January 12, 2012 |  Category:   life nyc travels

Maybe it’s the mid-winter blues (though I have to say, we are having such a mild winter in New York after the past few insanely snowy and frigid winters, that I feel like I have no right to complain – temps near 60 again today!), but I’ve been daydreaming a lot about traveling. It’s so hard you know, with the business, school schedules, my unpredictable freelance schedule blah blah that the excuses loom large and become big hurdles that make it seem impossible outside of our yearly August trips to the Northwest. So instead, I start planning imaginary trips, browse hotels, search plane tickets in the hopes that something will click or that I’ll book something completely spontaneous.


What trips do you have planned this year? We have 2 big things happening in 2012: a big birthday for a certain member of our household and a big anniversary. I had fantasies of going to Hawaii to celebrate these 2 events as it’s been 10 years since we were last there and Mia is DYING to go because she has all these plans to live there when she’s a grown up, but airline tickets aren’t as cheap as they used to be (Mark and I once found $200 roundtrip tickets to Honolulu from NYC non-stop! Craziness) and now there are 4 airplane tickets to pay for. Traveling as a family has gotten very expensive. There was also talk of going to Disney World for Winter Break, but it was decided that it’s not affordable right now.
So there is the road trip option which worked fantastic for us last year when we went to the Outer Banks in May. I’d like to plan something for Spring Break which comes early this year in the beginning of April if my work schedule cooperates. The weather will still be cool unless we go south again, but I need a change of scenery. I want to look at something different, a different skyline, different buildings, different trees, walk different streets. Go somewhere unfamiliar. See something I’ve never seen before. Something to break out of our daily routine that for the most part is comforting, but sometimes can be stifling.

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  • dal January 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

    dude i hear ya.
    we always take road trips — i hate spending money on air fare. but i need to set eyes on something new, and bask in some sun.

  • Carolina January 12, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I hear you. I also have two little girls and it’s impossible for me to make it through the winter without looking forward to a trip in the spring. We are headed to St. Martin in April. Yes, it’s expensive but worth it (I hope!).

  • Selkie January 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Portland Maine!

  • Lauren January 12, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Yeah, we’re already planning our cross country road trip for this summer. I was just looking at weather averages this morning. Have you guys ever driven up to Montreal? That’s next on our list.

  • Jenna January 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    @Selkie you’ve been trying to get us up to Maine for years! And I do need to go back there, but maybe not in the spring!

    @Lauren, I’ve done the montreal drive 2x long before I had kids. It’s not bad, really

  • sarah January 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I’m feeling the need for a change of scenery as well. We did two huge road trips last year (2 weeks up the west coast and a week in the southwest). Being in LA is great for weekend get-aways and long drives, but I really want to get to the east coast someday. The problem is I’d so much rather drive and take in the scenery, which isn’t as easy with a flight & rental car. I suppose I’m stuck in my ways of packing my life into our car and practically living out of it! ha ha! I’d say we should swap places for a week… but at the same time you guys probably wouldn’t find LA nearly as fun and as exciting as I would find NY. 🙂 Here’s hoping for some cheap Hawaii flights for both of our needs!

  • Tina January 12, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I’m with ya. I have a family of 4 as well. I’ve been longingly wanting to go to Europe again. Anywhere in Europe. Sometimes I’ll look at airfares and hope against hope that prices have gone down. Nope. I always thought prices during the low seasons were pretty cheap unless you consider $700 cheap. I did look at prices to the west coast (we’re east coasters) and they’re around $300 or so. Not cheap but not Europe prices either.

  • benson January 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

    maybe you could do a house swap with one of your blog readers to cut down on costs (free lodging!) and be able to go whereever. People would “live” your world and you would enjoy theirs as well?

  • MCC January 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Ok, this is getting odd. You read my mind! Last week your post about “staying in business” was EXACTLY the conversation my husband and I were having and this week I have spent the entire week daydreaming about where to visit next… 🙂

    This is totally random – and just ignore me if i’m way off base, but since I love the NW, love your blog, and generally always feel a resounding “yes!” to whatever you’re writing about, I figure I would just put it out there. Would you consider – sedona, the grand canyon or page arizona? You could get cheap flights from NYC – Vegas and then drive. Google Antelope Canyon in Page – the pictues blew me away! It would be warm and definitely a change of scenery — I’ve never seen the red rocks but they’re speaking my language for some reason.


  • Cecilia Madden January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

    We are hoping to go to Cooperstown this summer. I’m hoping it works out because it’s supposed to be lovely and going to the baseball hall of fame is on my bucket list.

    A not-so-outdoorsy suggestion would be to visit Pittsburgh. I know, I know, it’s a smokey old city, but much of it really is charming. The Strip District has great food and shops and the waterfront is nice now too. I also hear the AIA does a great design tour of the city.

    Another charming option that might be sunnier and warmer is Athens, GA. A good foodie town.

    Good luck deciding.

  • Janine January 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    You’re right, it all becomes very expensive once you have to pay for the children. Last year we had our fab 5 week 20th anniversary trip to the states (we live in the UK) and we just went to Barcelona for a week. However in the summer we are moving to a MUCH more expensive area and we will no longer have the money for such extravagant trips. But do you know what, this year we also had a great time in our tent and a few days away in a youth hostel (very basic) and really enjoyed that too so you can definitely have fun on a budget. Vacations are important though, it’s what children will remember from their childhoods, so I think it’s vital to make time and put aside money to have regular break from your ordinary life even when money/time is tight.

  • Tragic Sandwich January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Our favorite place to go on vacation is Kauai. But that was when we needed two plane tickets and a studio condo–and both of those things have changed! This past summer we spent a week in Santa Barbara, which is a short (or interminable, depending on traffic) drive away–but a real change of scene and pace. My guess is that we’ll do something like that again this year. But I would like to go to Kauai.

  • Paule T.B. January 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I’m dreaming of a long weekend in a really remote cabin! With a fireplace and NO INTERNET CONNECTION. You wouldn’t have to drive too far, maybe in the Adirondaks? I’m in Montreal and we don’t have nearly as much snow as we are used to.. so somewhere north and forresty could be cool for me. 🙂

  • Miranda January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    What about a train trip down to Charleston, S.C.? Isle of Palms, near Charleston, is a beachy option, too.

  • oilandgarlic January 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    It’s hard to have wanderlust when you have kids. One of the reasons I want to move to Europe is so that my road trips can take me to other countries!

  • Misha January 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    YES! We should be moving back to Cali by September. We want to do a cross-country road trip…with two kids. This is be one for the books. Other than that, it’s just D.C this March for my half-marathon(over the moon about that one!)

  • kate o January 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    This winter we are road tripping to West Virginia. My in-laws are renting a cabin. We plan on doing a little skiing and lots of cooking meals together and playing games. It think it might be the perfect non-fussy vacation.

  • Karen January 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I just love your openness and honesty. You write so clearly.
    I had a baby last year and we have not been on vacation for 18 months, which is the longest time ever for me! I too, look at travel sites and hotels and I even dream of my times in Paris! Ahhhh!

  • tooodayi January 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Come and vist Australia!

  • Stephanie January 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    We’re foregoing a big weeklong vacation this year and are doing three long weekends instead. Two nights away in Carmel without the kids, two nights at Lava Beds National Monument exploring caves with the kids and two nights this June in Yosemite for a hike. I’m hoping that having little things to look forward to over the coming months will keep me happy with the day to day.

  • Jennifer January 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Charleston!!!! Great food, sightseeing, beaches, walking & even ghost tours!

  • mau January 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    We missed our annual trip to Paris last year because our baby was still too small. So I’m hoping we’ll go back this year. We should also be going to Italy for a wedding in May. You’re lucky that you can drive to a different state and get away from it all. Living on an island, we have to fly wherever we want to go, which makes it expensive and more work. I’d just pack up my car, pop in the kids and drive away!

  • Theresa January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    We just got back from a cross country roadtrip. 3 weeks: L.A. (6 days) then 2 days on the road, Jackson Mississippi (8 days) then 2 days on the road, New York (3 days). Amazing!!! And, it was reasonable when you consider it was the holidays…

    2012, we’re planning 3 days in Paris and 3 days at Disney World. That’s it for now…

  • Therese January 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Oh, how I hear you. We are here in Vancouver, BC with a mild and less rainy than usual winter but I find myself dreaming of different scenery often.
    We are hoping to have enough points to fly down to San Diego for a week while the hubby works.
    Here’s hoping it all works out even though I would be alone most days by myself with 2 crazy boys age 3 and 4.

  • melanie January 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    talking about travelling…I’m trying to organise a long term house swap with someone living in Brooklyn for my little familiy of four…anyone interested in living in Switzerland for a while? we have a great, very big appartment in a beautiful and quiet village, close to all big cities in the country…Switzerland is a great place to visit europe from, everything is so close!

  • Margaret January 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I plan trips that haven’t yet materialised – I am bursting to visit New York and would love to go to Canada and Italy and take another trip to Disney World… but it’s a pretty big year for us in England so our plans are centred around London and the Olympics – hope some of you lovely people in the States will be visiting us!!

  • Jess January 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I’m always planning trips – actually I start planning the next one before I’m home from a trip I’m on. I love the dreaming and planning I think almost as much as the trip 🙂

    The airfares are always the killer when travelling with the family. So I’ve become an expert at finding the most amazing accommodation at great value to make the trips more affordable. I love tripadvisor.

    One of the best family trips we have had so far was a safari in Tanzania with a week at Pongwe Beach in Zanzibar.It was incredible value.

  • Jessica C. January 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Anywhere I can escape, disappear and walk around without having to worry about this or that going on is great. I do want to come to New York because I really want to see the musical, Once. I keep planning a little birthday getaway despite knowing that it probably isn’t financially possible because I went back to school this year and am saving up to go to a friend’s destination wedding. It gets me through the semester though, thinking about all the places I would like to go to.

  • katie January 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    ah, tell me about it, i’d love to get away! (so many holiday commercials on tv at the moment!)

    this april i am travelling to vegas to see little sis get married (given that we live in london, this is a pretty big trip!) – also getting to see san francisco for the first time, which i’m excited about.

    Have been reading good things about budapest recently – cheap (if you’re already in europe i guess), & lots to do/see. I’ve been once to new york state (the catskills), which was pretty amazing, i’d like to go there again..

    Happy holiday planning!

    Katie x

  • jen January 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    haha, i’m doing the same thing. i even tried to convince myself we could go to paris with a 5 and 1 year old! but we’re on a budget too and we’re going to do the road trip thing for spring break. go to LA stay with my bro and then a few days in san diego hopefully with some pool access for the kiddos unless i see a great deal to hawaii!

  • SY January 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    We live in California and usually go to Hawaii every other year, but you’re right the prices are insane at the moment…How about San Diego? You’ll get the nice weather and there are tons of things for the kids to see and do. Or if you’re really adventurous, Puerto Rico is great, we went there with the kids 2 years ago for spring break — they are 8 and 10 now so they would have been about your kids’ ages. Or, last one, how about the Florida Keys?

  • chai ling January 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    travel to Asia, if budget allows! =)

  • Nancy Cavillones January 13, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I foresee a lot of road trips in our future, too. We were all four supposed to go to Italy for a wedding, but when we realized the trip would cost at least 10K, thanks in large part to having to buy four plane tickets, we decided that my husband would go to Italy alone. Boo hoo. (We went to Poland for a week when we had just one kid, and she was a lap child, so we managed to do the whole trip for 5K. That was only two years ago!)

  • heather January 13, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Oh I hear ya- I’ve been checking out flights and hotels for hawaii (we are in vancouver and could drive to seattle which is cheaper) for a family of 4- but it still feels expensive. I wonder if you could sort out a house swap to make the accom. portion of your trip more reasonable for your family- then it would be just the airfare. I know lots of people who do the points thing to save on airfare- I can’t be bothered, but I know those who do…
    Hope you find some place to escape to!

  • taste area January 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Such a beautiful post once again..I’m making dreams about trips all the time. We recently moved to Atlanta from Greece and we are so curious about exploring the country and we thought we should start from New York? but then I thought New York with two kids, one 3 and one 3 months old, where to go-what to see..I even thought of asking you some places to go! What do you think of it?
    Maybe we should start with something else in springtime..San Francisco maybe? I don’t know..for you though I would suggest you a visit to Greece- plan a trip sometime, it really is one of a kind. xx

  • Helle (Helen) January 13, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I can so relate to your need to see new things. Last year, well 2010 actually, my husband bossed me into coming along to Botswana, I don’t like flying, and apart from being just a great trip, it was also so wonderful to do something totally new, see something so different from our usual holidays here in Europe, which I always really enjoy, just dong something so different has been the holiday we still keep talking about. And it was a return to the continent of my childhood, which of course made it even more special.

  • Ula January 13, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I’m excited about my travel plans because in March/April I’m going to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and in August to Tokyo! All the tickets were inexpensive but for the Tokyo one I paid only 300$ Rome-Tokyo-London, insane!:)

  • stuffedmice January 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

    i’m just reading the comments and most of these places are unknown to me (yet?). unlike you, i don’t feel like travelling, i feel like living somewhere else for a while. travelling is fun but i want to get to know some places, have favourite walks etc. next week we (my partner and i) are flying to buenos aires to live there for three months. later this year, i’m hoping to finally finish off my fundraising and go to costa rica for two-three months. but the funny thing is, lately i’ve been more and more fascinated with china so who knows what happens next:) hope you do g somewhere. despite the sensible excuses that is:)

  • stuffedmice January 13, 2012 at 8:46 am

    and g=go. even the word travels;)

  • Sue January 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I do the same thing, plan imaginary trips. Some unexpected expense always pops up or I get nervous about taking a trip with my Autistic toddler. Lots of excuses but sometimes you just have to go and enjoy yourself.

  • velika January 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I for one would not mind at all seeing a few ads on your site if it would fund some good trips. You always have such insightful descriptions — and beautiful photos — of even small trips.

  • Hasenfeld J January 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Try the Primland up Blue Ridge Mountains. Not pricy, quiet

  • Jenna January 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    guys, thanks for all the travel tips and suggestions on places to go. love it!!

  • Jocy January 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I think this year Ethan and I will stay put for half of the year. We have a move coming up in August, but before then we have plane tickets bought for Indonesia and India. The deals were really cheap on AirAsia ( so we booked months ahead of time. Knowing there’s a significant vacation in summer will hopefully energize me to begin the year fresh.

  • Meghann Chapman January 14, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I have the same day dreams. When I was young, my family did a trip to the Outer Banks and we simply fell in love with the place. My parents actually make a yearly trip to Ocracoke now.
    We are planning for a trip to Omaha this summer. I’m hoping to land a design internship there as well.

  • David Ralph January 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Road trips absolutely rock. I cant get enough of them.

    If Disney World is too expensive then why not go down to the Florida Keys. The weather is great, and lots of the things to see are free too.

    And we always camp on the beach sometimes. Really wonderful