As much as I enjoy living in Omaha, I try to visit other places at least once a year. I truly am fond of learning about the history of other cities and finding spots around town that are local favorites. In addition to fulfilling my need for travel, it’s also a healthy break from the day-to-day routine. Traveling with kids is a whole other topic which others on Omaha Moms Blog have covered here and here. We have traveled with our kids whose ages are 5 and 2. I’ll be honest: there were moments when the stress level was so high that no one would categorize that time as a “vacation”. Here are some tips for a weekend getaway to invest time for ourselves while delegating childcare duties to trusted members in our circles.
You might be hesitant about taking a weekend getaway. Are two days really worth all the trouble? Maybe you’d rather have more time away. I think we all would! From a logistics standpoint, it is much easier to find childcare for a shorter period of time. Also, whenever my husband and I have time together, we find ourselves in and out of conversations about the kids anyway! Although traveling with kids is exhausting, I really do miss them when we are apart. There are times, however, when alone time without worrying about the kids is needed. So seize the day … or two!
Consider Travel Time
Depending on your budget, you may choose to drive or fly to your destination. My best suggestion would be to save more time for exploring rather than traveling. Spending 10 hours on the road to only enjoy about a day in your city of choice and then turn around for another 10 hours back home hardly seems worth the trip. Flying would be the best time saver choice in this case. If flying is not an option, there are several cities only a few hours away to explore. Nebraska City is about an hour drive away and provides just the right amount of escape we want. We typically stay a night or two at a bed and breakfast and there are many activities around town. Kansas City is next on our list for a quick drive getaway.
Choosing Your Destination
For weekend getaways, narrowing down exactly what you want to experience is essential. Two days in a big city is not enough time to cover much ground. When we visited Austin, TX last year, we had to decide between experiencing the city or engaging in any of the outdoor adventures it had to offer. We finally decided to vacation in downtown Austin. Our flight was delayed which ate up our first evening in the city. The next day, we made up the time by exploring the city on foot. This way we didn’t have to worry about finding parking in an unfamiliar place or missing turns and getting lost. In the short 16-hours we had, we surprisingly accomplished a ton!
Go with the Flow
Now that you have one or two days at the destination of your choice, pick out a few activities that are on your “must do or see” list. Often times, there is also a “must eat” list. Definitely jot those down, too! The trick to making a short trip enjoyable is to only have a few, about three, absolutely necessary places to visit. Any more than a simple few will cause unwanted stress. The real magic in these quick trips is found somewhere in between all the sightseeing. During our walk around downtown Austin, we soaked up as much of the city as we could. We admired the architecture, stopped in a couple of local shops and even signed up to watch a live improv comedy show! The show wasn’t part of our original “must do” list, but it checked a box off our bucket list. We also noticed many people walking around with the same pink pastry box and decided that we also had to try it ourselves. Even a delayed flight couldn’t ruin our trip. It actually allowed us to have a decent dinner at an airport terminal version of one of our favorite restaurants. I couldn’t have planned it better myself!