tofino in the spring). I think by including the kids in the planning they are invested and excited about the trip. They also are able to have some time to process what it is we are doing and what our trip might look like or include.

Always exploring new places on our favourite island, Maui has a special place in our hearts.
This was at The Hume Hotel in Nelson. We actually had the most fun trip on our way up to pick up Snoopy Sam (our boat). I was so surprised at how much fun a quick road trip (solid day in the truck) could be with kids.
If you can’t be in Hawaii I suggest being at Pacific Sands in Tofino. This was the kids and dogs first time to Tofino and I have a feeling it will not be their last.

I thought I would do a series of posts about some of our travels over the past few years and the highlights and favourites as well as the things we would avoid next time. I am looking forward to a near future where we can cross the border again and visit places and people we have been missing.

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