Lessons from Beau's First Trip

Monday, July 11, 2016

A few weeks ago, we took a quick trip to the Texas hill country with our immediate Strader family. Time being together is always rich, and this was such a sweet getaway. The highlight for me was how precious my niece is with Beau. She loves him so much and it makes me so excited for them to develop a close friendship. I love thinking about them maintaining a great relationship and hanging out often in high school.. I just love it. We're so blessed to have our family so physically close, and emotionally close! I don't take that for granted, especially after growing up an ocean apart from any extended relatives. But, I digress. :)

Family Photo at the Alamo
We were extra excited for our trip down South because it was going to serve as a "trial run" for our trip to Europe at the end of the July. That might sound strange, as the trips are very different, but we really did gain several big takeaways. I'm sharing them today in hopes that they might be useful to you, but also knowing that it will be extremely beneficial to have my thoughts handy to look back on.

1. Ben needs to be in charge of the bags.

When we travel, I always plan our itineraries. When Ben and I first got married, he didn't want us to plan out our trips, leaving them spontaneous. However, he married a type A chicka. :) I pride myself in being able to plan trips that have enough structure to allow us to experience all we desire, but also allow for spontaneous adventures and exploration. I'm a firm believer in all areas of life that boundaries create freedom, and this applies in travel as well. Ben noted while on our trip that because I'm the keeper of the schedule, also checking Beau's bag for everything he will need before each outing will probably allow for things to fall through the cracks. We're going to divide and conquer on this moving forward.

One of the buildings at our cozy B&B
Ben wanted it to be noted that he wasn't posing for this photo :)

2. We need to make a list of all the bags we have packed, and review it when leaving each place.

About halfway to Comfort, Texas I realized we hadn't grabbed the stroller travel bag. This held the stroller and also Beau's bassinet where he would sleep at night. Praise the Lord my sister in law offered up my niece's pack and play, and I had the Solly wrap.. but this CANNOT happen when we go to Europe, haha! The family came to pick us up and we left the house rather quickly and forgot to grab this very important bag. It ended up not affecting the trip at all, so I'm glad we learned this lesson.

Solly wrap snuggles in Fredericksburg
The most yummy lunch at Bakery Lorraine 
3. Choosing a location based on the needs of the children isn't a terrible idea, specifically in reference to climate.

It was just plain too hot for Beau in Texas July heat. We retreated to the Alamo gift shop immediately after one photo. We're dreaming of cooler locations for summer retreats in the future. We're really excited and encouraged about the weather where we'll be traveling at the end of the month.

The outside of our room at the B&B
4. It will be a different kind of trip, but so much happier. 

Stopping for feedings and searching for shade alters the path of the trip. I remember being in Venice last year with all of our luggage hobbling onto a hot, full water bus and thinking.. this would NOT work with a babe. That being said we could have splurged for a private taxi or stayed closer to the train station and it would have worked just fine. Our expectations for these trips are different going in.. but there is nothing like getting to have the love of our lives along with us. I can't wait to lay on a quilt with Beau in Hyde Park instead of trying out a nice London restaurant. I can't wait to go for a walk through Lake Como and stop in a shaded area for a feeding. Beau has been such a sweet little traveler so far and I can't wait to raise him in this lifestyle. Even if we end up in our hotel rooms ordering take out.. our lives our richer because of Beau in them, and this will be true for our travels.
Snuggles with my precious boy


  1. So sweet! I love your passion for traveling with your family :)

  2. So much love for all the traveling you do with baby! We are home bodies, but it is awesome to see others manage travel with such ease!

  3. I absolutely love that you want to start Beau out from the beginning as a little traveler & I'm just excited and thrilled to hear about how your trip goes! I'll be sending my thoughts and prayers for a restful & joyful adventure for you & yours :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  4. Definitely all important things to think about when traveling with a little one! Sounds like you guys are well prepared for your Europe trip and I cannot wait to hear about those travels!

  5. Flexibility is key! You're so wise to take a trial run mini trip. This little guy will make your upcoming trip so incredibly amazing! What a beautiful family ya'll are!

  6. That lil' guy in his wrap looks so presh!

  7. How fun! I love Fredricksburg! And Bakery Lorraine too! Glad you had fun down south, though yeah, it has been super hot lately! This is my first full sumer living in San Antonio and it is a big difference from the Pacific NW's mild summers!

  8. Where did y'all stay in the Hill Country? We are always looking for getaways from Houston for the weekend!

  9. What sweet memories y'all are making with you're precious Beau! Love how important it is for y'all to make travel a part of your family's life!

  10. Your last point is so, so true! We've found travel to be different, but incredibly sweet - not better or worse!

  11. We have taken our young kids to Europe multiple times and we just love traveling as a family. There will be plenty of eye rolls (the stares you get walking onto a 10 hour flight with a 3 & 1 year old aren't for the faint at heart!) but also plenty of people willing to give you a helping hand and you really get to see the beauty of the human spirit.. We talk about our travels all the time and one of our best memories is having a ton of random strangers run over to help get all of our bags, strollers, kids, etc down the stairs and on to the metro in Paris. Or the time we ended up on a bus with a large group of Italians who loved on and went on and on about my babies. You will have the best time and come home with memories that last a lifetime!

  12. Loved reading these takeaways from your weekend getaway, and already can't wait to file away the tips I hope you share post-Europe :) Our first trip with baby Kirk will be when he is around three months old, so pretty close to the age Beau will be for your adventure across the pond!
    Side note, your sweet photos make me so excited about the Solly wrap--we have one on our registry!


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