Day 8 of 12 Days of Stress Free

If you follow me at ALL on social media- you know that my LOVE is traveling. It even ranks above wine- and man do I like to drink! Traveling is where I can TRULY unwind, destress and just LIVE. I had about 2 years where honestly, we didn’t travel at all because deployment, new baby, life. But this past year has put me on the MAP for traveling.

January: Girls reunited trip after 7 years in Napa CA for 5 days

March: Prague, Poland, Sweden for 2 weeks

April: Yosemite for little one’s 2nd birthday

May: 40th Birthday Girl’s Weekend in Lake Tahoe

July: New Orleans for Beachbody’s Summit

August: San Diego for our friend’s Retirement Ceremony & Virginia for my mom’s 60th birthday

September: Salt Lake City Utah for doTERRA’s annual convention

October: Our first kid free weekend to Mexico & Phoenix Arizona

November: Virginia for Thanksgiving
December: Missouri for Christmas

The only two months we didn’t go anywhere: February & June…. But we went to 13 places- or rather I went to 13 places in the last year. THAT is how you do it big. While I understand that traveling is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that traveling with kids can be incredibly stressful- this was the icing on the cake for me and my soul feels REFRESHED! So here are my stress free tips for traveling:

1) Budget- we are super budget travelers so if we can save a dollar we can. I pack food for flights, road trips, we buy food where we are going, etc. It makes it so much less stressful to at least have some control over diet, and timing food wise- especially when in another time zone.

My favorite places to use when traveling:
AirBNB 

when we can we stay at an AirBNB, multiple rooms, amenities, walking distance to thinks, privacy

USAA Rewards – we pay all our bills each month on our credit card. We’ve been able to cash in on multiple flights this year FOR FREE all through just paying our bills and getting points

SkyScanner 

We use this site to follow price drops with airlines and then we book directly with each individual airline rather than a third party site. Make sure you sign up for reward points (free) with every airline!

2) Pack light- I generally only pack a couple of outfits and rotate things through. Since we almost always stay somewhere with a washer and dryer- I just do laundry a few times- this minimizes luggage, makes less stuff to pack around and lug around, and simplifies my packing process

3) Travel in the off season- we went to Europe in March and it was cold but AMAZING- we never had any crowds and it was the perfect amount of people/non tourist. Sure it probably wasn’t the most beautiful time of year to see Prague, Krakow, and Sweden- but who cares- we went!! We’re going to Ireland in February and while they say we will have a lot of rain- when doesn’t it rain in Ireland?

4) Let go of expectations of time tables with kids- my kid LOVES structure, but when we travel I let her dictate our time table- if she sleeps in- we get started later, if she’s up late, we do more. I don’t put pressure on her to conform to a schedule like at home- and therefore- everyone is happier

5) Babywear- I have only taken a stroller on ONE of those trips- and it wasn’t europe- honestly having a stroller, having to break it down, make it fit, lug it around causes me more anxiety than I like to admit. So guess what we do instead- babywear. Like ALL THE TIME.

My favorite Carriers:
Newborn Age-
Solly 

Infant (can sit up unassisted and for smaller babies (like mine)-
Lenny Lamb

Toddler-
Tula 

Babywearing keeps her contained in crowds, helps her and I feel more secure, eliminates horrible tantrums- because there is only so much she can do strapped in- nap on the go- if we’re moving and she’s tired and cranky- she just sleeps while we walk- this is my all time favorite tip for traveling. And yes sometimes she hates it and kicks and screams, but I don’t give her an option- You get worn or we aren’t doing A, B, C, D, etc. it’s non negotiable when we travel.

Are you a traveler? Where have you been this year?

*i received no compensation for recommending websites or brands- just sharing things I love*