7 Signs You’re Ready to Travel With Your Couple Friends

Couples Vacation

My husband and I just returned from a blissful week-long, kid-free, tropical vacation celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary. We traveled with two other couples and as the six of us were rehashing the trip on our final night we realized we had the best time together, had checked off some bucket list items, and had each only gotten in one fight with our significant other. As married couples and parents with seven kids between us, that last trip highlight felt like quite the feat.

Research has found that couple friendships are an important part of marriage wellbeing. But how do you know whether you are ready to take your couple friendship to the next level and travel together? Here are a few signs your couples trip will be a success.

Traveler Tips For Leaving the Kids at Home & Actually Enjoying Your Trip

Travel Tips for Leaving the Kids and Enjoying Your Trip

My husband and I have taken a handful of trips away from our kids since we became parents, but none so far as when we jet-setted off to Sydney, Australia for my younger brother’s wedding. In truth, the anxiety about being so far away from my babies overshadowed the excitement of actually traveling to an incredible new country I never dreamed I’d visit. As much as we all need a break from parenting once in a while, halfway around the world is about as far away as you can get from your children. So what did I learn to help mitigate my anxiety and maximize our fun?

Will Your Family History Survive the Digital Dark Age?

Tips to Help Your Family History Survive the Digital Dark Age

In college, I worked as an archives assistant in the basement of the university library for $5.55 and hour. It was one of my favorite jobs ever. At the time, we were scanning and uploading the collection so it could be accessed online. The work was essentially data entry, but I loved feeling connected to the people who’d passed through my campus before me.

This love of history runs a level deeper when it comes to my own family. I’m the self-appointed family archivist and cherish tangible artifacts from generations past. From the engraved necklace of a great great aunt who shared my name to the handwritten valentine from my grandpa to my grandma. I peruse thousands of family photos and sometimes gather some for a timely Facebook post.

Now that I have kids of my own, I feel constantly torn between living in the moment and capturing the moment in my own little family history. Maybe that’s just part of parenting today, but if you’re the family archivist (and there’s one in every family), see if any of this also sounds familiar:

New Traditions Born After Spending Baby’s First Christmas in the Hospital

New Traditions Born After Spending Baby's 1st Christmas in the Hospital

I’ve always had to travel for the holidays. My parents were wonderful about keeping Christmas morning focused on our immediate family, waking up at home with Santa gifts under the tree. But then after breakfast, we’d be packed up and on the road for at least an hour’s drive to visit relatives.

When my first baby was born, my husband and I decided we weren’t going to travel for the holidays. She was a preemie, we were recovering NICU parents, and she was only a few months old. Plus, my husband had always been a closeted Clark Griswold, and wanted to make Christmas magical for his firstborn.

Then the miraculous happened. My entire extended family was coming to me in Chicago on Christmas! In truth it wasn’t just me drawing them there, some cousins lived in the city too, but now 30-some of my relatives were going to be gathered in our city to celebrate a real “big old-fashioned family Christmas!”

My husband and I planned a casual Christmas eve dinner with friends since my family would be arriving Christmas day. I couldn’t wait to introduce our new bundle of joy to the expansive extended family she’d been blessed with, plus my three younger brothers, one even flying in from his job overseas. I imagined everyone swooning over her and pictured us bundling up and strolling downtown to take in the twinkling magic of Michigan Avenue at night.

But the day before Christmas she got sick. New parent worry kicked in and we took her to the doctor that day, assuming we were probably overreacting. A quick check-up later and we were told to go straight to the ER and, alarmingly, not to even stop at home.

Our little preemie had RSV. No visitors. No unwrapping gifts under the tree. No “big old-fashioned family Christmas”.