Planning our family’s travels for 2013.
I love planning trips and generally speaking I do it quite far in advance. There was a time when I would have several vacations planned more than a year ahead of time and it was actually a bit of a running joke with friends about how early I planned our holidays. It’s unusual for me to be more than a month into 2013 and just starting to book some of our travel for this year.
So why am I so disorganized this year? It’s quite simple – my kids. I’m finding that the older my children get the more I have to plan around their schedules. Katie is in grade 11 and had committed to a service trip with her school over our spring break in March so I had to wait on her travel dates before I could book a trip for the rest of us. Emma also has a busy schedule as she is performing in a musical in April and can’t miss too many rehearsals. And at this point, we haven’t even started to firm up summer activities for either girl so all I can do is dream about where I might like to go if I can make it work with our schedules.
What do I know for sure? We have finally decided on a destination and started booking flights and accommodations for March break. Katie will be in Ecuador with a group of her classmates for two weeks while the rest of us will be spending a few nights in Las Vegas. We also plan to drive to the Grand Canyon from Vegas and spend a couple of nights at the south rim. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon so I’m excited to be crossing a very BIG item off my travel wish list and I’m quite curious to see what Las Vegas is all about too.
In April, Katie will be traveling with her school choir to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall and there is no way on earth that I am missing that. She and her classmates will be traveling by bus to NYC and spending several days there rehearsing with the choir director. My husband, Emma and I will fly down on Friday evening and spend the weekend in New York City sightseeing and taking in some Broadway shows prior to attending the Sunday evening concert.
Apart from that – nothing is set in stone. We’re hoping to travel to the U.K. at some point during summer vacation to spend time in London (one of our favourite cities) and perhaps on to Edinburgh for a couple of days. If Katie goes away to theatre camp later in the summer then three of us may travel to Alberta to spend a few days in Banff and Jasper – because it’s high time that at least one of my kids sees the Rocky Mountains.
I never imagined that planning travel would be this hard as the kids got older but we’ll find a way to work around it and still fit in as many trips as possible. I’m just going to have to adjust to more spur of the moment planning when we find that we have an opportunity to get away.
Do you have difficulty planning family travel around your children’s busy schedules? Any tips on making it work?
Have you liked our Facebook page yet? I post articles from the blog there as well as photo albums from our travels and other travel news. Or, if you prefer, you can subscribe to the free RSS feed or sign up for an email subscription to keep up-to-date on our travel adventures.
Tonya @ The Traveling Praters
Yes, travel does get more difficult as the kids get older. It has been easier for us since we homeschool, but extracurricular activities, church programs and jobs all cut into that precious family time.
I’m really feeling a crunch now because I have one child planning to join the military this year and swears that anything I plan beyond summer will not include him. That is really hard for this momma to swallow.
If you have time in NYC, A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza tours is awesome, will entertain you, feed you and give your feet a rest. Also, my daughter loved Serendipity for the atmosphere and Dylan’s Candy Bar is a fun stop for ice cream.
Michele @ Malaysian Meanders
I am a terrible procrastinator, and now that I feel like we can go anywhere, it’s been hard for me to decide and plan. Spring Break is in 6 weeks, and I still don’t have anything lined up. When we still lived in North America and only took 1-2 big trips a year, it was much easier for me to plan. I’m waiting on Scout camp and high school reunion dates to figure out our summer.
Extracurricular activities are definitely the big one for us – my daughters both have plenty of holidays from school but it’s the activities that eat into that time. Even harder to imagine one going off and not living at home anymore – not that far away for me either but I feel for you!
We aren’t going to have a lot of time in NYC but I’m really hoping to get to Serendipity and Dylan’s Candy Bar – Emma will love them both!
Don’t feel bad – we’re less than a month away from our spring break and I just booked it! You have so many incredible choices to consider now – it must be hard to decide!
I’ve been frustrated by this too – especially once they get into high school and their athletic events are mandatory, as well as summer practices. No matter when I seem to plan a trip it ends up interfering with something.
Makes you long a bit for the simpler days when you could just make plans for whatever date suited you, doesn’t it?
Sounds like a fun travel year ahead. Planning around a busy hockey and riding schedule is difficult. It means that most of our trips fall within summer months.
It seems to get harder each year, Katja, as the schedules become more demanding. Both of mine are heavily involved with theatre groups and now Katie is talking about a summer job for July and maybe going to a theatre workshop for two weeks in August. And I’m thinking “what about me?”!!
Thanks for joining our All Canadian Link Up! I have trouble planning things around the kids schedule too! Between hockey, baseball, cooking classes and a new baby, we are ALWAYS on the go and someone always ends up disappointed when you try to fit another thing in.
Looks like you have many great locations on your list and you are making the most of the time that you have. My curse is sports schedules….Ugh!
Luckily my kids are young enough that we dont face these issues, but I kno we will someday soon. Looks like you just keep going – good for you! Hope I can manage the same…
This is scary news for me. My boys are 8 & 4.5 & I’m already counting down how many summers we have left before the oldest leaves for college. I assumed of course, that their first choice would be to go on any family vacation we had planned. Forgot about all those pesky social commitments that come with growing up.
BTW, you will LOVE the Grand Canyon. I highly recommend you catch the sunrise one morning. 🙂
It sure is interesting how much Kids have going on…our second son Zachery is doing year 11 and year 12 together in one year through TAFE – and yep we are trying to plan trips in and around his time table…sure is more challenging as they get older!
But then again also more interesting cause they get to see more, remember more about their trips and hopeful help with planning – at least that is what I am hoping for.
Love that you are into planning…I am normally more go with whatever type of traveller.
There really aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes, are there?
I think that I’m just going to have to get better at planning more last-minute trips when the time becomes available! I think it’s so important that our kids be well-rounded and have extracurricular activities that they are passionate about but it is crazy that it’s so hard to plan for other important things like travel around the activities.
Adam, I think there are only two choices – find a way to work around the activities or stay home – and I’m not willing to stay home! 😉
Debi, I hate thinking about how few trips we have left as a family now that my oldest is 16. Part of the reason it drives me crazy when people say that you should wait until your kids are older to travel. If you wait until they are 10 then you may only have 6 or 8 summer trips to take before they go off to school.
Can’t wait for the Grand Canyon and I promise I will try to get up for the sunrise!!
I love to plan, Lisa – things don’t always work according to my plan but I do it anyway! 😉
Wow! From the Grand Canyon to Carnegie Hall, sounds as though you and the girls will find yourself at some amazing GPS points this year! I’m a planner myself; I hate finding out after I’ve been somewhere that I missed something right around the corner.
I’m the same, Lesley, I cannot bear the thought of having missed something – so I try not to leave any stone unturned in the planning process.
I thought I was the only one who started planning our vacations WAY in advance! Good to know I’m not alone, but yes I understand the working around things. For me, it’s my husband schedule that drives me crazy. He’s a farmer so his days are all messed up and then I have to work around school schedules. My son doesn’t get a spring break(3 days around Easter doesn’t count in my opinion) and since Easter is in the spring, my husband can’t get away. So our trips have to be Jan-Feb-March, Christmastime, and late-July-early August and even that isn’t specific. I usually end up having to pull my son out of school for the winter trips and then we try and take one summer family trip. I love traveling in the spring and fall, but those are trips I end up taking by myself or with just my son. Sports are starting to take up some time but my son is more into Boy Scouts and 4-H stuff.
Looks like a fun year planned already and good luck with figuring it all out :).
Oh and I forgot if/when you get to the Grand Canyon I’m with Debi definately catch a sunrise. Absolutely breathtaking, but plan to be with crowds, even during that early hour 🙂
Not only are my kids getting older and busier, my husband is in a middle of a big project at work that won’t end until the fall, so we can’t plan any family trips too far in advance. It is driving me absolutely CRAZY!!
Sounds like some good trips are taking shape! Would love to go to the Grand Canyon – how exciting for you guys!
If you have time in NYC, walking the highline is quite nice. I would definitely recommend it. The gardens will all be starting to bloom – it will be lovely! I enjoyed it in January and New Yorkers are very proud of it! Have a great time. Hope the Carnegie Hall concert goes well for every one….that is certainly going to be a memorable experience. Tres cool for your family.
That’s the advantage of being a grand-dad instead of a parent; there’s a Pompano Beach Spa with my name on it sometime this year, and I am going to have to decide which place I want to spend a month in the winter. But Florida, late this summer of early fall, when the beach is great and the bass are hungry? Still, I wish I was young again – the quick weekends away were always the best. A fast decision, lets go Friday night and back Monday!
Sounds like you have some great plans in the works, Stan! I’m hoping to get our summer plans sorted out in the next few weeks. Right now we have New York City to look forward to this coming weekend! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for the recommendation of the highline – hoping we have time to get a bit of sightseeing in!
It’s so crazy! I’m starting to think that I should just go with whoever is available to go with me! 😉