Traveling the World (with your kids)

When you get pregnant with your first, you often hear, "Well, life is over as you know it."  While that is true in some ways (like you can't go and get blackout drunk with your spouse, because have you ever cared for an infant with a hangover???), it's a really crappy way of welcoming someone into parenthood by dumping sand all over their picnic.  The fact is, yes kids change everything, but not in the negative way that that phrase would have you believe.  Different doesn't mean just means different.

We recently took our 18 month old on a huge family vacation to Europe.  We went to Paris, London, Lyon, Grenoble, and Torino for two weeks, just the three of us.  When we told people about our plans, the reactions were all basically the same measure of disbelief- "You're taking a TODDLER to Europe for two weeks?!?!?  Isn't that a waste of money?  He won't remember anything!  It's a such a long flight, won't he fuss?"  And so on and so forth.  We politely said it would be fine, and privately rolled our eyes.  We'd worked hard all winter and we deserved a nice reward, one that we wanted to share as a family.

Plan Accordingly for a Smooth Ride  

So off we went.  We flew into Paris on Air France, and let's start there.  AF was AMAZING to us!  Our son was just barely too long for the complimentary bassinet, so they booked us in a middle row, and made sure NOT to book anyone with us, essentially giving us a free seat for our little dude.  Now, MOST OF THE TIME, when you fly to Europe, your flight out of the US leaves in the afternoon or evening, so the bulk of the flight is while you are (hopefully) sleeping.  The best advice is to plan your flights (domestic or international) around the same time as your child sleeps, and so for an international flight, this can be easily accomplished.  We flew out of the US at about 9 pm, which meant that our tyke fell asleep a few minutes after takeoff and woke up about an hour or so before we landed in Paris.  BEAUTIFUL.  

As we were going to be bouncing around a bit, we chose to fly from Paris to London, and then from London to Lyon, to cut down on travel time (don't worry, we let Baby Bear enjoy European rail travel too!).  Again, just like we said, plan around your child's sleep schedule.  We flew from Paris to London at about 8 pm, and even though he didn't sleep on the short 50 minute flight, he had a bottle and a diaper change, which was more than enough to distract him.  Heading to Lyon, we chose an EARLY morning flight (6 am, anyone?), and thanks to the hour, he was still in sleep mode, so he fell asleep right after take off and woke up as we touched down, refreshed and ready to charm the border agents with his sparkling smile. 

As the saying goes, you are the expert on your child.  No one knows them better than you do, so plan accordingly and choose a travel plan that will work with their personality.  

Kid-Friendly Doesn't Have to Mean Theme Park

Look, Disneyland and Universal Studios are great places to take your family, if you're into that sort of thing.  But your kids aren't necessarily going to be bored by anything that isn't a giant mouse handing out balloons.  Kids like adventure, it's in their programming, and anywhere they have the freedom to get the wiggles out is most likely going to be a hit.  

We have been to Europe several times, and before baby, the plan was a simple one- museum, walk, museum, drink, museum, food, museum, museum, museum.  This time around, we knew that our little traveler was not going to want to spend all day in the d'Orsay with Mama (and frankly, neither did Dad).  So, again, we planned accordingly.  We focused most of our sightseeing on outdoor activities and parks, and guess what.  It was the most fun we've ever had on the continent!  The Jardin des Plantes in Paris was free, beautiful, and we all had the best time, running around the paths, meeting frogs and ducks, and napping under the cool trees (well at least for Baby Bear).  We spent a whole day walking through the city along the Seine, stopping here and there to play in this playground or the other, and finishing with a sunset picnic at the Eiffel Tower, where our son was extremely satisfied with stepping over the curbs on the gravel paths and feeding the sparrows who would land on his knee.  And what kid doesn't love a ferris wheel?!  I know ours certainly loved his trip up the Roue de Paris, as we wound our way through the City of Lights!   

Once we got to Lyon, we were well into our vacation groove and, well, I mean I could write an entire blog just on how cool Lyon is!  But the highlight was absolutely the Parc de la Tete d'Or, Lyon's main city park that boasts a train ride for the littles, botanical gardens featuring plants from all over France and their (current and former) territories worldwide, and a zoo...ALL FOR FREE.  Let me repeat that- there is NO entrance fee for any of the activities, except for the train which is a whopping 2 Euros.  When was the last time you went a zoo in the US for free?  I'm guessing the answer is NEVER.  

My point is, your kids aren't going to be "bored" if you show them that a good time can be had anywhere.  And you won't be bored either.  

Carting Them Around

Now, in terms of how to take your kids around, this definitely comes down to a personal preference.  We brought our Osprey hiking carrier, as well as our Maclaren travel stroller, and to be honest, Baby Bear spent most of his travel time between activities in the stroller.  Looking back, had we known what we know now, we would have left the Osprey at home.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our Osprey.  It is sturdy, comes with a sun shade, and has pockets galore, which makes it super easy to pack for a day out.  However, I swear to Michael Palin, every time we are in Europe, they are having a heatwave and this time was no exception.  Carrying anything extra and heavy on your back during a hot day is just not fun, no matter how you spin it.  In fact, we were told that we were in London during the first sunny bank holiday in 50 years!  Thank goodness our dude was cool to chill in his stroller while we navigated the cobbled streets of the South Bank. 

We did bust out the Osprey in Grenoble, though, for a hike through the Parc Naturel de la Chartreuse.  If hiking is your jam, I literally cannot recommend this carrier enough.  It is absolutely amazing for hiking, and it gives your little a really nice vantage point to check out their surroundings.  And if you're out and about during nap time, the gentle bouncing of the carrier will make sure that your kiddo doesn't miss that all-important sleep that they need!

Packing, To Bring or Not To Bring?

Okay, so let's be real.  When it comes to packing, we all strive to pack as light as possible and then inevitably end up looking something a bit more like Princess Vespa with her industrial-sized hairdryer that she can't live without.  


But hey!  Let our experience help guide you!  First of all, we brought far too many clothes for the munchkin.  Most parents can relate to the idea that if you don't pack enough, your kid will soil all of their clothes for the entire trip in the first day.  But really the concept boils down to packing enough of the right clothes.  Socks, underwear (if they are old enough), and enough clothes to last a week, and that should be sufficient.  No matter where you go or for how long you're away, odds are there is a laundromat available nearby (if you're in a city) or a washing machine in-house.  We stayed at an AirBnB that had a washer in the apartment, so we really didn't need the amount of clothes that we brought.  AirBnB (and the like) will list these amenities on their website, so if you're going to be away for longer than your suitcase can carry, definitely pay attention and choose a place that can offer these features.  Also, think about the kind of clothes you're bringing.  Certainly, one nice outfit for a night out at a fancy restaurant may be in order, but that should be more than sufficient, as in reality, you will probably be stopping in for food as you go along, and your kids do not care what they look like.  

Second, things like diapers, creams, and toiletries are pretty universal, so pack enough for your flight, and maybe the first couple of days, but then just buy it when you get there.  We brought a sleeve of diapers with us, and frankly, it was totally unnecessary and just took up extra room in our suitcase.  Hats and babies are like crepes and Nutella- you don't need them to be together, but they're better when they are.  But you don't need to bring tous les chapeaux pour bébé.  Souvenirs like a cute sun hat that says I Heart London can serve a dual purpose and keep your packing down to a minimum.  What I'm trying to say is, if you can buy it there, do.  It will make packing much, MUCH easier, and give you less crap to keep track of.  

Finally, speaking of souvenirs, if your kiddo is young, like ours was, they don't care at all about souvenirs.  Toys that you buy today will be forgotten tomorrow, so don't waste precious space on a big stuffed animal or t-shirts they will only wear for another month or so.  Use that space for your camera gear and take lots and lots of pictures.  As so many of our acquaintances pointed out, our son will not remember his big European vacay...but Instagram will, so make sure that you capture as much of it as possible.  If you like to bring gifts to friends and family, grab a few magnets at a souvenir shop!  They are small, lightweight, and easy to transport, and they will convey the same sentiment as a heavy bottle of wine- wish you were here!


So there you have it.  Don't let the naysayers influence your travel plans.  You can absolutely take a toddler to Europe, or a teenager to Asia, or a preteen to Australia.  It's all about your approach- if you think it will be cool, they will too.  Probably.  :)  And speaking of Asia, we will be heading off next year to Japan with our little world traveler, so stay tuned to hear all about how Baby Bear went seamlessly from Bonjour to Konichiwa!  

Bon voyage mes amis!  

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Make a New Years Resolution that you will actually look forward to keeping- go explore someplace new in 2018 and make some memories to last a lifetime!  

Why You NEED Our Services

Look, we know that there is nothing that we can do that you can't do yourself, right?  

But that's kind of the point.  You can do this, you just don't have the time!  Time is a precious commodity, juggled between kicking ass at work, being present for family and friends, tending to your pets, rocking your hobbies, staying in top shape, cooking healthy and wholesome food for yourself...I mean, just typing that is giving me anxiety!  It's no wonder most Americans aren't taking the vacation time they deserve, and when they do, many opt for the "staycation" (i.e. staying home to do all the chores piling up on your to-do list).  Sure maybe you'll use that time to go check out a new restaurant or museum exhibit in town, but much more likely, you're gonna take a week off to do laundry, mow the yard, and reorganize your bathroom.

That is exactly why we do what we do

We know you want to go on a fab vacation, and we know that you simply do not have time to plan one.  And who can blame you?!?  It's time consuming to plan a vacation.  Reading through hundreds of reviews, researching activities that pique your interest so that you aren't wasting precious time-off in a strange locale, getting to know a new culture and gastronomic landscape...this all takes lots of time.  On average, it takes us about 15-20 hours to really plan an amazing vacation.  Do you have a spare 15 or 20 hours just laying around?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  I mean, if you did, you wouldn't need this vacation so badly, am I right?  

Treat Yourself

Our parents' generation had travel agents who took care of transportation and hotels, but because every generation is just a little bit better, we take it a few steps further.  We find your transportation and lodging, and we also find you restaurants you will like, activities that you will enjoy, and we provide you with some background information on where you're going, so that you can rest easy knowing that you're going on vacation armed with all the information you could need to have the best time of your life.  We learn about who you are, what you like, and how you like to travel, and we create an itinerary perfectly tailored to you.  

Don't you deserve that kind of attention to detail?  We think you do.  :)

New Service Available for Colorado Couples!

I Now Pronounce You...

If you've been poking around our site lately, you might have noticed a new page- Officiant Services!  That's right!  We are now offering affordable officiant services to couples getting married in Colorado (and you might be able convince us to travel a bit, depending on where to...).  

Big Money in the Wedding Industry

As the new page lays out, weddings are a billion dollar industry, and quite frankly, we know that it's stressful and expensive to get hitched these days!  That's why Carey got herself certified as a real-life minister and performs weddings on the cheap.  There is no reason, in our minds, why an officiant should cost upwards of $1000.  That is insane, and yet that is exactly what some officiants will try to charge you.  

Is This Legit?

Of course it is!  As a certified reverend for the Universal Life Church, Carey is authorized to perform weddings, funerals (though I won't, sorry), even hear confessions.  Heck, she could start her own church if she was so inclined (I'm not).  As for the legality of the ceremony, this is a legally recognized marriage, as long as you have obtained your marriage license prior to the ceremony.  Go to this link to see the stipulations for marriage licenses in the state of Colorado.

Do You Perform Same-Sex Weddings?

You bet we do!  Thanks to the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, we can perform marriages for any consenting couple, however which way you and your partner choose to define it.  As Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda put it best, "Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love."  So let's spread the love!  

So How Do You Book Us?

Okay, so unlike our normal travel packages, this service is performed on a sliding scale.  We factor in where you are getting married, if we will need to stay the night or make multiple trips, and we will give you a customized quote.  We also offer a special discount to couples getting married in Park, Summit, or Eagle counties.  Just send us an email or give us a call at 469.396.4601 and we will put together your custom quote.  


And that's about it, so let's get you lovebirds hitched!  


New Package Options!

Summer's Here - Time to "Slim Down"

If you've been visiting our page (obviously for our totally awesome and original photos), you might notice a new page called Package Pricing.  Over the last few months, we've decided to make a couple of changes to streamline the booking process, all in an attempt to make things easier on you, my lovely consumers.  Read on for more info.


Instead of offering pricing on a sliding-scale, we are giving you all the information upfront, allowing you to choose from (currently) three separate packages.  What does this mean for you?  It means that rather than wait to hear back on how much this is going to cost you, you know going in what you're going to pay.  It also means that all the awkward money-exchanging takes place upfront, so no uncomfortable conversations and we won't be hounding you for payment (as if we would anyway....not our style!).  It also means that we can now take your credit card payment directly through the website, so no down time while you wait for your check or money-order to arrive.  Instant gratification - I love it!

Packages Designed for Your Travel Needs

So what are the packages that we're offering?  Well, right now, you can choose from three basic packages:

Our simplest package is called Go with the Flow.  This package is designed for travelers who like to do exactly that- go with the flow.  Do you prefer to wander around town, eating and sightseeing at your leisure?  Do you like to explore on your own and just blend into another culture?  This is the package for you, then.  We will find you the right lodgings and flight, as well as any local transportation that you will need, and the rest is up to you.  Like all of our packages, you will also receive a detailed dossier of information about the area you are visiting- local attractions & specialties, regional cuisine, historical facts and monuments, etc.  You are in control, but we will arm you with the info you need.

Our next level package is called Point Me in the Right Direction.  This is our best value package.  It includes finding your flight, lodgings, and local transportation, just like the Go with the Flow package, but it also includes activities for your and your travel companion(s).  This is kind of where we shine, and really the whole purpose of our business.  Remember, we started this business to help plan personalized vacations and honeymoons for our travelers, promising the same attention to detail that we'd give our own vacations.  We get to know you via your preferred communication method (phone, email, text, Skype, FaceTime, you name it), and we find activities that YOU will enjoy.  Are you into art and culture?  We'll scope out the local museums and galleries, and put together an itinerary that reflects your love of the arts.  Maybe you like craft breweries?  We'll find you the best ones to visit, with the best munchies afterwards!  Are you concert junkies?  Let's plan your trip around a local music festival and you can check out some killer music!  These are the kinds of activities that maybe aren't the first thing that comes to the average traveler's mind when they are planning a trip, but it absolutely is the first thing that occurs to us.   After all, Expedia can find you a cheap flight and hotel, but they're not going to think to plan an excursion to the see the cave paintings at Lascaux for an anthropology major or a trip to the 6th Floor Museum for a JFK-conspiracy lover. 

Finally, our highest-level package is called the Mission Control.  This is our best and most-detailed package available.  It includes everything in the Point Me in the Right Direction, as well as research on and reservations at (if available) restaurants and cafés near your lodgings and activities.  No guessing if you're going to be happy with your meal- we will sift through hundreds of reviews to find you the perfect pancakes and most delicious daiquiris, and we will provide you with maps so you don't get lost and end up at the wrong Ray's Pizza.  We both know you don't want to waste time doing all that research, reading between the lines of reviewers who actually know what they're talking about versus reviewers who've clearly never been out to eat before in their lives.  Just let us take care of that.  

Additionally, we offer the option of saving a credit card on file with us so that we can handle all of the booking for you.  This is an optional convenience service offered to you to ensure that we can book the flight for the price that we are initially quoted, as airfare and hotel rates can vary almost daily.  Credit cards and all corresponding info (names, DOBs, billing addresses, etc.) are kept literally on file - on a handwritten hard copy in Carey's personal safe, way out in the middle of the Colorado woods - and destroyed by literal fire upon completion of our booking process.  You give us all of this information over the phone, and it is never entered into a computer.  This is the best way to guarantee your absolute privacy and utmost protection of your personal information.  No hackers can get at it, and when we've completed your bookings, we will send you a video of "the burning" so you know for a fact that your personal identity is safe with us.  Seriously, Carey lives in a forest with zero neighbors, so ain't no one gonna get your info on her watch!

As we mentioned above, each package also includes a detailed dossier of information about the area you are visiting- local attractions & specialties, regional cuisine, historical facts and monuments, etc.  Will you need a visa?  Is English spoken by a majority of the locals?  Are there areas to avoid (too touristy or maybe not-so-friendly to tourists)?  Is there a local specialty that you must try, like carbonara in Rome or a lobstah roll in Beantown?  We do all the research and give you a concise, yet detailed, report of where you are calling home for the next few days or weeks.  

Let's Get Exploring!

We hope that these changes can help make life even easier for you!  Click on our Package Pricing link in the About navigation menu up top and simply add your package to the cart.  If you're unsure which package makes sense for your needs, that's NO PROBLEM!  Just give us a call or shoot us an email, and we can help you evaluate your needs and travel style.  We do not do, condone, or even tolerate high-pressure sales, so you never have to feel like we are going to gouge you for your money.  If you think you want the full Mission Control treatment, but we think that you should spend half that and go with Point Me in the Right Direction, we will tell you and encourage you to spend less.  This isn't about the money for us; it's about making sure that you have the trip you've always dreamed of!  After all, the new American dream is making a living doing what you love, and for us, this is it.  




We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
— Anonymous

Hello!  Welcome to Wandering Honeymooners!  If you're here, odds are you're curious about what a vacation planner is and why you need one.  Well, here's the deal: sure, any one of us can take hours upon hours to research every aspect of a vacation (thousands of hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, activities, regional history, signs of cultural respect, etc), but do you really want to?  Of course not.  That's why, I'm betting, you usually review a handful of hotels before going with something familiar and safe, ensuring that you know exactly what you're getting.  I don't blame you.  I used to do the same thing.  The reality is none of us has the time or the energy to sift through review after review, comparing real complaints to inexperienced grumblings, in order to find the perfect place to stay or the best restaurant to eat at.  Why not let someone else do all that work?

That's what we do.  We do all the research.  We sift through all the reviews.  We find activities that we know you will enjoy, because we talk to you.  We get to know you.  You tell us all about you, and we plan a trip that YOU will love.  It's that simple.  We operate on a flat rate, so you know going in that you aren't getting gouged for a service that falls short of your expectations and budget.

But why do we do it?  Because planning a fun vacation should be more than just filling in filters on a database.  It should be personal and you should be able to pick more than a destination and a vague "theme."  A great vacation is a chance to make memories that last a lifetime, and planning every detail is the best way to ensure that this one is a great one.  We love planning trips and researching exotic locales.  Let us put those talents to good use!

So that's it.  Come back here to our News page for updates on travel restrictions, fun travel stories, and other news that is worthy of a Wandering Honeymooner!  Bon voyage!