by Tammy Berard
I love summer! To me it means quality family time. I have such great memories of family summer vacations growing up and I enjoy making those same memories for my children. Up until now, we have not flown anywhere with our three kiddos. My daughter is our first born, and for 6 years when she was an only child, we flew everywhere with her! We would go to California, New York and the Carribean. But, things changed when our two boys were born and we haven’t thought about stepping foot on a plane with all 3 of them!!
So, traveling became part of our “Bucket List.” Our hand was forced to travel with all 3 kids when my husband’s brother, who lives in Oregon, got engaged last fall and wanted everyone in the wedding this Summer. Not only would we have to fly with three kids, we would have to fly clear across the country! As a recovering control freak and professional worrier, I immediately started thinking of ways to get out of it. I eventually had to surrender, and make the best of our plans to travel across the country! After all, this was going to be a big event in our lives and I wanted to create great memories for my kids.
Tons of work went into planning a trip for 5! It felt like constant stress and anxiety with every decision; bring the car seat or rent one? Fly early or late? Rent a minivan or SUV? Stay at a hotel or with family? One of my favorite bible verses happens to be 1 Corinthians 14:40, “Do all things decently and in order”…but I must admit, I need to loosen up the reigns of control sometimes. My husband, as you might suspect, is a very patient man, and we eventually worked out the details.
As the trip got closer, I spent much time in prayer. The day before we left, my anxiety almost took over. My best friend and mentor came over to pray with me. They both prayed such sweet blessings and peace over my family and I, and that night I slept like a rock. On the day we were leaving, I woke up with an anticipation and a sense of calmness that I never expected. I love when God shows up like that right in the middle of a storm. The kids, as you can imagine, were so excited. My three year old had been counting down the days for a month until he would ride on a plane. To keep myself in a fun state of mind we planned a crazy photo shoot to take at the airport and send to our family to let them know we were on our way. It was out of character for me, but I am thankful for that idea because we will cherish this photo for years!
In the end, the trip was a blast. Traveling was easier than expected and the best part was that my kids made some really special memories that will last a lifetime! I hope looking back that they won’t remember how nervous and neurotic I was…I hope they remember how cool we were instead! So, look out world, our crew can travel anywhere!
Do you have any big trips planned for the summer? What are some travel tips you can share for traveling with a family? Share your comments below!
Tammy has been married to her college sweetheart, Raymond Berard, for 17 years. They have three children ages 12, 6 and 3. Tammy is a previous teacher and school administrator who now enjoys being the keeper of the schedule for her busy family. She is also the current leader of Beautiful Moms and hosts a small group for Married Life. She loves to shop, cook, dance and cheer on her Gators!