Traveling with kids in tips, sarcasm and how we survived.

Good morning! We are back in Utah and attempting to figure out the proper hours to sleep again.  Today’s post is filled with so many thoughts, let’s get started:

*Choose ‘heads’ when flipping a coin to decide who has to sit by the youngest on long flights. It worked in my favor both ways;).  

*Anything said during times of struggling with jet lag does not count in a marriage. I’m sorry for what I said while exhausted, Andrew.

*Who needs the gym when you are constantly moving humans around yourself?

*Need a fun challenge? Try keeping track of 6 passports while keeping everyone alive in multiple new cities.

*Be prepared for kids to constantly surprise you with strange things they do the entire time.

*Plan on zero personal space. Ever.

*If you have a 3-year-old obsessed with vehicles, try to fit in as many as possible. We went on planes, buses, trains, boats, taxis, and tuk-tuks for this trip.

*Threaten not getting gelato if you want everyone to smile in the picture.

*Give them a camera or a GoPro to use because seeing the trip through their perspective is so fun when you get home.

*Become the favorite parent by randomly grabbing a treat even if you had treats moments earlier.

*For every dollar you spend on the trip, take a selfie with your kids because look at your pictures will help ease the pain when you look at your bank account on the plane ride home.

*Always, always be prepared with notebooks and pencils… it makes dining out a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

*Caught Skye surprise attacking Knox:

*I truly wish I had kept a count of how many chocolate croissants we ate collectively.

*Be prepared to eat so much pizza because it is one meal everyone agrees on.

And now, for a few answers to some questions that have been asked:

*The kids’ teachers were so good to us with taking this trip. Brooke and Knox’s teachers sent us all of their homework, and they were able to get everything done before we left and on the airplane. Skye’s teacher asked her to bring an album of photos from the trip to tell the class about her trip. Skye was an A+ student with this assignment and has gone above and beyond to get pictures.

*We are in a sweet spot with our kids-> Nobody needs a nap or a bottle, which frees us up. They are all in a place where they still enjoy the same things… this may shift once B and K are teenagers, but it works well for now. This trip with Beck would have been near impossible 3-6 months ago. He has recently become much more laid back and excited to try new things.  I’m not sure we could have pulled it off before now.

*Screens made it easy in a pinch. The kids don’t use iPads or games on phones at home, so they were in heaven to have them on the airplane.  They were huge fans of the plane ride for free range of screen time ha.  It also saved us a few times with Beck when we knew he was exhausted and needed him to hang on for a bit longer.

*We only stayed in Airbnb apartments except for the night before we flew home. Not only are they WAY cheaper there, but we knew the extra space would be needed. Our apartment across from the beach in Cadiz with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen was just $120 a night:

*Beck slept in a pack-and-play or crib (each apartment provided one), the girls shared a room, and Knox had a room. We brought sound machines with us, a small favorite blanket for each, and eye masks. The kids all adjusted to the time change better than I did. Kids are so resilient, I’m not as much. I’m going to need a few weeks to recover from the lack of sleep😉

*We packed about 4-5 outfits each for the two weeks we were gone. The apartments all came with washing machines to make this possible. None of them had dryers which required hang drying, but everything dried within 24-48 hours.

*As part of my desire to pack ‘light,’ the kids just had one pair of shoes. One day in Sevilla, it poured on us, and their shoes were soaking wet and muddy. There was no chance of them drying, so we were at the Vans store that evening buying new shoes for everyone, which was pricey. Please don’t make the mistake that we did.

*Go with the flow… some days, things were planned for us, but we planned most of the trip as we went and went with what the kids needed. Flexibility is everything with kids, especially when traveling! If it were just me and Andrew, we would have jumped around a bit more to see a few more places, but we knew the kids needed a few days that were more low-key at the end of the trip to the beach.

*We couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was to our kids. People were constantly helping us if we dropped something or needed an extra hand or smiling at them. Not one person ever made us feel like we were an inconvenience. The people of Spain won our hearts.

*Sevilla felt extremely safe to us. I would say it is probably the safest city I’ve been to regarding how I felt. We did have AirTags on our kids, and Andrew was usually leading the way, and I would walk in the back to keep an eye on everyone (I counted to 4 a 1,000 times a day, ha)… but that is basically what we do at home anytime we go somewhere with everyone too.

*The trickiest part of the trip was the elevators. If someone accidentally touched the button before Beck did, it was meltdown city, so I tried to avoid those at all costs.

*Andrew needs to write a post about trip planning. Before I met him, he started a company where he would plan and lead trips all over the world with groups of teenagers who struggled and their parents. They would do service projects and sightseeing wherever they went. I cannot take any credit for the planning and orchestrating things… he was the perfect guide and knows how to travel right.

*If Andrew and I can’t make Beck happy, Brooke sure can.

Wish us luck detoxing from chocolate croissants and returning to real life!

Are there any travel questions I missed?

Tell me the best part of your weekend!

If you have kids at home these days, what meal will everyone always agree on?

Are there any cities you have been to that feel very safe?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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