Giving the Gift of Travel

img_2214I contracted the travel bug as a child, I suspect through my voracious reading habits. My parents did not share this disease, and I remember being quite jealous of friends and classmates that took trips during holiday times, often in lieu of presents.

When I became a parent, I dreamed of giving the gift of travel to my children. Typically, our family has fairly modest Christmases and birthdays, present-wise. I thought this would make transitioning to vacation presents easier, since my kids don’t expect a mountain of presents to be waiting for them come Christmas morning.

We finally had our chance: the Christmas my oldest boys were 5 and 3, we had saved up and booked a cruise. We had never been on a cruise, had never been to any of the ports or cities we were slotted to visit, and we were so excited. So were our boys, who still talk frequently about cruise ships to this day. Due to the limited room, we brought stockings/stocking stuffers and a small gift or two for each boy for Christmas morning. And wet erase markers, which we used to draw a Christmas tree onto our glass patio door, and then decorate.

I’ll skip ahead and say, our boys were very disappointed come Christmas morning. Even with a note from Santa explaining there were more gifts waiting back home for them (we left gifts from family at home for them to unwrap when we returned), they really seemed let down.

So would I give the gift of travel again? Absolutely. In hindsight, while my children are very small and in the Santa stage of life, I think being at home for Christmas morning is ideal; planning a trip before or after that day seems to be the best plan, at least for us. As they get older, I hope that we can travel more and more with them, with them assisting in choosing destinations and activities, and at birthdays as well (which for us are way less crowded and expensive than the Christmas/New Year holiday).

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to three little boys. They currently live in Asia and are enjoying adventuring around and seeing new sights. 

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