Imagine planning for your fairy tale wedding your entire life. You have the most fantastic partner, incredible ring, picked out your fantasy wedding dress, and have found the perfect spot in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, The Greenbrier.
The Greenbrier is a National Historic Landmark, in the Allegheny Mountains that has been hosting guests since 1778. White columns, unique interior design, and that beautiful southern charm are just a few of the incredible things you and your guests will find at this lavish resort.
You are not alone in preparing for your big day at The Greenbrier. Dedicated Wedding Team members assist in making your fantasy wedding preparations seamless.
There is no shortage of venue options here; bring 40 of your closest friends or 600 family members. Outdoor locations such as North Grove offers a capacity limit of 80, with Kate’s Mountain having a limit of 400.
Indoor possibilities include Colonial Hall, where 600 of your best friends will help you celebrate your big day. For a smaller group, North Parlor and Spring Room and Terrace accommodate 40.
Regardless of the venue, the dinner packages for these elegant wedding packages are phenomenal. The Monaco offers a cocktail hour to include assorted Canapes and an enhancement station, formal reception which consists of a three-course meal and the wedding cake, a couple of moonshines, not the kind you drink, along with a four-hour premium bar package if desired.
The selection for the Canapes is abundant, and they are available hot or cold. There are seven salads to pick from, along with seven types of soup. For the main course, one may choose a farm, sea, or garden option. Some of the farm options include Braised Beef Shortribs, Natural Jus, or Grilled Veal Chop, Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce.
Choose from a House Salumi Display, Sushi Sashimi, or a Garden Roasted Vegetable with Cheese Display as your Cocktail Hour Enhancements.
Reception stations are also available such as a Chilled Seafood Display, House Smoked Breast of Turkey Carving Station, or a Stone-Cold Ground Grits Action Station. There are also several other options available, should you choose to offer your guests a strolling station at the reception.
Bini Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup and Fired Mac N Cheese with Franks Red Hot Aioli are just two options for your moonshine.
One cannot have a wedding without a delicious dessert bar! With over ten amazing options to choose from, your guests will not be disappointed!
Eight wedding cake flavors are available for the cake of your dreams. Velvet, Vanilla Crisp, and Cappuccino are some of the delicious flavors you must decide from.
Should you opt for a bar at your wedding, The Greenbrier has several to pick from based upon the Wedding Package you have selected.
INTIMATE WEDDING PACKAGE
For those brides and grooms that wish to keep their big day somewhat low key, with less than 20, the intimate wedding package is perfect. Offered exclusively Sunday through Thursday, this package comes with an indoor or outdoor ceremony, ceremonial music, one-hour photography (Greenbrier Photography), the bride’s bouquet, groom’s Boutonniere, a two-tier wedding cake, along with rose petal turndown and sparkling wine.
A wedding reception on The Greenbrier property, along with a stay of two-nights minimum, is required for this package. The room stay is in addition to the package, but do not be discouraged, help is available to help you book.
GOING TO THE CHAPEL WEDDING PACKAGE
Grab five of your closest friends or family members and head to The Greenbrier for a wedding chapel wedding either indoors or outdoors. Do not worry about a Bridal Bouquet or Boutonniere, you will get these, along with rose petal turndown and a sparkling wine bottle.
There is a two-night minimum stay needed, and it is in addition to your package. Also, you will need to have your reception on the property.
From the Presidential Suite, which offers seven bedrooms and accommodations for 14 down to Gable rooms that accommodate two, there is no shortage of places to stay as you prepare for your big day.
There are also six Estate Homes that will have you and your guests feeling like a king or queen. Relax by the fireplace or relax as you view The Greenbrier golf course.
Seven Legacy Cottages offer amenities such as a king bed, wet bar, patio, porch, or a working fireplace.
5 Reasons You Should Give Stand Up Paddle Boarding a Try
Stand up paddle boarding, or SUP is a water sport that has taken the water by surprise! Let’s face it; one can participate in this popular explosive event in any type of body of water. Mountain lakes, rivers, canals, and the ocean are just a few excellent places to SUP.
Should you need more convincing, check out our 5 reasons on why you should give stand up paddle boarding a try.
1. Intense Control
River rapids and racing entice those outdoor enthusiasts seeking some tough challenges. While you may see the most skilled gliding along the water like a red slider, stand up paddle boarding is magnificent no matter your skill level. Maintaining balance, constant movement, and having a graceful wide stance will have you cursing along before you know it.
2. Outstanding Views
When you are standing up on a paddle board, there are no obstructions. The views are unobstructed and offer up a 360-degree angle of everything around. Imagine being able to see the minnows swimming near the top of the water as you traverse your way by kayakers who have their views blocked by the edges of the kayak.
This low-impact exercise option is perfect for the younger ones and anyone who is starting out with a new exercise regimen. Balance and strengthening of the core, mixed with the use of your arm, back, and shoulder muscles, will give you a single workout with some extraordinary views. The more speed you pick up, the better your cardio workout regime for the day. Please remember that a Personal Flotation Device may be required while out on the water.
For those just starting out or not wishing to purchase their own board quite yet, renting is the way to go. Prices are usually $30 or less for an hour, and under $60 for the day, this is by far cheaper than a boat or jet-ski rental. Plus, everything you will need for an incredible time on the water is included. Yes, this means your board, paddle, and any required safety gear you may need.
Soccer games, dance lessons, baseball practice, work, and life, in general, is stressful! Finding downtime to process all the daily stresses thrown at us is important.
While you can get one heck of a rush of adrenaline climbing 30,000 feet and leaping out of a moving airplane, that thrill-seeking adventure is not for everyone. Almost every person loves to relax. What better way to calm your nerves than to slide across a body of water like you are a member of royalty without a care in the world. After all, it is your board, your rules, your choice of water, and your thoughts that help bring a sense of relaxation.
There you have it, 5 reasons to give paddle boarding a try. Should none of these genuinely entice you and you are still on the fence, think of the possibility of graciously gliding next to a celebrity. That is right, how thrilled would you be should you have the honor of paddle boarding past Julia Roberts or The Boss, Bruce Springsteen.
Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, the pops of color, well-manicured lawns, and outstanding all-around beauty, is a stunning white classic iconic fixture that one can retreat to and escape the everyday worries of life. The Greenbrier, a fabulous resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has been hosting families and guests for over 240 years.
Words are far and few to showcase how grand and unique The Greenbrier is. Superb décor, outstanding activities, and spectacular amenities are just a few of the six awesome reasons to stay at The Greenbrier.
Healing sulphur springs await your arrival at The Greenbrier Spa. Let the healing waters wash away your troubles as you relax with a cup of warm tea or juice freshly made.
As the ladies or gentlemen, relax in the spa, grab the clubs and head out to one of the three superb resort courses, an exclusive private course, and a walking par 3 nine-hole course. Soak in the mountain views at either The Old White, The Greenbrier, The Ashford Short Course, or The Meadows.
The Old White has hosted numerous rounds of 18-holes since 1914. The Greenbrier course has been around since 1924 but received a complete makeover by Jack Nicklaus in 1977 so that the Ryder Cup could be hosted. Today, The Greenbrier course is 9-hole, wooded with forced carries to the green.
The Ashford Short Course takes you on a walking adventure for 9-holes, a great way to work on your short game, or get in some golf when 18 holes are not possible. This course is a perk for members of Greenbrier Golf and Tennis Club, The Greenbrier Sporting Club, and for those that are Greenbrier guests.
The Meadows has received several upgrades and facelifts since its opening in 1911 as Lakeside/Meadows. Some of those incredible modern features include stacked sod bunkers and reconstructed greens.
Take the family and relax by the outdoor pool as you soak up some rays and incredible West Virginia mountain views. Should the weather not cooperate, hit the indoor Olympic size pool designed in the 1940s.
4.Prime 44 West
Put on your best dress coat, press the white shirt, and head down to where the most exquisite aged beef, fine wines from all over the world, and fresh seafood is abundant. Take in the upscale atmosphere as it blends in with dark and natural woods. This upscale and inviting steakhouse is named in honor of West Virginia native and NBA legend Jerry West. Should you be feeling up for an adventure, order the Jerry West 44 Ounce Porterhouse.
Ten incredible courts, five inside and five outside, along with a 2,500-seat professional tennis stadium, provide guests of The Greenbrier a delightful way to showcase their skills and form. It is ok if you have never picked up a racket, there are daily clinics, along with lessons for folks of all ages. Prices vary based upon if you wish a private, semi-private, clinic or group lesson.
Court and rental fees also apply if you do not have your own racket. There is also a dress code of sports shirts with collars, tennis shirts, knickers, tennis shorts, and walking shorts. Should you decide on an indoor court, you will need to have shoes with soles of light color.
6. Carriage Ride
Whether it is a romantic evening or quality family time, touring the property of The Greenbrier via a horse-drawn carriage is a beautiful way to make memories. Enjoy an incredible 50-minute ride as you envision how guests traversed the grounds a century ago.
Should you wish to spend an intimate evening together, private carriage rentals are offered during regular hours.
Bonus: #7. Greenbrier Outfitters
We will admit we are just a little biased, but for all things outdoors, trust Greenbrier Outfitters. Whether you want to experience birds in flight at the falconry program, climb the 55 foot tower, glide across the cables of the Aerial Adventure Course or throw tomahawks, Greenbrier Outfitters has you covered.
Have you ever wondered what flying trained birds of prey after some wild quarry was called? Falconry is the name, and it is a cool thing to do.
Your trusty bird dog has let you know where your pheasant is going to be, your falcon is over 1,000 feet above waiting for your flushing out of the bushes, and at the right moment, it all comes together. The falcon heads in headfirst, will grab the prize, and offer it up at your feet awaiting a reward.
Not all hunts are a success. There are times that you will be sliding through the woods or field in hopes of flushing out a cute bunny, only for one to take off, your hawk goes in for the catch and gets outmaneuvered. It is all good, though. The hawk will return for a small reward.
Falconry was once reserved and used as a grand noble status symbol for those in places such as Medieval Europe due to the number of resources needed for a successful hunt. Master Falconers were provided with a significant amount of money because the nobles did nothing along the training line. It was the Master of the Mews that found, trained, did the upkeep, and ensured the hawks were ready. Thus, creating the Sport of Kings.
Falconry is more than 4,000 years old, and with a stay at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, you can experience this fantastic sport firsthand. What an excellent way for the family to spend quality time together.
Lessons with trained falcons and hawks go hand in hand as you soak up some history of Falconry. With a 90-minute beginner lesson, what better way to learn something new and exciting as you come together as a cohesive unit.
Have a large family, up to ten, do not worry. Private lessons for the group are available, as well as private demonstrations for up to 50. A private falconry lesson would make a fantastic family reunion activity or corporate retreat adventure.
While these incredible creatures are not housed on the grounds of The Greenbrier, the falcons can be found under five minutes away. There is transportation, and the outing leaves from the outdoor pool area, at Greenbrier Outfitters.
As with almost all activities The Greenbrier has to offer, following resort-style casual dress code is required for this experience. To fulfill this, sport shirts, jeans, and walking shorts are acceptable.
Falconry is alive and well in the United States. These incredible birds of prey are spectacular creatures, and having one land on your gloved hand, is truly a once in a lifetime experience. So, what are you waiting for? Come along today and learn about some outstanding explanation of the sport and meet a hawk or two up close and personal. Imagine the look of awe on your buddy’s face when you tell them what you did on your weekend excursion to West Virginia and The Greenbrier.
West Virginia comes alive every fall with whitewater rafting adventurers seeking out the Gauley River. Load up your gear and head to Randolph, Webster, Nicholas, or Fayette County for some of the most rugged terrains in the country.
Starting Labor Day weekend and continuing for six weeks is Gauley Season. When you are seeking some whitewater adventure, consider whitewater rafting The Gauley River because it offers up over 100 steep gradient rapids to fulfill every thrill seekers dream. Two sections of this fabulous river will have you speeding down and across the rapids in no time.
This one-time year event happens around when the dam is scheduled for release, giving all adrenaline gurus a rush in a setting of wilderness for some 25 miles.
THE UPPER GAULEY
When your adrenaline has you pumped up and rearing to go, head to the upper Gauley. Pillow Rock and Iron Ring are just two of the outstanding class lll to V+ chutes and drops you will encounter. For even more high pumping action, maneuver along the rocky routes of Shipwreck or Lost Paddle.
The upper Gauley is hands down the most challenging trip when whitewater rafting. The upper Gauley expects you to pump out some extreme paddling power and bring it full speed. You earn your badge of honor when tackling this part of the river.
These high rolling rapids will have you gliding along smoothly, and then before you know it, you are sideways, water pouring in, facing the mighty white-capped loud rapids and bam out of the raft. If the 12 miles of secluded remoteness along over 50 class ll through V whitewater rapids do not give you a thrill, the 14’ cascading waterfall surely will!
THE LOWER GAULEY
Should you not be a master at whitewater rafting just yet or are experienced looking for some milder class lll-V run, the Lower Gauley is calling your name. Fifty rapids await you along with some big water guaranteed to have you craving more as you traverse over ten miles.
Most of your excursion will have you sailing through coaster waves to class lll and IV rapids, then to a superb class V to top off your fun.
Now that you have considered whitewater rafting the Gauley River, are you going to venture out on your own privately, or book with a local guide/outfitter? Whitewater rafting is intense and risky, therefore before you jump right in and let it all hang out, take into consideration that someone could potentially lose their life.
Ensure that everyone who climbs on board with you knows the risks and agrees to take responsibility for their safety freely. Being able to swim before running whitewater rivers is strongly advised.
Almost all guides/outfitters have minimum age requirements. For instance, the minimum age could be 16 for the upper Gauley and 12 years of age for the Lower Gauley. Before booking your excursion, read all FAQs and information so that no one is disappointed because they are too young.
Whitewater rafting on the Gauley River is a great way to challenge yourself, bring your family closer together, or have fun with a group of friends. In West Virginia, with the whitewater season being noticeably short, do not forget to book in advance so that you do not miss out on an incredible memory-making moment on the Gauley River.
Venturing out to the great outdoors regularly can have a positive, lasting impact on physical health, but in the era of COVID-19, it’s even more important to get out there and embrace the fresh air. While the coronavirus pandemic has caused the closure of many forms of indoor entertainment, outdoor activities have become a great source of comfort for millions. According to scientists, the outdoors is also the least likely place to contract COVID-19, so long as social distancing measures are followed. Colorado Springs provides the perfect backdrop for exciting, outdoor adventure, and at Broadmoor Outfitters, it’s our mission to craft one-of-a-kind experiences our guests will never forget. Here are a few Colorado Springs activities to help improve your mental and physical well-being during difficult times.
Colorado Springs and surrounding areas house some of the most beautiful hiking trails in North America. With many gyms still closed to patrons, hiking serves as a fantastic source of exercise and an opportunity to enjoy the incredible fresh air that Colorado Springs has to offer. Broadmoor Outfitters has a number of guided hiking trails to ensure a safe, serene trip for everyone hoping to get moving amid COVID-19. Our guides are able to provide a wonderful experience, all while taking appropriate cautions to ensure guests’ safety is always top of mind.
Broadmoor Outfitters Biking Tours
Biking around Garden of the Gods while the sun shines upon you is one of the best ways to escape the confines of your home. Not only does biking burn calories, but it’s also one of the best ways to take in the beauty of Colorado Springs. Broadmoor Outfitters hosts various biking tours to help you make the most of your time in the city. With Pike’s Peak off in the distance, our late afternoon and sunset make for the perfect memory for you and/or loved ones.
Zip Lining Courses
Nothing screams “fresh air” like flying through it at 500 ft.! Our Colorado Springs zip-lining adventures are ideal for the adrenaline-seekers among us, or anyone hoping to escape the indoors for some much-needed physical activity. Breeze by some of Colorado’s most magnificent natural landscapes on any one of our zip-lining adventures. We have multiple courses to choose from to ensure a spectacular view.
Rock Climbing Excursions
At Broadmoor Outfitters, we always play it safe, but that’s not to say we don’t like to be daring. Our Colorado Springs rock climbing tours offer the chance to put your physical and mental skills to the test. Colorado Springs natural rock formations allow for some of the most thrilling rock climbing in the U.S., and we’re proud to offer a variety of rock climbing tours to accommodate varying skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or of a more advanced skill set, we’ve got a rock just for you.
There has never been a better time for outdoor enjoyment, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store for you. Call us to book your next Colorado Springs outdoor adventure.
Getting ready to come to Colorado Springs. Great, there is a lot to do for you, and your family. Mary Kearl gives us some great tips and hints to bringing your young ones along.
I spent the first half of 2019 traveling with my husband and our one-year-old throughout South America, where we managed to visit some remote places, such as the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, the floating islands of the Uros people in Peru, and Ushuaia, in Argentina, also known as the end of the world.
When we talk about this, many fellow parents ask how we did it. Most of them say it’s a challenge to take their kid to the mall or the restaurant down the street, let alone travel with them to the other side of the world. The funny thing is that it’s always hard—putting your child’s needs first and keeping them healthy, happy, and entertained will always be difficult no matter how far from home you are.
Having visited 14 countries and 16 U.S. states on a total of 77 trips (and counting) with our child, I’ve learned a thing or two about traveling with babies and toddlers. It’s hard, but it’s possible.
It may seem obvious, but no matter how young your child is, they’ll need a passport to leave the country—but it involves more than simply filling out a form. Getting a minor a passport requires demonstrating proof of citizenship, and the primary method is to submit a copy of their birth certificate. This document usually becomes available one month after a child’s birth, but may take longer. In our case, this proved challenging because our child was less than a month old when we first sought out a passport. We tried our local court, but finally obtained the document from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for $28.
Thinking something might happen to you or your partner while away from home can be scary, but those fears amplify tenfold when you’re traveling with a young child. “Truth be told, most places are pretty safe for kids,” says Dr. Katherine Williamson, vice president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Travel is accommodating for families of all ages.”
But of course, being prepared makes things a lot easier for both the parents and the baby. Just add these items to your checklist before you hit the road:
Consult with your pediatrician
Ahead of your travels, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with or talk to your pediatrician about any further advice regarding your child.
If your child is undergoing any kind of medical treatment, make sure you pack enough to last for the entirety of your trip. To be on the safe side, Williamson recommends packing a couple of extra doses and a prescription in case you need to purchase the medication while abroad.
Make sure your child is up to date on their routine vaccines. Start by protecting them against influenza with the flu shot for kids aged six months and older, and check the Center for Disease Control guidelines about what other vaccines they’ll need for particular countries or specific outbreaks that might be occurring. One of the biggest concerns involving travel outside the U.S. is measles. Routine vaccines starting at age one will protect against this highly contagious disease, but your child can get the measles vaccine as early as six months if you’re traveling, Williamson says.
Plan ahead to ensure proper sleep
The first two to three days are key, and you should try to get ahead of jet lag as much as possible by gradually adjusting your kid’s bedtime. For time changes greater than two or three hours, Williamson recommends you give toddlers between 0.5 to 1 milligram of melatonin while you’re on the plane at what will be bedtime at the destination you’re visiting. This will help them start sleeping at the right time. Conversely, once you get to your destination, help your child adjust to time zone changes by having them be active during waking hours, exposing them to sunlight during the day, and not letting them nap longer than normal.
Talk to people who’ve been there
There’s only so much online research you can do before being overloaded with information. The best way to get a sense of a place is to talk to somebody who’s actually been there and ask whatever questions Google couldn’t answer for you.
As of this writing, our family of three has been living out of two suitcases, a backpack, and a diaper bag for exactly 10 months. That sounds challenging for two adults alone, but packing requires a whole new level of expertise when an infant or toddler is involved. Fear not—we’ve been learning from our mistakes so you don’t have to. Next time you embark on an adventure with your little one, make sure you always have these items handy:
When our child was an infant, my packing rule of thumb was to bring about three daytime outfits and two pajamas per day to account for spills, getting sick, and diaper leaks. It’s a lot, but with the transition to toddlerhood, I kept following this rule with great success, only breaking it when I know I’m going somewhere we’ll be able to wash our clothes.
Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
These are a must, whether you’re flying across the world with your toddler or visiting a friend on the other side of town. The key here is to ensure you’ll never have to depend on finding a store, so even though it may sound over-the-top, I pack double the amount of diapers and wipes I think I’ll need. In my experience, no matter how big an airport or transit station is, it’s not likely even the most essential baby products will be readily available.
Plenty of entertainment
This will take up space, so be prepared to carry this stuff in its own bag if necessary. To start with, we pack a lot of board books—10 for trips of any size, since we may read through all of them before our child is ready for nap time. Hopefully, it’ll take fewer with yours, but be prepared to have options, or you’ll be stuck reading the same two or three stories on a loop. Also, include several toys and stuffed animals. Make sure you bring extra, since it’s almost certain you’ll lose some along the way.
A baby carrier
A great alternative to the traditional stroller. We used this for our seven months of international travel, since most places we visited had uneven terrain and were not stroller-friendly.
This is important whether you’re driving your own car or not, since there’s no guarantee one will be available or in good condition through your rental car company. Plus, the rental price of a seat can be more than the cost of a new car seat, depending on the length of your trip.
A travel bed and baby blanket
Some parents will try to save themselves some trouble and co-sleep with their babies. But the APP doesn’t recommend this for children younger than a year old, so bringing a travel bed for your baby is absolutely necessary. More on this later.
Nail clippers, baby thermometer (digital or traditional—it’s up to you), travel first aid kit (it’s easiest to buy one and complement it with additional necessities for you and your child), two bottles, and two sippy cups (it’s best to have two of each to replace a lost one or stand in for a dirty one).
The medical packing list
You know when you travel and you feel tired and grumpy, and sometimes that even leads to physical pain or discomfort? Well, young children go through the same, and they usually don’t know how to cope with it. Williamson recommends packing these essentials to avoid or quickly placate any illness:
Acetaminophen (safe for infants and toddlers) or ibuprofen (safe for children at least six months old).
Use for general pain and discomfort.
These help with almost anything, from flight-related pressure to a fever. If your child is having a hard time, Williamson recommends to giving it to them mixed with a drink or soft food, like pudding or yogurt.
Cetirizine and loratadine (safe for kids aged two and up) or diphenhydramine (safe for six months and up).
Use to prevent travel or motion sickness, and to treat minor allergic reactions that only entail skin rashes. If, while traveling, your child develops any allergies that include swelling of the lips, eyelids, or extremities, or starts vomiting or has difficulty breathing, see a doctor immediately.
Hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion.
Use for mosquito bites.
For all bug bites, Williamson suggests applying hydrocortisone cream and then a layer of calamine lotion on top.
Ondansetron (consult with your pediatrician), a powdered electrolyte replacement , and potentially antibiotics for if you contract traveler’s diarrhea from consuming contaminated food or water (consult with your pediatrician)
Use for motion sickness, nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
For some kids, it’s common to get sick in the car or on the plane. If that’s the case with your child, Williamson recommends talking to a pediatrician about getting a prescription for ondansetron, which can also help with gastrointestinal issues, such as an upset stomach. If your toddler is experiencing nausea or diarrhea, rehydration solutions such as an electrolyte replacement can help ensure your child stays hydrated. And if you’re traveling somewhere where traveler’s diarrhea is a concern, you should ask your pediatrician if getting a prescription antibiotic for the condition would be appropriate for your child.
Other medical devices and medications as needed. If your child has known conditions, pack all the things you’ll need to treat them. This includes an inhaler or nebulizer (for children with respiratory issues), an epinephrine injector (for children with severe allergic reactions), and antibiotics (for children prone to ear infections).
Preparing a “shortcut” bag
When you’re packing for a toddler, consider two levels of packing: everything you’ll need for your trip, and the bag of whatever you want to have handy when you’re on the go—no matter how you’re traveling. Our diaper bag is always so stuffed with all the above necessities that I usually throw it in the overhead bin or keep it at our accommodations when we head out to sightsee. What I do instead is pack another bag, such as a lightweight foldable backpack, that serves as an accessible baby emergency kit. Here’s what to pack:
A sippy cup and bottle
Snacks, such as cereal, crackers, fruit, and nuts (once your child is eating solids)
Formula (up to 12 months) or whole milk (1 year and up)
Wipes, and one or two diapers
One change of clothing for your toddler
A couple of favorite toys and books
A plastic bag (in case your baby gets motion sickness, or to store a diaper until it can be disposed of)
(Optional) A change of clothing for the parents—especially if your kid is prone to motion sickness. We learned this the hard way after our baby got sick on our laps, and all of our clothes were packed away in checked bags under a plane.
Surviving the journey
I remember how terrified I was ahead of our first cross-country flight—I didn’t want to be that family everybody hates because their baby won’t stop crying. Most people with small children will get to know this fear, but they won’t travel enough to figure out just how to deal with a small kid on a plane. With our now-two-year-old having logged 63 flights and counting, I can confirm what you may have already suspected: there’s no science to the perfect trip with a small child. That said, there are some strategies that will help.
Always pick the aisle seat
From diaper changes to crying sessions, you’ll want the easiest possible access to the bathroom and aisle.
Assume every carry-on item will require extra screening by airport security
Even though liquids, such as breast milk and juice, are allowed on planes when you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration says it “may need to test liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items.” We have missed flights due to extra screening, so be sure to factor this in when you calculate the amount of time you’ll need to arrive at the gate in time.
Take advantage of early boarding
Families with small children usually get the privilege of boarding planes first. Use the extra time to arrange your seat so you’ll have easy access to all those go-to travel items listed above, one last diaper change, and bathroom trips for the adults.
Plan for the worst
This means arranging everything as if your baby won’t sleep for a minute of the journey and there will be travel delays. At first, people recommended we take night flights so we’d all be more likely to sleep. This worked well and our little one became the ideal traveler, sleeping for most, if not all, of any given flight. But that has changed, and our child has begun sleeping less consistently on the plane. Now we book daytime flights and plan as if everyone is going to be awake (and will need to be entertained) the entire time.
Don’t be scared
Some people will be annoyed to find themselves sitting next to you and your kid on a plane, but that seems to be the exception to the rule. In my experience, most people understand how much harder travel is with a young one, and go out of their way to help you.
Ahead of our first cross-country trip with our baby, my husband and I opted for a portable bassinet which met our search criteria by having the following features:
Sides made of breathable mesh
Removable, washable padding
Could be folded to fit under the seat of a plane
Could fit a baby for up to six months (some are only recommended for the first three to four months, making a $50-$100 purchase quickly obsolete)
The bassinet worked great for the first six months, but after that, and as our child grew, we had to get creative. Co-sleeping with our baby in our beds didn’t work because our presence distracted our otherwise sound sleeper, who woke several times during the night. We also tried creating a makeshift bed out of pillows and blankets, which worked fine until our baby started crawling and began moving out of the nest. After that, we considered a portable travel crib, but because it’s the size of an oversized backpack when folded, it falls into a grey area when it comes to baggage policy, and can sometimes qualify as a suitcase (at a cost) for discount airlines.
Ultimately we landed on the $15.99 Wayfinder TravelTot baby tent, which works just as well as more expensive options, such as the portable crib. But unlike other alternatives, this tent folds down to a thin sleeve that fits in my carry-on backpack. Since it has no padding, we usually request extra bedding and stack one or two thick quilts underneath the bed and layer a baby blanket inside. The bed survived 11 countries, 61 different Airbnbs and hotels, 30 flights, dozens of ferries and buses, and helped us maintain nap and sleep schedules during a 17-hour flight delay in Bariloche, Argentina. After all that wear and tear, we’re now on our second one.
While our baby’s bed has remained consistent, everything else—the sounds, lighting, temperature, and time zones—has been in constant change. The first two weeks of our international journey, we saw our normally easy sleeper taking longer and longer to fall asleep. Now we make an effort to keep the bedtime routine as consistent as possible—every night, no matter where we are in the world, we have a half-hour wind-down period for a bath and reading books. Things improved almost immediately.
Setting realistic expectations
Family trips with our baby have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. That said, the travel life is different when one member of the family is sleeping half the day, needs to eat more than three meals a day, and has a variable attention span.
While it is possible to travel with a baby, it is important to ground your expectations, and most likely change the way you’ve been traveling so far. For us, this has meant having a more limited list of things we want to see and do, or even staying longer than recommended in a place to complete it.
We’ve also realized we cannot do everything together as a family, and sometimes it’s a good idea to part ways. In the Ica Desert in Peru, my husband went on a dune buggy ride while baby and I went swimming in the Huacachina oasis, and in the Amazon, I went on a night crocodile tour while my husband and baby slept. It is a great way to ensure everyone gets to do what they want to do.
Needless to say, we don’t see much nightlife due to the child’s bedtime, and it’s always a good idea to opt for free or lower-cost activities, museums, and live performances rather than investing money in ones we may not be able to fully enjoy.
As a lifelong traveler, I wanted to share my love of travel with my child—and it’s paid off.
Written by Mary Kearl for Popular Science and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
Are you looking for an outdoor recreational activity in the Colorado Springs area that could be a family adventure or solo fun? Then look no further than geocaching. Getting started is simple; all you need is your mobile device, GPS receiver, or some other navigational tool to look up the coordinates.
For the normal geocache, first, a geocacher places a logbook (including pen or pencil), items to trade in a container, and records the coordinates of that cache. Next, the coordinates and location become shared on a listing site. Those that geocache then finds the coordinates on the site take their GPS devices and go hunting. Once they find the location and item, enter the entries into the logbook and online.
In the world of geocaching, treasures, or swag, are items that do not have a substantial monetary value. They may, though, be personal to those who hide the loot. Typical swag includes books, little toys, coins, hat pins, and different types of buttons.
Do not forget to return the cache to where you found it so that others may find it. The item, except the logbook, pen, or pencil, may be taken if you have something to leave in its place.
Some caches that move from one place to another. Hitchhikers, as referred to, usually have detailed goals assigned to their items. Some examples include placing the cache xx amount of distance from home.
Travel Bugs and Geocoins are specific caches that have websites for people to log and follow where they have been online.
Almost anything is as a cache except for food, drugs, andanything illegal. Refer to the rules of the listing site.
Some great places to geocache in and around Colorado Springs include the Fallen Firefighter Memorial or the Nature Center at Garden of the Gods.
Types of Geocache
This type of geocache requires the geocacher to complete individual geocaching goals before they can record that they found the cache. Possible tasks would include finding five caches in a particular category or locating a cache every day for 30 days.
Geocaching.com classifies this type of cache part of the Mystery cache. Other listing sites may consider the challenge cache a standalone class.
Solve a puzzle or locate specific information, and you will be participating in a mystery cache to find precisely where your cache is.
You guessed it! Break out the flashlights, see where the reflectors take you and find that prize location! Some listing sites may classify this as a type of mystery cache.
The Multi-cache occurs in one or more steps. Locate one, gather the coordinates, move to the next, again recording coordinates, and finally finding the container with the logbook.
After you have obtained the coordinates from the listing site, head out, find the cache, and then take it somewhere else. You would record the coordinates of where you placed the item so that the next geocacher can continue the cycle.
Location caches are close to a scavenger hunt. The geocacher has a description of what to locate. The item you are searching for could be a yellow fire hydrant, brown door, red and black boat, or pink flamingo. After finding the article, use your GPS device and record the location. A picture of both the object and device occurs as well. No one else can use this location as a find.
Traditional caches are widespread and common. A container with a logbook is standard, as are exact coordinates for locating the cache.
Geocaching is an excellent outdoor recreational activity to do with family or solo in the Colorado Springs area. Broadmoor Outfitters can help you get going. Whatever site listing you decide on utilizing your observation and detective skills will be put to the test looking for those containers.
Geocaching is a great way to social distance exercise at the same time. So, gather up the family or lace up your tennis shoes and have some fun. Contact Broadmoor Outfitters for more information and how to get going.