We are getting ready to go to Costa Rica. Kids and all. Its slightly overwhelming to pack for four people. I think I might go insane. When we drove 9 hours in the car for Christmas, I did a terrible job of packing. It was my first time packing for four people, plus school was busy because of December, I had a small baby and I was packing for Santa. Oh many it was a lot. Terrible job, some people had too many pants, others didn't really have any shirts. I'm pretty sure my daughter had three sunday dresses, we were only gone for one sunday.
This time everyone gets four shirts, two pairs of shorts and two pairs of pants. One fleece jacket, and one rain jacket. Except the baby, my husband told me to make my life easier and pack twice as much for him, he is the messiest and his clothes are the smallest.
Did I mention we are going abroad?!
I'm super overwhelmed about food. Its fun to travel and eat food that is different that normal, but there comes a time when you stop in McDonalds because food from USA sounds so appealing (even though you hate McDs in the the US, and its not the same it doesn't quite taste right. Well I'm taking small children, small children don't like to try new things (we totally have tried so hard to teach our children to eat adult food, like adults, it failed). Small children get tired and have a melt down when food isn't quite what they are expecting. I'm nervous.
But there is lots of fruit in Costa Rica, so I think we should be good.
Sometimes I forget that I lived a charmed life, and not everyone has traveled internationally. My husband was a teenager first time he flew internationally, as was I. He lived in Chile for two years. We went to Argentina when we were newlyweds. Everyone in my family has traveled internationally. I forget this isn't the norm. Then again you save money, look for deals, there is plenty of international travel for the same price as popular vacations in the US.
We use to dream about travels, then my second baby hit. Life got extremely overwhelming I had a high maintenance baby, my husband worked full time, and did a MBA program. When he would dream about travel, I would get angry. All I could think of was 12 hour international flights, breaking out in hives on the way to Paris, or morning sickness in Buenos Aries, and trips to DFW with two small kids and no husband. I can't list the amount of time I've been barfed on or peed on in an airplane. The last thing I wanted to do was fly internationally with children.
But my husband did something to insure his dreams would come true. We paid his MBA in cash, but first we paid the the tuition on an airline credit card, then paid it off before it charged interest. Along with four tickets to San Jose, I also went to my cousin's wedding on miles, and we have enough miles for another trip sans kids.
When he explained you can travel to Central America in just a few hours, I let him spend a year planning his dream family vacation. Now that my husband is home at least half the nights to help with dishes, and bedtime, I THINK I can handle flying with my kids. He will be on the plane with us.
Being in a upper middle class household is all about priorities. When some find out we are going to Costa Rica they ask how can we afford that. Usually we responded oh we saved, or we have frequent flyer miles. But really the answer is priorities. Traveling internationally is a priority for my husband so we made it happen. My husband always talks about moving, but it will be a very long time, our house is relatively cheap, and relatively small. Our boys share a bedroom. He would much rather travel than live in a bigger house, plus I don't want to clean a big house. My husband drives a car that is 14 years old. When my husband was in Peru a few months ago, once his business part of the trip, he left the nice hotel and went to a hostel. We are not staying a hostel, but we are hardly staying in a 5 star hotel.
By the way I get to drink Fanta from a foreign country, in two days. Fanta is so good outside the US.
Lastly, you know when you read packing lists and it says one pair of jeans, you can wear pants indefinitely and they don't get dirty like shirts. I think that is crap. You need two pairs of pants, pants absorb smells too. You need one to wear and one to wash/dry. That is at least my opinion.