Vacation Woes

My husband and I have been tossing around the idea of a spring vacation for quite some time now. As a matter of fact, I think it was New Year’s Day when he first brought it up with me. We went back and forth on destination, talked to friends and parents of the kids’ friends about a number of destinations. At 5 ½ and nearly 4, are the kids really ready for Disneyland? What means of transportation would be ideal for our kids, who have about a 6 hour limit in the van? What week is ideal for travel? And many more questions.

We knocked a few of those questions out pretty easily. We decided that it was probably a little bit early for a Disney vacation for our family. It ran the high likelihood of being complete and total overload, especially for our daughter. Timing of this vacation is also important. Our son is in Kindergarten and we want to minimize the amount of school he misses. But, at the same time, we both knew we didn’t want to be travelling during Spring Break. Thinking we were avoiding that, we chose a week in late April. Great, everything seems to be rolling along smoothly. Guess again. After knocking out this handful of decisions, things ground to a halt. Why? Life happened.

So now, here I sit, on what was supposed to be the middle of our vacation…on my couch. We’ve now scoped out a new set of dates, chosen a city (rather than a whole region) to visit. We’ve even thought about where to stay and what to see and do. After overcoming a small speed bump, I have been able to reserve our accommodations. Woo hoo! So exciting! Now all we need is plane tickets. Ack!

Obtaining airline tickets to our destination is not the problem. The problem is knowing how to approach flying with our 2 kids for the very first time. I’ve gathered some tips from friends who have flown with kids, but I still feel totally clueless. With one child in a booster seat and the other still in a car seat, this is one thing to think about. If I choose to take Anna’s car seat, rather than rent one with the rental car, what do I do with it on the plane? Do I check it, or can I carry it on? If I carry it on, can she (or should she) sit in it or do I stow it? How do we move quickly through the airport and not lose a child? To many people, these might sound like questions with obvious answers. To me, they are uncharted territory.

In a weird way, it’s a good thing that we dragged our feet about making these arrangements. This way, the amount of time that I spend worrying about things is much shorter. But still…I do worry…and I will until we’re there.