This last week, Lauren and I had the incredible opportunity to go to Hawaii for a friend’s wedding. We were on the North Shore of the island of Oahu and were just overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of the state. We had a great time with our friends and even got to enjoy exploring the island the last two days in the “Hukilau Express” (A 15 passenger van we rented with three other couples).
As new parents, Lauren and I are still learning quite a bit about what it means to be parents and how our life has been forever changed by the presence of our very active 8 month old boy. Needless to say, this vacation was a wake up call. Gone are the days of catching up on reading on flights, napping at will, spontaneously going to restaurants, going outside the house beyond 7 pm, and spending meaningful time alone with each other. Although it was a great adventure, fun with friends, wonderful to be with my family for an entire week, Lauren and I learned an incredibly valuable lesson: Vacations with young children don’t exist for parents.
After being woken up multiple times in the middle of the night because of time zone differences, changing diapers in random places, conversations being interrupted over and over again by a crying baby trying to fall asleep in a new setting, making sure our kid’s curiosity doesn’t lead him into immanent danger, and trying to do it all with a smile and encouraging him to enjoy the adventure, vacation for us became passing out from exhaustion in a different bed than the one we’re used to.
I wish that I had some profound lesson we learned from this last week’s experience, but I don’t. Lauren and I are learning, and we discovered that at many times this last week, we were in over our heads as parents.
So this post is a plea for help. What are some travel tips you have for vacationing with young children? How can we as parents make vacation enjoyable for kids while still getting some rest and growing closer as a couple? I would love to hear your advice.
Here are some photos from the trip. Some of these were taken by our friend Lauren Johnson.