About 18 months ago, Sarah and I did a Best of Both Worlds episode on our 5-year travel plans. We’re going to be revisiting that topic in our Patreon discussion next week (noon, eastern, on Thursday June 22 if you’d like to join the community before then!)
I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I remember that my kids are getting older. My eldest will likely leave for college in approximately 2.25 years. While it’s entirely possible that he will spend some time at home during school, and potentially go on trips with us then, it won’t be automatic (and I never came home for more than a week or two after going to college — I got jobs elsewhere in the summers).
Even before college, kids have their own things they like to do. We considered a President’s Day weekend trip this past year, but didn’t go because one child was in a competition. And we have a situation this summer where we’re taking an extended family trip (booked a year ago) and so a different child elected not to go to a competition he’d qualified for (he was totally fine with it — but I’d like to have it be open time if he qualifies next year. We just didn’t know when it was when we booked — or now that I’m thinking about it, even that he would do that activity…).
So I am plotting out possibilities. Each year there are a few potential slots that work with the school calendar. We wouldn’t travel for all of them (it would be extremely expensive and exhausting) but we could for some.
School is out from mid-June to the beginning of September, and my husband can usually take two weeks or so during this time. I can take kids on more trips (individually or collectively) but we probably would only be able to do two with him.
There is Thanksgiving…we often haven’t done anything this week because I hear horror stories of Thanksgiving travel. But the kids get a half day on Wednesday that could probably be skipped, giving us a 5-day option if we wanted it.
There is Christmas. I like to be here for Christmas itself (so Santa can find us! And I sing in Christmas Eve services) but we would then have Dec 26-Jan 1 or so.
We have some days off around MLK weekend and Presidents Day. We tend not to go anywhere during the first because it comes so soon after Christmas (two weeks, generally) but that is a possibility for a shorter trip. The kids get two days off for Presidents Day so we’ve definitely done that in the past but now we have the competition issue (it’s an annual one).
Spring break happens some time in March/April. Since it corresponds with Easter (usually) I tend to want to sing in Holy Week services, and thus get back on Thursday or Friday. But I wouldn’t have to (and I might not this coming year — I’m trying to do a bigger trip with at least the older boys).
And those are basically the slots. So, I have been trying to plot out how each year might work, and how to create each year’s “portfolio” of travel. None of this is set in stone, of course. Life can intervene (my travel portfolio for 2020 didn’t exactly happen…). And possibilities can come up — such as this extended family trip. But still, I think it’s an interesting thing to think about, and creating longer term travel intentions means more people’s interests can be accommodated. You can balance the expenses each year (with big trips vs. little trips) and have things to look forward to.
How far ahead do you think about travel? And do you have any trips you want to be sure to take while your kids still live at home?
Photo: Resort bands from a trip taken many years ago