Boarding our most recent family flight, I was completely exhausted. Holding a wailing, over-exhausted toddler, we asked the flight attendant to seat us in the back of the crowded plane. It was the latest in a series of horrid, chaotic trips we had made with her. Overwhelmed with too many visits and no sleep for anyone, I decided then and there: NO MORE.
Here are the reasons I refuse to travel with her (and our new baby on the way) for the next several years and I’m not apologizing for any of it.
1. It’s disruptive.
My daughter is extremely routine oriented and has been since she was an infant. She has a really hard time with time differences and sleeping in different places. Which means misery, screaming and yelling and no sleep for anyone. #HARDPASS
2. It’s stressful AF.
The stress that goes into getting everyone on a plane or in the car is huge for me. I feel like I take on the brunt of the travel plans which makes me miserable for weeks prior to the trip. Also, as wonderful and rewarding as it can be to go to my parents’ homes or to see my in-laws, it can be really overwhelming. There’s always million people to see in a small amount of time and I’ve found you don’t really get a lot of quality time in this way.
3. Taking time off sucks.
Like many families, my husband and I have pretty demanding jobs where it’s really hard to get time off. Sometimes (okay, almost all the time), I’d rather spend this time recharging at home than dragging everyone through exhausting travel where we come back spent, not rested.
4. It’s expensive.
It costs us an average of $1,200-$1,500 to fly to see family and friends across the country. We have to book the flights, often book a hotel, rent a car, board our pets, and if we can’t find someone to take us to the airport, pay to park.
5. We want our own traditions too.
Especially when it comes to traveling over the holidays, it makes me feel sad to leave our little house. I love the idea of forming our own traditions at home as opposed to the rush, rush, rush of travel to see a million relatives and friends. Quality over quantity, my friends.
How We Explain This To Family And Friends
Before you call me a wicked, family-and-friend-hating she-monster (which I’m not completely denying here), opting not to travel does not mean we don’t see family or friends regularly.
At this chaotic point in our lives, we ask relatives and friends to come to us. We often foot, at least part of, if not the entire cost for their travel. We fly my mom in several times a year and now that we’ve moved away, will do the same thing with my in-laws. It may seem selfish but it’s been easier to have visitors in our own home as opposed to the other way around.
Do I feel a little envious watching my brave friends who board planes regularly and take their kids to see family and friends across the country? Yes. But I know for us, setting this rule of “no travel” has made our lives simpler and happier.