Hello! Long time no talk.
I tell you what, summer took its toll. That and a full work, kid, and hobby schedule. And our oldest son starting school.
But we’ve been able to fit in a little travel. And travel hasn’t been far from our planning minds.
One of the hardest things for me is to reign in all my travel ambitions. I have so many places I want to go. So many experiences I want to give my kids. So much food I want to try.
Until now, getting away has been relatively easy for me. I just cram like crazy at work before and after, and all is well. Now we have a school schedule to factor in, and that sure complicates things.
What we don’t have is unlimited funds. And sometimes what we want to do and what we can do don’t jive. We haven’t been overseas with the boys yet this year, and the odds of making it happen aren’t great.
But, hey! I’m rambling.
Sometimes I have to remind myself -
It’s not where we travel as much that we travel. Especially with kids.
Sure, I’d love it if we took a couple long weekends per year around the state. And a couple weeks to visit family throughout the country. And a week somewhere new – by car or plane – around North America. And maybe a couple trips to Europe, somewhere new and somewhere familiar. And then maybe the occasional really far afield trip (something we’ve yet to try.)
That all sounds neat, doesn’t it. Fancy fantasy land.
We’ve actually had some pretty solid runs. I wrote it down the other day. There’s a couple years where we checked off a good portion of that list. How did that happen?
Here’s the key, we didn’t force it. We just kept travel a priority, and we chose our shots.
Sometimes it was a big trip with lots of action. Sometimes we used miles and careful timing to go on the cheap. But we went.
A few factors have complicated things this year. Schedules and a decision to make sure our boy doesn’t miss school in his first year of kindergarten is big factor. Our availability has been very limited. And when you don’t have a flexible schedule, it’s tougher to find good priced tickets. And plane tickets are by far the priciest part of our travels.
Two things I’ll remember to increase our hit rate in the future:
1 – We’ll block time and make priorities much further into the future. This will help us schedule around everything going on in our lives, and it will help us make sure we’re capitalizing on all of our opportunities. Looking back at the first half of the year, we might have gotten that overseas trip scheduled in the spring – back before school when we could be more flexible.
2 – We’ll have fall back plans and we’ll know when to use them. It’s a shame to have availability, time off and a budget, and then not go because the first option is out of reach. That’s what happened to our planned October trip – we waited too long looking for a deal and we didn’t have a back up plan.
Which all comes back to – just travel. Make it a priority wherever it may be.
Next up for us is Thanksgiving. We planned to go visit family in Palm Springs – we’ve never been. Since we’re not going anywhere in October, we’ve decided to extend that trip and make it a genuine road trip, with Santa Fe and some other stops along the way.
And who knows – we might just squeeze that overseas trip in, stay tuned.