I dream of giving my kids a childhood filled with great travel experiences. It's one of my big life dreams. But it can be challenging in today's economy so I've had to redefine travel for myself -- and learn to leap at just the right opportunity.
A few years ago, I made traveling a priority. Though I'd traveled a lot as a child, I hadn't since having children. To embark on family travel, I had to redefine what travel meant for me. It used to be limited to trips involving airports, planes and hotels. But these days, I know traveling can be much more -- and in a local area, too.
Our first family trip was to nowhere. Really. I rented a cabin in the woods in the middle of Connecticut, and we glamped for a few nights. It was exciting for the kids to get away and refreshing to live without technology for a few days. Since then, we've traveled to Cape Cod and the Jersey shore, along with visiting family and friends.
These small trips fed my desire to get away but also prepared us for more. And I knew there would be bigger adventures to come.
Back in January, I was delighted to be invited to Food Blog Forum Orlando, a conference for (you guessed it!) food bloggers. There were a few awesome things about the trip: First, it was held at Walt Disney World in Florida. But better yet, the nominal conference fee included two nights in a Disney hotel and four-day Park Hopper tickets to Disney, so the whole family could come, too. I booked and planned the trip as fast as I could before I changed my mind or second guessed it. We were finally taking a big trip as a family.
Everything about the trip was magical -- from visiting my family to Disney to the conference to the mere act of flying somewhere far away. It wasn't just about rides or even the amazing information I learned at the conference -- it was about having fun as a family and learning a few new things, too.
We returned to Connecticut last week, closer as a family than ever. I found myself wondering why we haven't done this sooner.
Do you travel with your family? If not, you should. Here's how to get started.
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