Believe it or not, I’ve never spent more than a couple of hours away from the kids. It’s been over three years since I’ve gone anyway alone or with friends! But more over, my sister and I haven’t gone anywhere together either, EVER!
I’ve been struggling this summer and just needed a night away to reset. I mean let’s be real.
I. Needed. A. Break.
This weekend we headed up to Dallas to spend time with family, and because we live in Austin, Waco happens to be on the way to D-town. And of course that meant I had to make a pit stop at Magnolia Market because who isn’t obsessed with Joanna and Chip Gaines and Fixer Upper?!?!
But alas, this picture doesn’t do justice. I didn’t make it in… It was ridiculously packed, the kids were cray, and there was no way I was going to make it inside and be able to actually enjoy it since we would be the family with two psychotic children at nap time trying to have a good time. And omg, what if Joanna was there? Definitely not the impression I wanted to leave. I mean, what if we are meant to be besties and this is what ruined it for me… #yearight. HA.
This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
A fun couple of days were spent at this amazing waterpark/campground down in Sheridan, Texas! It’s about two hours from Austin and totally worth the drive! We stayed in one of their cabins on the property, which was so much fun to do with the kids! Deer watching, firefly catching, throwing a frisbee kind of fun! It’s the perfect place to unplug since you’re far away from everything, and sometimes that is exactly what you need to connect with the people you love.
Rudy and I had decided when we had Aria that we wouldn’t stop traveling just because we had kids. We realized that we may have to alter how crazy our destinations are these first few years because of our kids’ ages, but we know that as things get easier with them getting older, the world is our oyster! I’m all about wanting our kids to see the world, and enriching their lives with other cultures. I want them to be broad minded and also learn how to adapt. I feel like one of the most important things that I’ve learned from just these last few years of travel with our kids is flexibility.
I can tell you right now that I love my routine and schedule, and therefore I’m not great at being flexible. Actually, I stink at being flexible. I actually don’t like that about myself at all, and would love for my kids to not have this trait. I’d like for them to be able to switch up routines and it not rock their world. Shockingly, it’s actually them that are teaching me that it’s alright to switch it up now and then, and not worry about the day to day so much. It’s been freeing. But I digress…
Now, I’m no pro at travel with kids in tow, but I’ve picked up a few things here and there that could potentially help another mama out if they decide to get on a plane with their littles!
- When choosing flights, choose timings that will work with your kids! If you know that witching hour is awful, don’t choose a 5 PM flight. If they are great in the mornings, that’s obviously a better option. But if your kiddos still nap, definitely choose a flight that is during their nap! It’s awesome to drain their energy out at the airport right before, and then they pass out on the plane, which means you can relax too! We are actually tempted to try a red eye with our babies because I think that no matter what, they are tired and it may work in our favor…stay tuned for when that happens!
- I highly suggest traveling with a stroller. Most of the time, they will let you check it right at the gate before you get on the plane, which helps with putting the kids somewhere along with any carry-ons you are also traveling with. I like my sit and stand (we have this one!), because it gives Aria an option to sit and ride, or get off and walk around with us.
- If you have a sitter or a crawler who isn’t walking, I definitely recommend some sort of baby carrier. When Rishi was really little (4 months) and we traveled with him, I had the Solly wrap and wore him on the plane and through the airport like that and it was perfect to have my hands free. I will say that it was also helpful to have the Ergo or the Bjorn when Aria was a little over one to be able to strap her onto our bodies and get through the airport even faster! No matter what, if your tot isn’t fully capable of walking sturdily, have a carrier! It’ll def help!
- Snacks. Have loads of them. I always keep “fun” snacks too. The ones that are horrible for your kid but will hopefully bribe them into behaving. Fruit snacks, gummies, candy, chips, etc. You get it. I keep a mix of both healthy and unhealthy snacks so that while we are at the airport and on the plane, I have food that they will definitely eat, and keep everyone’s sanity!
- Pacifiers. If your little one likes pacis, use it during takeoff and landing. Or if you’re nursing, it’s perfect for them to feed during those times too! Helps with the pressure on their ears! If they don’t take soothies, and they are a little older, I recommend little lollipops… Think dumdums! They are small and perfect for little hands to hold and suck on so their ears don’t pop!
- Toys. I tend to hit up the dollar spot at Target or go to the dollar store prior to a trip. I load up on little knick knacks that are fun new surprises! You never know how long you’ll get stuck at the airport in case of a delay, or the TSA lines are super long…or worse, if you get stuck on the tarmac. #shootmenow If you have busy bags, or new coloring books, those are great ideas too for keeping the kiddos busy!
- iPad or tablets. Yes, I’m the mom that loves the iPad. Judge all your want but if you’re sitting next to me, would you rather have a screaming child and an exhausted mother, or one who is calm with her child just watching some Frozen or playing an educational game or two? I’m hoping you choose the latter because that’s definitely what I want! I fill the iPad with games and movies and this definitely helps with killing time!
Hope this helps any parents looking to travel but are a little freaked out about getting on that bird with tots in tow! =)
Oh man. What an amazing vacation with family! If there is a vacation to do with kids (because that statement doesn’t really exist because traveling with kids is not easy), it’s definitely an all-inclusive like this one! We’ve done a few in the past few years but nothing has lived up to this resort! Extremely baby friendly and so serene. We spent a week hanging with family. Nothing but chilling, eating, drinking, chatting, and pool/beach time. It was awesome to say the least. Plus watching Aria and Rish interact with their cousins is an amazing sight. I never got to do that growing up since we didn’t have that much family nearby, so I cherish the fact that my kids are going to be close to their cousins.
Nonetheless, I wanted to point out the highlights of this resort for anyone looking to find a fun spot to try with their families. I tried looking for more reviews on TripAdvisor and similar sites, but was having a tough time understanding if this place was going to be good with my crew, and it ended up being pretty darn awesome. So I figured I’d blog about it to help more people looking for an easy destination with kids! Oh, and this is also a giant picture dump of our trip so beware! Just wanted to give a quick warning! And no, this isn’t sponsored or anything. Just a mom trying to help out other mamas who want a vacation that has no meal planning, cooking, laundry, or dishes!!! WOOOHOOOO!
- The resort is extremely well staffed and they are more than polite. I’ve stayed at other resorts with a similar style and their staff is no where near as nice.
- The beach is AH-MAZING. The sand is soft and silky beneath your feet with clear water. We even sat in the water while little fishes swam all around us! Aria absolutely thought it was amazing and believed them to be Nemo’s friends!
- The food is actually good. All inclusive resorts have a negative connotation when it comes to their cuisine, but all our meals were actually delicious. Our steaks were cooked to perfection just like we asked. And they have a couple of restaurants on site that don’t require reservations which is great when traveling with littles!
- They trust you. There is no “towel card” or anything like that for when you’re at the pool/beach. You can use towels in the bins that are located around the property.
- This resort is beyond baby friendly! They will provide you with pack and plays or cribs. They will also give you baby monitors!! They have high chairs at every restaurant – and I’m not talking about the rinky dinky ones. These are the nice cushioned fisher price ones! They give the kids something to draw on and crayons every time you go to eat! They even have gerber baby food if you need it! Kids menus as well which rocks, with simple things like mac and cheese/chicken nuggets/spaghetti/etc, if they aren’t up for exotic cuisine.
- EXTREMELY clean. Our room was so clean. I detest dirty resorts and I’m sure most do. But this resort is well maintained and the greenery is constantly being looked after, so the place just has this perfect beauty around the clock.
- There aren’t a lot of pool options. The pools are a little on the smaller side, which I was fine with but my husband didn’t think there was a lot of space. There is however a kiddie pool that is only about 2 feet deep which I thought was awesome since the kids could play with more ease.
- The bar doesn’t really face the pool so the swim-up bar sort of sucks. You have to try pretty hard to get their attention unless you get out and walk to it. Which is all of 20 steps, but you know what I mean.
- There are no buffets. All restaurants (besides breakfast at the main restaurant) are order only. So they are all sit down and order. We were ok with it since they brought out the kids food relatively fast but there is definitely a wait so plan accordingly!
Alright, now scroll through and you can just see how amazing our trip really was!!
Til’ next time Mexico!!