“If you want a happy life, do hard things” – Unknown. And as it turns out, traveling with kids is really hard! So I expect to be extremely happy. Although 2019 isn’t over yet, Im just too excited to share what our US Family Map should look like by the end of the of the year. By my count, we’ve visited 21 of the 50 states so far. Let’s see if we can leverage our Southwest Companion Pass to cross the half way mark by end of 2020.
How to read the map
First, let me explain the colors you’re seeing.
- RRr (Color: Green): These are state where we’ve taken at least on kid. This category was repurposed after we had a second child. It should eventually disappear as our new baby gets older.
- R! (Color: Red): This represents the states where only one member of our household has traveled.
- R&R (Color: Yellow): These are the state where the Mrs. and I have traveled without kids
- RaRe (Color: Purple): These are the state where the entire family has visited. This is the newest category after becoming a two-kid household.
The goal is to paint the entire map purple!
My hope is to expose my kids to as much as possible and to explore together as a family. And thats what the purple color represents here.
But I’ll settle for purple and gold!
The truth is, resources are limited. And traveling with kids can get expensive. That said, the babies may have to take a back seat and stay with grandparents (god bless them), while the parents explore on their own a little bit. NOLA is up next as we celebrate our 4 yr anniversary. And yes…I colored it gold in anticipation of our upcoming travel.
We should be able to see 50% of the US by end of 2020
We are just 4 states shy of getting to 50%. Here are the low hanging fruit for our family
- Massachusetts: Getting to Boston is very reasonable for our family. Prices are good, travel time is ~2hrs, and more importantly, Southwest flies there directly out of BWI. This is easily a Summer 2020 trip.
- Tennessee: Nashville is another popular city that we have easy access to out of BWI. I’ve not had the opportunity to do my research yet, but I’ve heard enough good things to about it to put it on the short list.
- Alabama: Since we have family in Georgia, getting to Huntsville or Birmingham is just a short drive (< 3hrs). The thing is, do we take this trip simply to cross it off the list? In other words, I just don’t know how much there is to do here.
- West Virginia: We live in Maryland and WV is just too close for us not to visit. For some reason I’ve always been uneasy about driving through VA (maybe all the police on the highway handing out tickets).
Im really excited and nervous about what is upcoming. What if my kids hate traveling? What if they don’t want to stay with grandma? What if…..? I won’t let my anxiety get the best of me here. Tracking our travel in this way gives me something to look forward to and keeps me excited about what’s next.
Im taking any and all travel tips, especially those pertaining to kids. What you got?