Written by Guest Contributor Jeneka G
Are you a mom?
When was the last time you traveled with a girlfriend, let alone a group of them?
Before I had my daughter Tsanna I traveled often with my closest friends.
I backpacked Europe, dined in St. Tropez, explored the Egyptian pyramids and four-wheeled Dubai’s desert sands all in search of adventure with my besties. However, one of my immediate presumptions after having my daughter was that my fun, carefree, and amazing girlfriends wouldn’t be interested in traveling with me ‘+1’.
Why would they want to help me warm up bottles in the middle of the night, help push a car-seat and stroller around the airport, slow down and examine the critters along the beach shore? Much to my surprise, my friends jumped at the opportunity to travel with us when I asked. They eventually went so far as to actually plan trips with my daughter in mind! I found that my initial travel assumption was very wrong.
Since then my daughter and I have traveled to France, Miami and most recently, Orlando (Disney!) with my (amazing) girlfriends.
Last month, Kirsten (aka “Auntie Coco”), Joana (“Auntie Yoyo”) and myself planned a surprise Disney trip for my daughter. We had four fun filled days of ride-hopping, candy-tasting and line waiting at Disney. These days were full of fireworks, piggyback rides and the wonder of a 4 year old. This trip inspired me to write my…
Top 5 Reasons Why Moms Need to Travel with Their Girlfriends
1 Auntie Moments
It was a joy to see the tender moments shared between my toddler and her ‘Aunts’. They laughed together, taught each other to be amazed at what they saw around them and held each others’ hands. Watching the bond between my daughter and these women made me grateful for these important friendships in my life. It also made me realize that these ambitious, career-driven women were exercising their nurturing skills before having kids themselves. A true win-win situation!
2 Memory Making
My daughter talks about going to Disneyland with her “Aunties” to this day. Traveling with your friends strengthens the bond that city life disintegrates. When in the city your friends can no longer just pop on over to your condo for a visit. First they have to negotiate and pay for parking, navigate security and leave in time to beat traffic. Traveling instead gives you a chance to be together for longer periods of time without any obstacle in your way. Traveling and being in each other’s company for days really strengthens that bond and imprints awesome memories that will be talked about for years to come. My daughter is still asking when we can go back to Disney. Me and my friend still laugh at seeing Tsanna’s face after riding Magic Mountain (way too fast for her!).
3 There’s Always a Picture Taker
Moms always have thousands of pictures of their kids, but not many of meaningful photos which feature parent and child. One of the best things about traveling with friends is the extra hand ready to capture priceless moments that otherwise, would have gone un-documented. So having an auntie around to take some snapshots is undoubtedly priceless.
4 Offsetting the Cost
If you’re a single mom like myself, you understand that traveling with a child means double the cost. My friends not only shared the price of a room, but we had family style meals and shared expensive snacks. These types of trips are great value!
5 It Takes a Community
Hands down the biggest benefit to traveling with your girlfriends are the extra, manicured hands ready to aid you. The astuteness of combined minds can work together to create the most magical experience for the child on the trip. When traveling with friends, there are no sore arms from carrying a forty pound tired toddler – because when you feel like your arms are going to fall off from strain, an auntie swoops in and offers her shoulders. Or waking up in the morning, childless, in the hotel room to a note that says, “we went to get you coffee, enjoy the extra sleep”. Having resourceful aunties use their networks to get free Disney passes isn’t so bad either!
My daughter took her first steps in Monaco, with her aunties cheering her on from the sidelines. We still bring this up as a wondrous and monumental moment in her life when we get together. Traveling with your closest friends and your child can be one of the most memorable travel experiences – ever.
Just make sure your friends know that with a toddler everything moves slower, that there may be a temper tantrum (or two) and that fine dining might mean a night at the Rain Forest Cafe.
And to those exceptional travel-friendly aunties know that when you’re a mommy, I will piggyback your kids and point out Mickey Mouse, that I will cheer your babies on through every miracle, and share your delight in your motherhood experience.
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