Taking young children on a road trip always brings challenges. From potty stops, to dining out, to ensuring kids transition well in a new place, there’s a lot to plan for as a parent.
You know, simple wholesome living is more than food, cloth diapers, and reusing everything. It’s about the big picture – keeping life slow-paced and stable so you can cherish the moments you’re creating!
When I stumbled across HomeAway.com, an online vacation rental site, while planning our Washington DC trip, I was excited to experience their unique options for renting a place in the city.
This post is sponsored by HomeAway.com.
Renting a furnished apartment in the heart of Washington D. C. helped us bring a more natural feeling to our stay in so many ways.
Even though we decided to rent a one-bedroom apartment, we had more space than most hotel rooms with a suite. At nap time and bedtime, our boys got some good rest, while hubby and I spent time in the living area.
And… with little ones… you can’t undervalue the fact that we had a washer and dryer in the closet! Ice cream was spilled, is all I’m going to say.
Having a full kitchen was the best part of our stay. Dining out on vacation gets expensive. But that’s not the only reason we prefer to eat at home. If you have little ones, you know the difficulty of keeping kids calm and entertained at a restaurant while you wait for a seat and then wait for food. Not to mention all the times the kids haven’t even liked the food (because, let’s face it, most children’s entrees are just not that great!).
In our five days, we ate out three times! Yep, that’s all! The other days we had meals at home. Waffles, eggs and bacon, fresh fruit for breakfast. When we’d leave for the day to explore the city, we’d put on the crock pot so we could enjoy meatballs and sauce that night. Or chicken curry over rice!
Because we had a full-sized refrigerator, we could store lots of snacks and foods to pack our own lunches, saving us a lot of time and money. The kids felt at home eating their favorite foods prepared by mom! (That’s probably why I have so many pictures of us eating!).
But most importantly, since we ate our typical diet of fresh, homemade foods, we didn’t feel that overloaded, dragging feeling that often comes from dining out on over-salted, fatty foods.
And? Nothing beats being able to make a full pot of your OWN favorite coffee in the morning!
This might seem like a little thing but… I really enjoyed the quiet. I mean, sure we still heard traffic, but… we weren’t bothered by typical hotel noises (elevators, the ice machine, other guests trouping in and out at all hours or playing their TV too loud, and no housekeeping knocking on our door or coming in while we’re out).
Peace and quiet makes for a very homey stay, I tell ya!
Oh last thought – you know what else was really cool? We felt like we were living like locals! Neighbors smiled and waved as they jogged by, and we even met a local dad on the Metro who helped us navigate because he lived in the same area! We walked back and forth to the Metro stops, visited a local bakery, and enjoyed seeing the variety of stonework and brick houses in the Dupont Circle area. We had a truly immersive experience in capitol city living!
By the end of our trip, the boys would talk about “going to our DC home” – that’s how comfortable they felt!!
Traveling with small children can be an exhausting adventure. After running around all day, we wanted our family to have a peaceful, relaxing evening “at home.” Having a home base that felt as normal as possible reduced stress and provided a haven for resting up between adventures!
To book a HomeAway.com stay, simply browse the listings (over 1 million!). Sort by area, amenities, home size, number of “sleeps” (bed space). You’ll book and pay directly through the HomeAway.com site, then receive rental instructions from the owner or rental association.
Find all styles and price points of homes and apartments for rent (I even saw houseboats!). Look for one that feels like home, or lets you experience a life as a local! Some people even look for specialty homes with gourmet kitchens, and I saw a great spot with a big backyard for playing (it was just too far away from the attractions).
What would your ideal vacation stay feel like? What features would you be looking for?
Thanks to HomeAway.com for sponsoring this post. I was reimbursed for a portion of our stay in exchange. All opinions are my own.