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travel with kids

crater lake travel guide

Crater Lake & Mount Hood Travel Diary

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So we’re traveling for 4 months… Now what!?

That was the question we asked ourselves once we decided we were going to travel for the summer. The thought of traveling long term has always been a dream of mine but the execution with a 6 year old & an (almost) 3 year old was going to take a lot of planning. I was up for the challenge though & immediately started brainstorming places we wanted to travel to.

One of the first ideas that popped into my head was a road trip through Oregon, Washington & Canada. I had done it once before but Kannon was a toddler & Adam wasn’t able to join us because of a work project so it would be a new adventure for them. One thing led to another & next thing we knew, we had a 3 week trip in an RV planned! Keep reading for the first part of our summer road trip adventure!

crater lake travel guide crater lake pet friendly

Day 1: Salt Lake City, Utah to Winnemucca, Nevada

Our first day consisted of driving from the Salt Lake City, Utah area to a small city named Winnemucca in Nevada. We didn’t want to drive the entire way to Crater Lake in one day so we decided to drive halfway & stop to sleep to break up the trip. I’m not going to lie, we slept in a Walmart parking lot that night & while it might sound very odd, it wasn’t bad at all, it was free & actually convenient because we could run into the store for water or any necessities we needed! Apparently, this is a thing for RV life & some Walmarts allow it but some don’t so if you’re looking to stay in a Walmart parking lot, make sure to check with the manager or they might come knocking on your door & make you leave in the middle of the night 🙂

Day 2: Winnemucca, Nevada to Crater Lake, Oregon

We woke up early (thanks to our sweet boys :)) & decided to get on the road since we still had about a 6-hour drive to Crater Lake. The drive was beautiful & we made plenty of pit stops along the way to let our boys get out, stretch their legs & throw some rocks on the side of the road (which is their favorite activity on road trips). This was our first time to Crater Lake & it was absolutely breathtaking! Photos don’t do it justice because you can’t quite capture the expansiveness of the lake & its surroundings but it truly is a sight to see. If you’re traveling through Oregon, I highly recommend making a stop, even if it’s a quick one, because it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

After exploring for a bit we jumped back in the RV & headed to our campsite. We stayed at Diamond Lake Campground ($24/night) & it was such a beautiful campground! The view of the lake from our RV window was lovely & besides the crazy amounts of mosquitos, it was incredible! We had a couple of major mishaps occur the next day but if you haven’t already, you can watch our vlog from this portion of the trip HERE. Those experiences made for a funny story & a crazy day but honestly, it made the trip that much more memorable & we were just thankful that we were safe.

trillium lake campground review mount hood travel guide

Day 3: Crater Lake, Oregon to Mount Hood, Oregon

What should have been about a 4 1/2 hour drive turned into a full day because of the crazy tire blowout I was talking about above (video of the day is HERE) BUT those moments are what make the adventure a true adventure & it’s a story that we’ll talk about for years to come. To be honest, I felt really proud of us for figuring the situation out considering we had never changed a flat tire on an RV, we didn’t have any cell service & we were blocking half of the lane of traffic. So all in all, I will take the experience as a win!

Once we finally made it to our campground near Mount Hood, we started a campfire, roasted marshmallows & watched the most beautiful sunset overlooking Trillium Lake & Mount Hood. The woman standing next to us said the sky was the most pink she’s ever seen it & she wasn’t lying, the sky was absolutely breathtaking!

Have you been to Crater Lake &/or Mount Hood before? What’s the most beautiful lake you’ve ever seen?

summer vacation idea 2019

Our First Summer Vacation 2019

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If you guys don’t follow along with my YouTube videos, you may have missed our big announcement! I’ll post it here for you guys in case you want to catch up with our big summer plans 🙂

For those of you who did watch it, you know that we have a wild ride ahead for this summer. 4 months of traveling is no joke & the prep that went into getting everything ready & packed up was slightly absurd BUT I would also do it over again because I’m so excited for our adventures ahead. It’s been a dream of mine to travel more long-term for years now & this is our practice run to see how much we (aka the boys) can handle.

summer family trip idea

Jeans | Denim Jacket (medium wash version) | Red Sneakers 

Our first adventure was a 3-week road trip in a motor home & I’m excited to put together a couple of posts for you guys with all of the places we stayed, the route we took, our must-haves for RV life, etc. This trip was one that put me slightly out of my comfort zone but this summer I’m really trying to broaden my horizons & do things that make me feel uncomfortable because I think it’s a great way to grow as an individual. Traveling in an RV might not sound like a big deal to most but I don’t personally love camping & the whole process makes me slightly anxious. I’m happy to say that I survived the trip though & actually really enjoyed the RV life!

I filmed a video with all of our must-have items that made being in an RV comfortable with 2 adults, 2 children & a dog that I’ll be sharing with you all in a few days. I discovered quite a few new products that made that “glamping” life so much easier & I can’t recommend them enough for road trips & traveling with kids. Let me know if you guys are interested in a post or video dedicated to what I brought in my makeup bag &/or the skincare products I can’t travel without!

What are your summer plans!?

 

traveling overseas with young kids

Traveling Overseas with Young Kids

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We made it to Rome all in one piece & with 2 babes in tow! Seriously though, I was so nervous to take the boys to Europe for the first time & I pictured all of the things that could possibly go wrong in my head for over a month. Dramatic? Maybe! But if you’re a parent, you know that the idea of traveling with young kids can cause all sorts of stress. I’m here to tell you that we survived though & that I’m so happy we decided to take our boys along on this adventure 🙂
Traveling Young Kids travel babies
I know that at 17 months old, Hendrix is far too young to remember this trip BUT I do feel like this trip was a great starter trip to get him more used to traveling in the future. Kannon, on the other hand, was beyond excited for our trip to Rome & couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks leading up to our actual trip.
overseas flight baby traveling europe baby
Now for how we survived the flight with the boys! I’m not going to lie, Kannon was a breeze. He’s almost 5 so he’s at an easier age where he can walk through the airport on his own, carry his own backpack & curl up in a ball & sleep 10 hours on the plane. We gave him a little gummy melatonin to help him sleep well & everything was as smooth as can be with him! We did buy him a toddler pillow & this amazing invention to make it easier for him to sleep on the plane though!

 

Hendrix on the other hand.. Well, he’s never been the greatest sleeper. We decided that because of this, we would purchase him his own seat instead of having him fly as a lap infant. He’s nearly 18 months old & after flying to New York a couple of months ago with him on our lap, we knew it would save us the headache of trying to wrestle him the whole flight. We brought along our favorite travel car seat (it’s seriously SO light & we carry it in this travel backpack with Kannon’s travel booster seat, which makes it so much easier to carry around!) & it definitely made a difference. He watched a movie (don’t judge us for letting him watch tv before 2 ;)) & fell asleep for a couple of hours in his seat. Then the person in front of him reclined their seat & his toes hit the touchscreen on the seat back & woke him up. Not the greatest luck with that because for the next 7 hours he refused to sleep & only wanted me to hold him haha. I came prepared with lots of snacks, his favorite movies on the iPad, his carrier to bounce him in the back of the plane & a couple new hot wheels cars to hold onto. I may have also brought half of a caffeine pill for myself so that I could stay awake & keep him from crying so that he didn’t disturb everyone else trying to sleep on the plane haha. Sometimes you gotta do what you’ve gotta do, right?! I’m not going to lie & say that it was a piece of cake traveling with a 17-month-old on a 12-hour flight BUT I will say that it was completely manageable & so worth the experience & memories made. If I can do it, I know you can too!
europe young kids long flight with baby
 Traveling isn’t always easy with young kids BUT in my honest opinion, it is worth the one million things you have to tote across the world & the lack of sleep because there is nothing like teaching your kids about the world & actually letting them experience those cultures on their own.
If you’ve traveled overseas with your babes, what are your tips for traveling overseas with young kids??