When was the last time you laid in a hammock for two hours, sipping a mimosa reflecting on what you are doing with your life?
Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled or are you going through the motions?
Vacations for me has always been the perfect time to contemplate and reflect on my life. You need to get rid of the distractions of daily life to truly do this.
When you aren’t thinking of dishes, laundry, and planning meals, your mind frees itself to think about what really matters: YOU
Listening to the waves crashing, the seagulls cackling, and the salty wind blowing through your hair, really opens up your heart and your soul. Close your eyes, think of things that make you happy, are you doing any of that in your ’real’ life?
The point here is once you can remove yourself from your daily burdens, the hope is your mind can look for deeper answers to your life’s journey. Because isn’t that what we are all on this earth for? To look for answers. To look for a purpose. To look for happiness.
This part is easier said than done. The even tougher part is making a plan to change things when you get back to reality.
And at the end of the day that might not happen. Change is hard and it’s scary. When you are lying in a hammock everything seems feasible. And that’s ok. When things get tough its time to book another vacation and reflect on what matters most.
When is your next trip?
PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery
Traveling with a toddler can be challenging and trying at times. Listening isn’t something my toddler does best. And you never know how she is going to react on a plane ride (I will be writing a post with some tips), or if she is going to refuse to eat any food while we are away.
But I still think traveling as a family is important. It doesn’t matter if it is road trip for the long weekend, or a week long holiday outside the country. Here is why:
Relax as a family– Vacation momma and Dadda are fun and relaxed. It’s good for your child to see you at your best, and you are at your best when you are not worrying about alarms, daycare drop-offs, and what to make for dinner. Stay out late, play in the sand longer and have that ice cream! Let your child see you throw out those rules.
Make memories– Life is busy and day to day all you focus on is getting through the day to bedtime. Is their time to make memories? Not really. You try to cram that into the weekend and even then it’s tough. But on vacation that’s all you focus on- making memories as a family. When you are old and most likely cranky, you aren’t going to want to remember the dinners you cooked every night, but what you will remember is the time your daughter played in the pool all day with you. This is what makes life worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the day to day crap, but I am not going to lie and tell you I enjoy it. Who does?
Travel opens up the world for your child: They become aware that there is whole other world outside of their world. My hope is that this will take her out of her comfort zone, and challenge her to explore. I want my daughter to experience other cultures, languages, and food.
Footage of embarrassing your child as an adult: Take tons of pictures so you can embarrass your child when they get older! Take that naked bum picture in the sand, to hopefully add to the wedding slideshow! Vacations are a great way to capture those embarrassing moments that your child doesn’t want you to take pictures of as an adult.
Do you travel as a family? I would love to hear your reasons for vacationing with kids and tips you have.
PS: Follow me on Instagram @husna_theaccidentalmommy I take pictures of food, coffee art, my daughter and pretty Vancouver scenery
The long weekend is coming up pretty soon and the weather forecast calls for SUN! It is very tempting to go away on a road trip during the long weekend, but unfortunately it isn’t always easy or financially possible to go away, especially when you have a little one. And I am sure no one is excited about tackling the dreaded long weekend traffic. Staycations are the next best thing and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Another bonus is you get to sleep in your own bed! Today I am going to share my favourite places in Vancouver that are perfect for Staycations.
Trout Lake: Vancouver is a beautiful city and we are blessed with parks and beaches without having to drive too far. Trout lake is an oasis in the middle of the city. They have an amazing farmers market every Saturday that has everything from organic veggies, organic eggs and meat, coffee, food trucks and sometimes wine tastings! If you are not a farmers market kind of person (who isn’t though!), they also have a sandy beach and multiple playgrounds. There is also a dog friendly beach area, where your pooch can take a dip in the lake. If you need to take refuge from the sun, there is a community center at the lake, with a new coffee shop called Carousel that has great coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and gelato that is open till 6pm. And parking is free!
Steveston Village : Steveston Village is located in Richmond, BC and is a short drive from the city. It is one of my favourite places to spend the day. You can grab a bite at one of the multiple restaurants and cafes in Steveston. My favourite is Sockeye City and Pajos Fish and Chips. Recently we visited the The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum. It was an amazing experience to witness a part of BC history. They have a great little kids play area that Zara loved. Also, as part of Canada’s 150th birthday, entry is free. How great is that!
Queen Elizabeth Park: We got married at Queen Elizabeth park so I am biased, but I love this park. The grounds are breathtaking and perfect for family photo shoots. There are also beautiful views of the entire city as it is located at the highest point in the city. Another gem is the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth park. It is home to 120 free flying exotic birds and 500 exotic plants. Admission for adults is $6.50 and kids under 3 are free. You can’t beat that price! In addition to the bird conservatory, there is also pitch and putt and a tennis court. If you get hungry, I love the Seasons in the Park restaurant. Get a seat on the patio and grab a drink and take in the views of the city. You won’t regret it!
We are very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. So take advantage of it and plan a staycation in Vancouver this summer.
All inclusive vacations are awesome when you have a little one. For me the biggest thing I am looking for on vacation is to rest my brain. I don’t want to think about groceries, laundry, breakfast, lunches and drinks. If I did I would just stay home! We have been on three different all inclusive trips to different parts of Mexico since Zara was born. Over the past 2 (almost 2) years of traveling with Zara I have learnt a thing or two about how to ‘do an all inclusive ‘ with a baby. Here are my tips:
Get direct flights: Yes sometimes it’s cheaper to get connecting flights. And yes sometimes it doesn’t look that bad with an hour or two layover. Trust me when I say it is not worth it. We took one trip, where we had an hours stop over on a return flight. Zara was 9 months. It was pretty stressful. So keep things simple and say no layovers!
Book a resort close to the airport: Out of the three all inclusive resorts we stayed at, the last one was 10 min from the airport. It made a huge difference. When we got to the resort we felt like we didn’t lose a day traveling. We were also able to have a pretty quick and smooth ride back to the airport on our return.
Book a small resort: This is pretty crucial with kids. You don’t want to spend all your time walking to the beach or lunch and dinner. You just want to get there. You also want to be close enough so you can run to the room if you need anything.
Kids club:This is a must have. The first two resorts we went to had kids clubs, but Zara was too young to go. The last resort had a kids club and babies club. I checked the ages and reviews before we went and parents raved about the care. Zara had a safe fun place to go for a couple of hours, so that mommy and daddy could relax on the beach.
How to eat at the buffet– A lot of people complain about the food at all inclusive resorts. I have a tip for this. Go for the fresh grill stations. Every all inclusive resort I have been to has them. Also, do not be tempted to fill your plate with everything. Pick a couple of items. You are going to be there for at least a week so you don’t want to get bored with the food.
Room with a view and patio: I have mentioned this in my previous post. Pay the extra money and get a room with a view. On the last trip we spent a lot of time hanging out on the patio with a cider/wine at the end of the night while Zara was sleeping.
I would love to hear what tips worked for you mommas on an all inclusive vacation. Please feel free to share my post and comment below.
Next week I will be doing a review of the all inclusive resort we stayed at on our last trip. Stay tuned!
Last week I talked about how to have a ‘real relaxing’ vacation with kids. This week I am going to share with you what I pack when I am leaving the country. Sometimes being away from home makes it harder to relax because you are away from the comforts of home. I am also a worry wart and tend to play worst case scenarios in my head. So to cope with my anxiety I try to be ‘extra’ prepared. I have had people laugh at me for packing certain things when I travel. But these things have saved me more than once. So today I am sharing with you my top 4 must haves when I travel outside the country.
Medication– Before I travel I always make a doctors appointment and let them know I am traveling. I ask for prescriptions for any common ailments. When you are traveling with a baby, the number one common ailment is ear infections. I get a prescription for antibiotics for ear infection before I leave. At the pharmacy I let them know that I will be traveling and the medication is for emergency use. The pharmacist is able to give me the medication in powder form as well as a bottle of distilled water. If you need to use it, you just mix it and use it. My doctor recommended that I carry this with me when I fly outside the country. The first couple of times I flew outside the country I did not have to use this. However this last time, I actually ended up using the medication and it was a life saver! In addition to this I also always carry baby Tylenol or baby Advil.
Pack and play: The first two times we travelled, outside the country we did not take our pack and play with us. We were in Mexico both times and were able to get them at the resorts we stayed at. These pack and plays were pretty worn out. However this last time I brought it with me and it was so much better. Babies like familiar spaces. Zara loved sleeping in her own pack and play. Bonus, you can also check in a pack and play for free as a baby item when you fly.
Stroller: We have a City mini GT stroller and we love it. It is great on all terrain and folds flat. I have flown with it 4 times. I thought about buying an umbrella stroller just for traveling, but this stroller is so handy and has a little basket which is big enough for a small dog ( my 20 pound pug rides in it). It also has a recline feature and Zara was able to nap in it while we were out for a stroll. So a stroller is definitely a must have for me when I fly outside the country. It is also free to gate check.
Playtex bottles with liners: If your baby is still taking a bottle, Playtex bottles with liners are great to travel with. The liners are sterilized and you don’t have to worry about washing bottles. This is especially a concern if you are in a country where tap water is unsafe to drink. This way all you do is rinse the nipple with bottled water and some dish soap. And now you have more time to relax by the pool!
Tune in next week for Vacationing with a Baby Part 4: How to ‘do’ an all inclusive like a pro.
I would love to hear what is in your bags mommas. Happy Vacationing!
Ps- I am posting some vacations pictures below from our most recent trip to Peurto Vallarta. I will be writing a blog post about our trip soon.
Summer has officially started. Schools are done for the year and everyone is dreaming about vacations! Last week I shared tips on how to fly with a baby. This week I am going to talk about what to do when you get there! Vacationing with a baby is tough. I often hear from mommas, that they would much rather just stay at home as vacationing with a baby is exhausting. I am not going to lie, that can be true. However I do believe that taking ‘time off’ is good for the babes as well as mommas and daddy’s. Since Zara was born we’ve been on three Mexico vacations, once to Montreal and multiple road trips around BC. Here are some tips that worked for us to have a ‘real relaxing’ vacation:
1. Consistent Baby Schedules: Zara has always liked some consistency in her schedule. So when we do travel, we try to follow the same schedule as best we can. We generally keep naps and bedtimes consistent. I don’t mean follow the schedule to a ‘T’. There are times when Zara has napped in a stroller or car seat. We have pushed bedtimes a little later if we had a special event to attend. Babies can be very adaptable. It just takes a little bit of planning. If you are in a different time zone, it will take a couple of days for the kiddo to adjust. I always allow Zara to wake up naturally and then base naps and bedtimes off of that. Watch for sleepy cues. If they are starting to get cranky, it is time for some downtime. Keep your bedtime and nap routine consistent. Bring sheets from home for a pack and play or crib. The key here is to remember you are away from home and it’s ok if baby has two naps instead of one, or sleeps in a stroller. You deserve this vacation, so try to go with the flow.
2. Get a room with a view and patio: I highly recommend this! With a baby you will be spending more time in the room than you usually do. Splurge a bit for a view or a patio. When babe is napping or down for the night, this will be your sanctuary. Perfect for sharing a glass of wine with your hubby/partner at the end of the day!
3. Try to always book a suite if possible: This is always my first option. You will need that second room so that you are not tip toeing around in the dark when baby is napping or down for the night. I have heard of some parents eating dinner in the bathroom after putting the babe down!! So here is my suggestion: If a suite is not available put the pack and play in bathroom! No your child is not sleeping on the bathroom floor. No it is not unsanitary. We have done this multiple times and it has worked like a charm. If you need to use the bathroom while the baby is sleeping, use the one in the lobby.
4. De-stress: Bring a book, stock the room with your favourite drinks and snacks. Wine in the room? Yes please!Order room service? Definitely! Let’s be honest, like I said before you WILL spend tons of time in the room. Make the most of it!
5. If babysitting service is available use it: A lot of hotels and resorts have certified babysitters that you can use for a night out. Another great idea is to go with friends who also have kids. We did this a couple of times and took turns babysitting so Momma and Dada can have a night out.
6. Don’t over plan: Try to do one activity a day. This is crucial. Vacationing with a little one or two is tough but doable. Remember that a tired babe is a cranky babe and cranky babe means a very cranky Momma and Dada. So plan for one activity a day and tons of downtime. Trust me you will need it!
Stay tuned next week for more Vacationing with a baby: Part 3!
Happy Canada Day! I hope these tips will come in handy if you are away for the long weekend! Feel free to share tips and tricks that have worked for you while vacationing with a baby.
Summer is upon us and with that summer vacations. The next couple of posts are going to be dedicated to how to vacation with a baby. Yes it can be scary and nerve wracking. But if you like to travel like I do, don’t let having a baby stop you. Let’s start with how to fly with a baby.
I have flown with Zara 4 times since she was born. The first time she was 5 months old. The second time she was 9 months. The third time she was 10 months. And the last time, was most recently at 21 months. All flights were about 5 hours or so. Over time I have learnt a thing or two about flying with babies. The younger the babies are the easier it is to fly with them. So I have created a list of some helpful tips.
Here it goes:
Carrying baby: Wear your baby. The first 3 times we flew (ages 5 months, 9 months and 10 months) I wore her in the Ergo. The great thing was my hands were free and I could feed myself, which is always a bonus!
Feeding baby: Feeding the baby can by tricky on the plane. I was still breastfeeding her at that time so it made it easy to breastfeed during take off and landing (to prevent ear infections and helps with the ‘ear popping’ while wearing her in the Ergo. You can you tube how to breastfeed baby in the ergo for some tips and tricks. It was a little tricky at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was amazing. If you don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in the Ergo that’s fine too. Feel free to use a cover or not if you are comfortable. I had a lot of anxiety about feeding Zara when she was a baby. I didn’t know how it was going to go. I brought bottles of ready to go formula just in case. Baby food pouches are also great. Milk is also complimentary on most flights. Every flight I was on, allowed us to bring food and milk for the baby.
Sleeping baby: Again I am big fan of the Ergo here. Zara napped on me in the Ergo. You can also request a baby bassinet seat when you check in. Bonus you get more leg room as it is in the front of the plane. The bassinet was great for us on a late flight. Zara was able to lie down for a bit and mommy and daddy were able to relax.
Entertainment: When Zara was younger this was a lot easier. I took her favourite toys and books. For the last flight we were on, this did not cut it. We brought an iPad with her favourite Netflix shows. Netflix now allows you to download shows and you do not need wifi to play them. This was such a lifesaver!
Overall flying with a baby is not so bad. Yes sometimes they get cranky or poop three times in an hour (true story!). Just be flexible and do what you need to do. Initially I used to worry about annoying other passengers with her crying. But, through all my travels, I have not met a single passenger that told me to get my baby to stop crying. Everyone knows that you are doing best. And hey if you do meet that odd cranky passenger, I say hand them the crying baby and see what happens! 🙂
I would love to hear what worked for you when flying with little ones. Feel free to comment below.
Bon voyage mommas and Happy travel!
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post on Vacationing with baby: part two: How to have a ‘real relaxing’ vacation with a baby.
PS- This is not a sponsored post. This post is based solely on my experience and opinions.