First, let me clarify. This isn’t Leana. If you are Leana’s kids and you’re reading this, rest assured your trip to Europe is still on! You are pros at flying across the pond, and you will have a great time visiting your family there.
This is Nancy, the one who wrote about how I’m not ready to take my kids to Europe any time soon. A lot has changed since I wrote that post almost a year ago.
Well, my husband and I have had a change of heart. We are not flip-flopping, but, as they say in politics, our “views are evolving.”
Our Position Last Year
In case you didn’t read that post from last year, I laid out all the reasons why I didn’t want to travel to Europe with our kids. My husband has limited vacation time, and it takes a lot of points and cash to get all five of us overseas.
The biggest reason was that we just weren’t in the right season in our lives. Our kids were (still are) a handful. We have picky eaters, last-minute bathroom runners, and grumpy sibling squabbles.
We just didn’t feel like the benefits of traveling to Europe would outweigh the hassle and opportunity cost.
How Quickly Things Change
So what has happened to cause our views to evolve? Things have changed over this past year, and we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
For starters, my youngest entered kindergarten last fall. And because of that, she has grown up in a lot of ways.
While she is still a picky eater, she is no longer as difficult and impossible as she once was. She has surprised us at times throughout the year by trying new foods, even vegetables! Her palate is expanding, and it’s exciting to watch.
Of course, as our kids get older, bathroom issues become less of an obstacle. I’ll just leave it at that to spare my kids embarrassment.
Although sibling squabbles are still a major thing, dare I say they are becoming more manageable? Just recently on our Spring Break trip, we survived an entire week of sleeping all five of us in hotel rooms made for four. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought!
In recent months, my husband has also been able to transition back to working from home a few days a week instead of driving to the office every single day. With all three of our kids in school now, this has given us the opportunity to have a lunch date once every few weeks. And that’s huge! No need to pay a babysitter. Of course, it’s not as good as a weekend date where we don’t have to worry about getting back in time for a work phone call, but it’s better than nothing.
So now, when I think of going on vacation somewhere without a kids club, I’m not filled with dread at the thought of getting no couples time with my husband.
It’s Us, Not Them
To be completely honest, wanting to go to Europe now with our kids is more about us than it is about them. My husband and I are the ones who are itching to go for our benefit.
Would our kids understand the history of places we’d visit better when they are older? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy Europe at their current ages.
It really just comes down to this: the scale is starting to tip to the other side. The benefits of a trip to Europe will (hopefully) outweigh our inconveniences.
So What’s the Plan?
Actually, we don’t have a plan yet. Our vacation schedule is packed for the rest of this year and into early 2018.
Before we pulled the trigger on using miles for tickets to Hawaii for March 2018, we debated on using the miles to go to Europe instead. However, we decided to stick with Hawaii. We loved Hawaii more than we thought we would when we went in 2015, and our kids are the perfect ages for Disney’s Aulani and some of the more adventurous things on Kauai.
After that trip, our schedule is wide open. We could go as early as next summer.
Of course, we are not prepared with a stash of miles and points to book a trip so soon. So, we have some big decisions to make on our future credit card applications.
Undoubtedly, we still have many places in the U.S.A. that we’d like to visit with our kids. My wish list is way longer than our budget and calendar will ever be able to accommodate. But, now my wish list is even longer with more international destinations.
Oddly enough, our first big international overseas trip might not be to Europe at all! My husband really wants to visit a country far away that requires a really long flight that is nowhere near Europe. But, that’s a post for another day. (Any guesses?)
How have your parameters or views on travel with your kids evolved over time? Are you more open to visiting international locations as your children age? Or, have you done that from the beginning? I’d love to hear your stories.
If you’ve found this content beneficial, please look at Support the Site page for ways you can help keep the blog running. Also, subscribe to receive free updates through email and recommend the site to your family and friends. You can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and download free e-book.
Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.