Well we are back from our trip and we had an amazing time.  Chicago was, so far, the best city that we have chosen to visit as a family.  We really didn't know what was in store for us, considering we did little research in preparing for this trip.  All we knew is that we wanted to get away, that the flight had to be short and we wanted to go to a big city.  This post is a compilation of notes we found helpful when choosing a trip to take three young children and a pregnant mama on.  It must be noted that we are a low key family reigned by a mama who is very organized and doesn't like to stray far from my comfort zone (I am working on it!).

1.  Decide on your budget.  This can make or break your decision.  Our budget was in a modest range.  Because of the size of our family, we knew that if we were to fly it would be expensive.  We also have three meals to take care of for five mouths.  Early on we decided that we would eat out once a day and cook the rest of our meals.  One must allow for a little wiggle room in terms of $500.  Unforeseen expenses with regards to transportation, meal costs, admissions, etc., just come up.  One doesn't want to be disappointed or miss exhibitions or experiences because of a strict budget.  But you must know what you are dealing with.  For us, our funds meant we couldn't afford to go to Vancouver and stay there for a week as planned.  So we shifted gears and decided on Chicago!

2.  Big city or quaint little spot?  Our family has the blessing of having a summer cottage that is 25 minutes away and we live in a small town (6000 people).  We love our town but we were eager to introduce the girls to a big city experience.  The papa and I, growing up in the city, we eager to return to our roots and see big things, just enough to settle our wanderlust hearts.  For us the decision was easy and unanimous.  For you a quaint little country spot on the beach could just be the ticket.

3.  Stay in one location.  Unless camping and portaging, I suggest finding that one place and booking a place to stay still in.  We have three small children that at the end of a long day need a place to return to.  Always being on the move can be stressful.  You are constantly picking up and packing up.  When children are away from home, it is so easy to be anxious, irritable and a little homesick.  Having a place for them to retreat too and mimic that safety of home, was super essential to us and their little bodies/minds.  For us, we found the coolest hostel, which I will describe later.  We loved it.

4.  Accessibility.  We are cheap.  We also love getting around and exploring at ground zero.  We were carrying only a stroller and our biggest littles used their feet.  Chicago, specifically in Lincoln Park where we stayed, is super accessible.  We purchased transit passes for a week that got us from the airport, to every destination and back again.  The passes were inexpensive and covered both light rail and buses.  The City Mini stroller that I borrowed from my friend was awesome and could go on and into anything.

5.  Fun factor for kids and adults.  Let's be real.  When you have kids, not everything is about you any more.  Nothing can be more true than a trip.  That is why it is essential for you to choose a destination that ignites you and your children.  Chicago for us had the architectural beauty that we loved mixed with museums, beaches, piers, and exploration that the babes desired.

6.  Food Culture.  All my babes are vegan, which means we need to go to a place that satisfies our dietary needs.  Let's just say we ate amazing vegan food.

I sure hope these six points help when choosing your trip.  Coming up in the travel series I will be showing pictures from our trip and commenting on traveling vegan, hosteling, and surviving the plane rides (we made a lot of mistakes on this one).

1 comment:

  1. Staying in one place is really important with little ones! We learned that when we decided to wing it in Nicaragua with a 17 month old. Not fun!

    Looking forward to the vegan travelling tips. :)


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