Most would say that preparing for a small trip is fun and exciting. For me, while exciting and fun, it is a lot of hard work. It usually starts out with someone getting sick before we leave and then I’m stressing if the trip is truly going to happen for all of us. We are T minus 3 days until we leave for a four day trip to Chicago, and our daughter already started off puking. I’m sure she’ll be fine before we leave, but it just adds to the constant list of things to sort out before we leave.
Also, we are doing this trip on a budget. Each of us are flying for less than $100 round trip. The hotel stay, I had a free night racked up on http://www.hotels.com so I got a 3 night stay off the Michigan Ave. for less than $100 a night. Did I mention we get free breakfast and cocktails as well? Then there is what to do in Chicago. Groupon.com is my friend right now! We got tickets for the John Handcock Observatory using a 20% off for $52. Then, I signed up to a few restaurant discount cards, so we have dinners with either free desserts or appetizers. I also plan on my first stop being at Trader Joes, which is right around the corner from our hotel the Saturday we get there! Kids always need snacks and in my third trimester, I frankly need them as well! I don’t want to get caught in a long dinner queue starving or having my blood sugar drop dramatically.
When we travel we take cash, so we know exactly how much we have to spend. It helps to keep us on budget. We have a few kid activities planned, such as LEGOLAND and the children’s museum, but mostly we go to just get away from the routine of life and to splurge on a proper shopping trip.
I hope everyone gets to take a mini holiday with their children. While it can be stressful, the children enjoy the new experiences and they can add another place to a map that they have never been in the world. Our children have travelled to the UK and Wales. We flew out of Chicago last year, so they haven’t seen the downtown, but have “technically” been to the city. Every year I want to take them somewhere new. My family never really traveled when I was young, so I want to give them a rich cultural experience that I didn’t get until I traveled on my own from 19 – 25. And by then, you do everything on the cheap, because you are having way too much time having fun on your own!
The more our children explore, the broader their views and opinions become. They will be able to give an opinion that may matter for more than just their 15 mile radius.