Vacation to Hawaii with 6 month old Grant was just like being home but better. A cruise followed by a week in Florida with 10 month old Grant (we live in California) was awesome and at times we wanted to die. HA!
At home, he was sleeping in his own room and only waking once if at all in the night. On the trip, we were in a mix of hotel rooms, the cruise ship, rental cars and my parents’ place. The new beds, temperatures and having us 6 inches away from him meant only 2 hour stints of sleep. Then we all got the flu.
There were many nights where Chris and I turned on each other during long crying bouts…”This is crazy…we’re never leaving the house…” HA! Then Grant goes to sleep and we kiss each other goodnight.
We haven’t been happier. Having our families around and getting to spend time with Grant has been one of the most wonderful feelings we’ve had. We also got to have a few dates!
We are back. He’s sleeping 10000% better and so are we. As soon as the sniffles subside I’m sure we’ll be planning our next trip.
Do you stress about travel preparations…packing, planning and leaving your home? I LOVE to travel but I TOTALLY go nutzo in preparing! Here are a few things I’ve learned to let go of and simplify to properly ease into a vacation.
I may or may not have been known to stay up all night before even just a weekend trip, packing, cooking and cleaning my whole home to spotless perfection. EW! I’ve changed. HA!
Order in the night before so that kitchen cleanup is out of the equation. I am big on cooking a full-on meal nearly every night. I really feel like it’s my job to make homemade meals for my fam. I also get overwhelmed if I have to do this the night before a trip.
I have a travel toiletry bag pretty much ready to go at all times.
OK, confession, I kind of have a zippered carryon bag ready to go too. Refill your Airborne tubes etc as soon as you get home from the trip so it’s rearing and ready for the next one!
SHOP FOR FUN ITEMS
I always make a shopping trip to get a few fun new things for the vacation arsenal. Here are a few of my faves for this trip:
Bite in Madeira high pigment pencil. A girlfriend whipped one of these fancy, smooth twist pencil hues out on a shopping date a while back and I stumbled upon it at Sephora. LUSCIOUS!!! I LOVE the texture this stuff and the twist/pencil design is really cool.
My sister once said she had a MAC lipstick that was basically the exact color of her lips and loved it. THIS is what this color looks like on me. If I were a celebrity doing one of those “makeup free” ads, technically I could wear this and not be wearing makeup.
Maison Du SoirIbiza Floral “dress.” This is going to be a beach coverup, day cruising casual dress and possible a nightgown as well. SO easy to wash in the sink and so comfortable. Heck, “SO HOT RIGHT NOW, Hansel!” I based my mani and pedi on it yesterday.
Today we are cruising in the Caribbean for a week and then we have a week in Florida. My husband has turned me into a cruiser! I had heard about it for years from my friend, Linda who does an annual ladies cruise with her girlfriends. I had avoided them because after my Navy days, sailing around for a week was work! Well, now I get it!
This week we are transitioning Grant to his crib (and own room) and he has started sleeping through the night. I have to say this is one of the hardest things I have ever done and it is very emotional for me. I keep focusing on the benefits for him getting a good night’s rest and having his own space. I truly miss him and I even cry at night! HA! I wish so badly for him to be back in our room and I know that this is the only way he was going to be able to sleep through the night well.
On another note…this trail was so awesome!!!! I was snapping photos like crazy on this trip. Hope your week is off to a great start!
After a week in the jungles of The Big Island near Hilo, we came to stay a week on Kauai. This island was too fun to photograph!! I was in love with the treehouse we stayed in. The finishes were so beautiful. The bottom photo is from our bedroom patio. We were there only for a little over a week but I felt like it was our home. AH! Going on vacation really gave us time to connect and be the most present with each other that we have been since having Grant. Vacations always give us a lot of clarity on the next steps in life too. I’m so recharged with fun new goals and a more positive attitude!!! Gah! Happy Monday!!
I totally have those friends who do month(s) long vacations where they spend the larger part in a more “affordable” area and shorter portions in more expensive places. Think Thailand $ for a while and then a short trip to Japan $$$$.
I have always been intimated by vacation planning and payment. My friends or husband always do the planning and I show up with an attitude up for anything (swimming with manatees and nurse sharks-this is mortifying to me). Now with some practice though, I’m getting the hang of it and want to share some tips on getting the most out of vacation because I’m 1. Thrifty and 2. A Glutonous Taurus.
Maximize Your Vacation
1. Go to a place that has multiple venues/destinations nearby and take multiple vacations in a small geographic area.
We are on a Hawaiin vacation now. We started the trip on The Big Island of Hawaii (pictured above) and now we are enjoying Kuai (photos to come). In Europe we did a cruise to visit multiple countries and then spent time in Rome and Paris on our own. Do you know how it kills me that we didn’t also take the train from Paris to London!? AH!
2. Start low then go fancy!
We usually start our vacation at a less expensive destination and our accommodations improve as the vacation goes on. ANYWHERE is going to be awesome in the first couple of days.
In Belize we started in a jungle hut and then ended in a nice hotel on a little caye. We also took time to go see the Mayan pyramids in nearby Guatemala at the start of the trip.
3. Start fast then go slow!
It takes us a little time to wind down into a vacation. At the start, the adrenaline is there to go spelunking. snorkeling etc. We like to then ease into lounging after some activities.
4. Be a local.
VRBO has saved us so much money and given us incredible “local” experiences. Our apartment in Paris was 1/4 the price of many hotels!!!!
Nice places will even have all the beach towels, rain umbrellas, snorkels etc. you need. Having laundry onsite allows you to pack super light and saves time and hassle of laundromats.
Find the local farmers markets and grocery stops to stock your place with snacks. We get standard oatmeal/cereal and almond milk to have around for early or late night snacking. Fruits and vegetables are great to have around because sometimes there isn’t much of that when dining out.
Purchase alocholic beverages and do picnics. I saw lots of people doing fancy little picnics in Paris and eating on the beach is always so fun.
Acai bowls, crepe stands, quiche and street tacos!!! You will save a lot of dough.
6. Do your research!
You can buy tickets ahead of time to see The David in Florence. If you wait until you get there, the tickets for that day may be sold out or there may be a long line for them!
Make a hot list of the places you want to see and activities you want. Even get an idea of what you may want to buy so you pounce on it when you see a good one.
Those Lonely Planet books are great. I also love Rick Steves for Europe. There are great apps as well.
I am obsessive about being prepared for anything. When on trips, I want to make SURE I have that moleskin packed in case I or someone in my party gets blisters from new shoes or eighteen remedies in case someone catches a cold.
Here is the toiletry bag I keep stocked and ready to go when I have the luxury of traveling heavy. My makeup bag is separate and a whole other story.
This is an inexpensive bag I bought at Marshalls.
I got this pack of smaller bags at Marshalls as well to further organize within the larger bag.
The “medicine bag” holds:
wellness fizz (aka Airborne)
Bach Flower remedies for travel (special yarrow) and calming (five flower aka rescue remedy)
Homeopathic medicine for shock/trauma (aconite) and inflammation (arnica)
My secret Korean “regularity” mix powder pack
Neosporin and bandaids
(I keep the Advil in my carry on bag)
The fillable bottles:
no-bumps shave gel
MAC Fix spray (gotta buy a small spray bottle for this guy) I barely use is but it is ESSENTIAL on special occasions.
Antiperspirant (I usually use powder instead but again, essential when wearing a fancy dress or for a special occasion)
sunscreens for body and face
Chloe rollerball perfume
blow dry lotion
Gotta bring a couple Sally Hansen wax strips.
Nail essentials (I only have 1 good cuticle cutter and I throw that in if I’m going on a long trip):
Some odds and ends:
These go in the suitcase:
I like to pack a few zip lock bags in different sizes just in case too! What else do you pack?!
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