Family travel isn’t just a set of parents traveling with their child, or children. In fact, my husband, Mark, and I have yet to take a trip with our 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Lucia – just the three of us. There always seems to be another family member (or two) joining us on our journey. Come to think of it, my husband and I have not even traveled together much, thanks to conflicts with work and school schedules. But am I going to let these scheduling snafus stop me from traveling entirely? Of course not. That’s where my mom and my sister come in. They, along with Lucia, have become my loyal traveling companions. It is multi-generational travel at its finest. In the past few years, we have been to: Washington, D.C.; Florida; Cape Cod; and, most recently, Italy. I know, you’re thinking, “You are crazy! You and your husband should be enjoying your travels with your daughter.” We do enjoy our trips but there are a few advantages to bringing my mom and/or my sister along:
— Mark does the driving; I do the map-reading and navigating; mom or my sister keeps Lucia occupied in the backseat. Crises: averted.
— Mark and I want to talk a walk together or go out for a nice dinner. Mom or my sister = instant baby-sitter.
— I want to go out for a few drinks and take in the local nightlife; Mark wants to stay in and relax. Lucia stays with Mark, and I get to go out drinking with my sister. That’s what I call a win-win situation.
— I’m a guy’s girl, so I can do the sporty, outdoorsy stuff like fishing and hiking, but I’m still female so I do like to shop. All in one day I can go fishing with Mark, then clean up and go shopping with my mother. Either Lucia comes with us or she stays behind with another of the adults.
Multi-generational travel can be done – and it can be fun. But most importantly, the memories are irreplaceable; my daughter is getting to see the world with people who love her most.
What is your idea of family travel?