Thoughts on Traveling with Young Children

My family is in the middle of a two-week vacation in my hometown in Michigan. We’re visiting my family and lifelong friends and the place that I grew up. We have young children (ages 3.5 and 16 months), but as we come “home” each summer and introduce them to their midwestern roots, the more thankful I am for having somewhere to come home to

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I’ll start with saying the first thing we all think of when it comes to traveling with young children:

Yes, it has been really difficult.

I swore I’d never fly again with a one-year-old after my oldest turned one. I enjoy it the same amount now as I did then–hardly. We brought two car seats along, too, which we transported from the airport to the rental car. Those things are heavy anyway, but add in two children, and our luggage, and oy! It’s one of those things that’s just better not to think about until you absolutely must, and then just press on until it’s over.

Getting young children to sleep in a new place can be tricky. When you’re 2 time zones away from home and have fun cousins around, it’s impossible to get those babes to sleep! My oldest is the first one awake every single morning, despite the fact that she’s barely napping and going to bed late each night. She can’t relax and wants each day to just begin with the sun!

It’s also been so rewarding.

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My girls’ only first cousins live in Michigan, and most years they only see each other once. The 5 cousins were all born in 4 years, so they’re all so happy to be together. My oldest talks about her cousins daily, so these two weeks are everything to her. Seeing my girls play with their cousins and create their own real relationships is truly the sweetest thing to watch. I never imagined before experiencing it how special it is that the kids all enjoy each other so much.

I’ll be longing for my own vacation from vacation by the time we get home, I’m sure. I’m also sure that special times with family are worth the skipped naps, ice cream dinners, and cranky young children. We must make memories in order for them to exist, after all.

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