A Mainely Relaxing Vacation

Last week we took our first vacation with James.  We traveled to Maine, a location we chose pretty randomly based on where Southwest flies, wanting to go somewhere we’ve never been, and the presence of a national park.  I choose many travel destinations based on national parks as exploring new (to me) ones is one of my all time favorite things in the world.

It did not disappoint.

Months before the trip, I was really looking forward to it.  My parents traveled with us and I would talk on the phone with my mom about how much fun it would be.  Weeks before the trip, I wasn’t so sure.  I was still excited, but all of the travel logistics seemed really daunting.  James is not one to sleep on the go, he barely sleeps on road trips, so I had visions of him awake for all of the flights and getting crankier and crankier.

Thankfully, that was not the case at all!  I think the three things that made flying relatively easy for us were:

1. Fly when baby is tired: We had to wake up at 3 AM for our first flight.  This was exhausting, but it worked so well, as James slepts for half of the first flight and most of the second flight and was in a great mood for the rest of the day.  for the return flight, we left at 5:30 PM and he slept for almost all of the flights home.  I couldn’t believe it!

2. Bring forgotten favorites: I’ve read the tip to bring new books or toys for baby on the plane, but the thing is James doesn’t really like new stuff.  He isn’t generally interested in a new toy until it’s been on his shelf for a few days and he doesn’t love a book until we’ve read it a few hundred times.  So about a week or two before our trip, I put away all of his favorite books.  When I got them out on the airplane, it was like Christmas morning.  He could NOT have been more excited to see his favorite books again.  They kept him happy for all of his awake time on the flights.

3. Bring small finger foods: I think snacks keep everyone, children and adults, happy when traveling.  For us, puffs, cheerios, and peas helped the most because he eats them one at a time so it takes longer.  We brought more substantial food as well, but he tends to inhale things like pouches in about thirty seconds.

Those three things made the flights pretty easy!

We stayed in AirBnBs for all except the last night of the trip.  Both houses we stayed in had a great outdoor area with lots of grass.

Also, staying in an AirBnB allowed us to hang out after James went to bed, rather than sitting in silence so as not to wake him.  The only downside to renting houses was that they were not nearly as dark as James’s room or a hotel room, so he woke up around 5:30 every day when it got light.

This wasn’t totally terrible, as it allowed us to see some of the things that get really crowded, like popular beaches, when they were almost completely empty.

We were definitely tired by the end though.  When we stayed in a dark hotel room the last night, he slept 12 1/2 hours until 7 AM.  It was glorious.

Honestly, I had read that traveling with babies / small children is more of a trip than a vacation, but with a few exceptions, this was one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever taken.

I tend to be very go, go, go when traveling because I want to see everything, but having a baby who naps twice a day really forced me to slow down and spend time reading outside in the beautiful forest where we were staying and simply spending time with my family.  It was wonderful.

We didn’t do as much hiking as we normally would, or see every little thing there was to see, but we did get to slow down and really experience somewhere new.  We got to just be there, instead of rushing around and it was wonderful.

We just booked our next trip, to see family in Wisconsin, and I cannot wait!

Do you like to travel?

Are you go, go, go on vacations or more relaxed?

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  1. Hi lady! Okay, first of all, Maine has a special place in my heart, because I got engaged at Peaks Island off of the coast of Portland, and my hubs grew up in Maine. Second of all, I LOVED reading this, because I know for sure I will be taking my little babe on cross-country trips pretty early on, so he can see my family! Glad it went well for you and was better than expected! 🙂

    1. Thank you! That’s amazing that your husband grew up there, it is such a beautiful place, I already want to go back. We love to travel and this really did make me feel like it’s very possible / still enjoyable. Thanks for reading!

  2. He is adorable 🙂 and this looks like such a great vacation. I love Maine! I went a couple of weeks ago, actually.

    I’m going to Spain next week and I’m SO excited! I’m usually go, go, go on vacations, I want to see as much as possible. But I do enjoy a couple relaxing days, too.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. This sounded like an incredible trip! I’ve always wanted to go to Maine. The pictures look absolutely stunning and it sounds like everyone had a great time. Traveling with kids is easier than you think if you just do it and don’t think twice. And his lobster onesie looks perfect on his smiley, happy face! 😍

    1. Aww, thanks! It was really fun 🙂 Have you taken your beach trip yet?? I imagine traveling with two is a whole new adventure..

      1. Yes, Liam loved the beach. Cole had a raft for Liam to ride the waves in and he played with a ball and the waves (throwing it into the waves and running after it as it brushed up to shore). He had a blast! Unfortunately, little Alessandra got a sunburn on the first day at the beach. We had her under a tent with SPF but she still got burned. I spent the remainder of the week inside with her and only took her out in the evenings. How is your family doing in Houston? The news is making me worried!

        1. That is so tough about the sunburn 🙁 James does not seem to have very sensitive skin, but I used to nanny for two little red headed twins and it was SO hard to keep them from getting sunburned! My family is totally fine thank goodness, thanks for asking! It has been so sad to read about 🙁

  4. Love this post title! Looks like you had a fun trip. I agree with renting a house! We typically do that too. Sadly, now that we have 2 kids I think we will really have to find rentals with more than one bedroom. But with just one kid, we used to set up the pack n play 1/2 into the closet. Saved space and kept it a little darker for him too I think. We have our first trip with two kids coming up in a few months and are planning to relax on the beach. My husband and I used to travel and we’d always plan full days with sightseeing and checking out local spots, but with little kids it’s all about relaxing now for me!

    1. We did the exact same thing – put his bed half in the walk in closet! It seemed to help a little with making it dark, though the first house we rented was still really challenging because there was SO much natural light – really pretty, but not so good for baby sleep 🙂 Where are you going on your trip?

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