One of the big reasons I hear people talk about not wanting to travel with their toddler is jet lag. Outside the three hour time difference from US coast to US coast, the time change for toddlers can be big from six hours from New York to Europe to nine hours from San Francisco to Europe or more if you fly to Asia. So how do you deal with the jet lag?
I was so inspired by the San Francisco Decorator Showcase this morning that I wanted to share a few pics. It’s the last weekend to see it before it closes, so if you haven’t already, go check it out. I loved how the designers were able to embrace the traditional Italian architecture with more modern interior design, and of course the amazing views of the bay help. What’s on your long weekend to do list?
Everyone has different strategies for packing. I am not a super light packer. If there is room in the bag, I tend to throw in one more layer just in case. At the same time, it is a balance; you don’t want to be schlepping a ton of stuff you aren’t going to use. I find it easier to pack lighter for the boys than myself. I thought I would give you a peek into our packing from our Bali/Singapore trip.
Bali was an awesome place to travel with kids. It is a short flight from Australia, so there are a ton of Australian tourists, but coming from the US, we didn’t know a lot of people who had been to Bali and could give us personal perspective on where to go/what to do. Bali is to Australia what Hawaii is to the West Coast of the US or the Caribbean is to the East Coast of the US. Because there are a decent amount of tourists, there are great hotels and restaurants, combined with a lot of interesting activities and culture to explore/learn about. We only had 5 days in Bali, and I wish we had more. I feel like we missed a lot of great parts of Bali, I can’t wait to go back some day, there is so much more to explore.
We love to hike. Sadly, our kids do not…yet. I totally sympathize with them, up until college, I did not really like hiking, I would do it with friends on school field trips or something like that, but it wasn’t one of my passions. Going to college in Vermont, I learned to LOVE hiking. Luckily Mr. H also loves spending time outdoors.
Pre-kids and post kids we try and get out and hike as often as we can (which isn’t as often as we would like). Post kids, those trips are a little less frequent, and the hikes are a little different (shorter, more mellow), but still great to get outside. Someone once told us that a child can hike the same number of miles as their age (ie. a 3 year old can hike 3 miles). We have been using this as our guide over the last couple of years and it seems to be a pretty accurate benchmark.
One of my favorite parts of living in San Francisco is the access to amazing outdoor activities within minutes, including hiking. My current fave hikes with kids are Lands End and Stowe Lake:
As I prepare for our next trip (18 hours of flying, eek!), I am reminded of how far we have come from being the “best behaved kid on the plane” to the self declared worst passenger on the plane and then back to somewhere in between. When traveling with big D when he was little, people would come up to us in the airport after plane rides and tell us they had never seen such a well behaved kid. (I kid you not.) Even after an overseas flight to Paris with a 16 month old, we were receiving congratulations from other passengers on what a great traveler he was. So it was quite a fall from grace, when after a five hour flight to Hawaii with big D and Tater Tot in September, we were asked “is he always like this?” (referring to Tater Tot’s plane antics).
Gone are my budget travel days when I would walk from hostel to hostel looking for the cheapest price. We aren’t super budget travelers anymore, but at the same time, we want to get the best value for our money. We don’t care about super high end restaurants or hotels, but do want mid-priced, well located hotels/airBNBs and restaurants that serve yummy food. Here is a break down of our budget for a family of four for one week in Panama.
We spent the week after Christmas in Panama. A lot of friends asked us why we picked Panama? We picked Panama because 1.) it is a relatively short flight from the US and good for a one week vacation 2.) it has beautiful beaches 3.) it is warm in December 4.) it has interesting sights and culture and 5.) it is not super expensive (although prices are higher the week after Christmas, than other times of the year).
Panama is a great destination with kids, not only for the above reasons, but also because there are so many kid friendly activities once you are there. During our week, we spent two and a half days in Panama City and four days on the beaches near Bocas Del Toro. There is also amazing hiking in the rain forests inland (near Boquete), but we decided we didn’t have enough time to go there as well (reason to return!). Here are our top 5 activities with kids we loved in Panama:
Having grown up in San Francisco, I have had a lot of time to think about what I like and don’t like about the city. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to move somewhere else. The East Coast, with its beautiful fall leaves, snow white winters (skiing!) and warm summers, sounded perfect. However, every time I move away (and I have tried three times) I find myself moving back within only a year or two. Sure, San Francisco has its pitfalls; traffic, high cost of living, too many hipsters, but there are so many things that I love, that it is hard to stay away. There are so many reasons to love SF that I thought I would share, in a series of love letters to sf, some of my favorite parts of the city.