International Travel: Family Style

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I have always wanted to go to Spain. In fact, I had a family ready to hire me as their Au Pair in Madrid waaay back in 2007 when I finished my bachelors degree. I also happened to meet the man of my dreams and decided to stick around to be with him instead of going on my one way trip to Spain. Well, now that we have started our family, I’m not giving up on the dream!

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Since I met my husband we have done some traveling and even got married in Hawaii. But we still haven’t made it to my number one spot, Spain. We are looking to go this summer with our little guy in tow. He’ll be a hair over a year old and probably quite the handful. Also, my husbands family and a good friend may possibly join us, which would be a huge help with the tot. I’m so glad I was able to convince them to consider a European trip. We all get along and have traveled together before, so I know it will be a great time. 

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Before we had kids, we always said we wanted to travel and to continue traveling when we have a family. We also said we wanted to be active and still do some of things we did pre-kid (go out to eat, hang with friends, etc). We’ve done a decent job so far of being active and travelling. In my sons 4 short months this side of the womb, we’ve gone on a road trip from our house in upstate New York to visit friends in Jacksonsville, FL and stopped to see other friends all along the way. We’ve been to NYC twice, Rochester (where my family is from) 3 times, and the Jones family cottage a ton too. We certainly haven’t been home bodies! We take full advantage of our summers off from school (we’re teachers). 

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So now, we’re stepping it up a notch and traveling outside the US, with passports, international flights and all that jazz. I haven’t wavered in my eagerness to make it happen. I have however, secretly started realizing what a different and more low key trip it will be simply because we have our son with us. We won’t be able to be too spontaneous about what we do and where we go. We’ll need to plan a nap into our day and be back at our hotel or vacation rental by bed time. In addition to seeing the sights, we’ll be changing diapers every where we go. He may or may not be walking, regardless we’ll probably need a stroller. Do we try to check ours on the plane? Or can we rent one somewhere when we arrive? Or maybe we just buy a cheap umbrella stroller and call it a souvenir. How will he do on the flight? Will he get sick and/ or screamy? I heard about someone that made up little baggies with candy and a note apologizing for how her children might act on the flight for each passenger. I certainly don’t have the time or energy to do that! I’m hoping big smiles, technology and snacks will keep the little one manageable.

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Oh and did I mention that my husbands sister wants to go to France while we’re at it? Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to check out French town but it’s not on my dream list and I’d be happy focusing our efforts in Espana. She speaks french and has been there at least twice before. Her and her husband don’t have any kids and they’re the bookshop, cafe, museum type. Not the best venues for families. Although I’m not opposed to them, I just hope we don’t get kicked out for being too loud and covered in buggers. All in all, it will be an adventure. Perhaps not the fly by the seat of your pants, eat out at fancy restaurants, and drink all day vacations of my past, but a new kind of adventure, full of watching the awe and curiosity of a one year old’s first flight or first empanada. 

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