Home family travel Photo Fave: Have I mentioned traveling with me is exhausting?

Photo Fave: Have I mentioned traveling with me is exhausting?

by Shelly Rivoli
Sometimes you’ve just got to catch a nap when you can when traveling with me. Just try and finish your spaghetti first.

Sometimes you’ve just got to catch a nap when you can when traveling with me. Just try and finish your spaghetti first.

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I remember when we’d returned from a trip where my kids had, of course, missed school since we usally need to travel in low seasons, and someone asked me with a big smile, “So, did you enjoy your vacation?” as we scrambled to get to their classrooms on time with all of the assignments required of them in their absence–which had been worked through in spite of major jetlag and a breakneck itinerary. We’d gotten home from the airport at 1 o’clock that same morning. I stared like a deer in the headlights a moment, as I tried to think of what “vacation” she was talking about, and then thought for a moment: she might have me confused with another parent.

A month doesn’t go by that I don’t stop and think how simpler things would be if either A) I gave up travel writing and started writing about anything else, or B) We gave up our “permanent” home and lifestyle to become fully digital nomads. We’re not willing to give up either at this time, however, I assure you. 😉

And while we may sometimes get the rockstar treatment on the road, with comps, upgrades, freebies, and very flattering invites, you should also know my kids are also no strangers to the Super 8. Or flying three legs of a flight over 2 days instead of a straightshot in one afternoon because mom booked the tickets with miles. Again.

Even my kids work hard for our travel opportunities, which was crystal clear on this most recent road trip when we covered 2850 miles in 11 days and 10 nights, slept in 7 different hotels, cleaned up 6 eruptions of carsickness, called on 4 different National Parks/Monuments, and visited 4 cousins. And it all started with this insanely packed visit to Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite:

In less than 48 hours, we’d made it to our scheduled ride on the steam train, panned for gold, swam in the outdoor pool, made it to our scheduled archery session for 5, made it to our dinner reservation (little T fell asleep at the table before we even finished), swam in the indoor pool. The next morning I made my 8:00 a.m. meeting and property tour while big T got the kids fed and ready before meeting our local guide for our family hike (where we ate white fir needles and manzanita berries!), before a quick swim and lunch, before my horseback ride with my daughters, before getting the kids ready to check in for their evening camp, before our “Date Night at Tenaya” where we hit the spa for our couples’ massage before our grownups’ dinner at the lodge, before picking up the kids and hitting our pillows before… making our 9:00 a.m. family rockclimbing session, before checking out and driving 7 hours by way of the Mojave Desert to the next night’s hotel: The Signature MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

What I have left out of this description is the very necessary time I also spend, often in the hotel bathrooms late at night and early in the morning while everyone else sleeps, writing my notes and drafts and editing photos. You can see why I don’t try to publish all my posts DURING our travels. 😉

Well, in spite of a few bumps along the way and returning home completely exhausted, everyone agrees we had an AWESOME trip. And while we did decide to postpone our upcoming roadtrip just slightly (big sigh–did I mention I also have a book project deadline looming in the near future?)… nobody here seems ready to give up mom’s travel writing career any time soon.

—> What’s the craziest trip you ever took with your kids? Do you put any limits on how far you’ll travel or how few days you’ll stay in one place now that you have children?

This post is part of the Photo Friday fun at Deliciousbaby.com.

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Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby

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Robin August 15, 2013 - 10:45 am

I admit, after reading this post I was jealous. I love traveling at a fast pace, and I too, am not ready to give up my job and life style to travel full time. But since having the kids I have had to slow down as my kids are young and just not able to keep the pace without major meltdowns. On our upcoming trip I’ve committed to staying in Buenos Aires the full time, but I’m aching to see other parts of the country. You give me hope that this is temporary and one day sooner than I think I’ll be able to pick up the pace with my kids. Thanks for showing me the light I see at the end of the tunnel is approaching soon.

Shelly Rivoli August 18, 2013 - 12:26 pm

Robyn – there’s a lot to be gained by staying in one place for a good bit of time, especially when it’s a fabulous city to explore and soak up! (One of my favorite ways to go…) Hope you have a fabulous time in Buenos Aires! I can’t remember if you saw this or not, so just in case: http://www.travelswithbaby.com/planning/moms-buenos-aires-travel-tips.htm

Michele {Malaysian Meanders} July 27, 2013 - 7:51 pm

Wow, you really packed in a lot. We’ve slowed down on our last few big trips. the kids were definitely giving me feedback that the pace I had been keeping was too fast and they needed more downtime while traveling.

Sonja July 26, 2013 - 11:00 pm

Voted for you! I love crazy busy trips with the kids – they make for good memories!

Shelly Rivoli August 18, 2013 - 12:27 pm

Thank you, Sonja! You guys definitely pack in the sights, too! 😉

Andrea, Passports And Pushchairs July 26, 2013 - 6:54 pm

We always have a jam packed trip when we return to the UK to visit my inlaws, and we always try to take a trip somewhere else, so we never really get any down time. But it is worth it 🙂

Ann July 26, 2013 - 12:20 pm

Every time we go back to the states we say: this time we’ll keep it simple. It never is. We combine my husband’s work trip with family visits and are family is spread everywhere. Our first trip, when my son was 6 months, involved after flying from Germany: 3 nights in one city in NC, 1 night in another city, 1 night in the original city, 6 nights in Orlando (but switching rooms half-way through because of issues in our original room), 3 nights in south FL, 2 nights in Tampa, 3 nights in central FL. For the most part I try to have a three night minimum for weekend trips. We have a long road trip to Switzerland coming up for just 2 nights… we’ll see if it was worth it.

Shelly Rivoli July 26, 2013 - 6:28 pm

That is one heck of a first travels-with-baby trip! I’m sure you’ll have no problem with a 2-night turnaround to Switzerland! 😉 My husband always begs, please no fewer than 3 nights in any location… I admit spending over one week in the same apartment in Paris was the best! (And I got SO MUCH writing done!) 😉

Beth Henry July 26, 2013 - 11:52 am

Whew! Exhausing for sure! But the adventures sound so fun. I’m glad the kids get so excited about the opportunites. Thanks for sharing what you learn along the way!

Shelly Rivoli July 26, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Thanks, Beth! You definitely do your share of traveling – and sharing, too! 😉

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