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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


As many of you know, I love to travel! I started right out of high school and basically never stopped. I can say 100% that I caught the "travel bug"!

When I got married I was excited to share this passion of mine with my husband and eventually with any children we might have. Mark and I have gone on many adventures together, but we have never taken Isla on a bigger trip with us. I've always been a tad nervous when it comes to being out of routines with her and I can definitely say that I am a creature of habit with kiddos.

I'm excited to share photos of our incredible trip to Costa Rica and some of the surprising things I learned while travelling with a 3 year old!

LIVE IN THE MOMENT. But seriously, you have to. When it comes to kids, they delight in small things. At first I had to constantly remind myself to let go of my routines and structure. I remember one morning Isla had picked up these giant palm leaves and was pretending to fly around with them. It was beautiful to watch her play with no toys around and if I had rushed her along to do something else, I would have missed it. We actually didn't take any toys with us this trip and her imagination grew leaps and bounds in the three weeks we were away. There's something to be said for the phrase "less is more"!

BE PATIENT. Travelling with kids takes a bit longer. You can't rush through an airport the same way you would without those little feet following. We slowed WAAAAY down this trip and it truthfully made it feel more refreshing. I accepted that things would take time with a three year old and it was great. Luckily the whole Costa Rican lifestyle is slower and so we were naturally forced to chill out a bit. I should probably start practicing this at home!

BRING SNACKS. We all know kids love snacking and snacking while travelling is no exception. I made sure to always have fruit, nuts, candies for the flights and car rides in case of nausea, and water. Don't cheap out on these things because they will save you in moments of boredom. Isla never gets car sick at home, but low and behold she does in Costa Rica. Bad. Hard lime flavoured candies saved us countless times. (You may want to bring along some Gravol too just to be safe!)

DON'T STRAY FAR FROM BEDTIME ROUTINES. I tried to keep Isla's bed time and bath time routines the same, even though our day time looked different and she slept great. Each night we still cuddled in bed after bath and read a story together and I think this helped her feel "at home". We made sure to pack her favorite blanket and stuffy along with us so that she had something she loved to comfort her at night. We travelled throughout Costa Rica and slept in a few different places and there were no nighttime wakings. This was always one of my biggest concerns for some reason so I'm thrilled and so relieved to say we all slept great!

BALANCE BUSY WITH SLOW. I found Isla (and the rest of us) got tired quickly because we were doing and seeing so many new things each day. It was important for us to find a balance between busy and slow so that she...we.... could recharge. We loved doing adventurous activities like zip lining, horse back riding, visiting animal sanctuaries, and volcano tours, but we also loved chill days by the pool or at the beach.

I hope your next holiday is as successful as ours was. Remember to relax and breathe!

Safe Travels Friends! XO

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