Colorado trip!

We moved from California to Texas about 4 and a half years ago. Since moving, we really haven’t gone on vacations other than back to California to visit family. My husband has started new jobs, we’ve had two babies, and a whole bunch more of life mixed in there. Finally, this year we decided to start taking trips the four of us. I want these memories for us, and for the boys.

Our first official trip as a family of four, not just visiting family, was to Ruidoso, New Mexico this summer, and it was the best! There is really nothing like going on a trip just focused on your own little family. I can’t say how much I recommend it.

Last month we went to my husbands favorite place, where he grew up going all the time, the Colorado River in Parker, AZ. The boys had a blast! It was a lot of travel for a 2 year old, and 1 year old- 12 hours back and forth. It’s just a different type of vacation with a large group. But we made it, and made memories!

This month we decided to do another trip. I’ve been dying to go to Colorado which is not far at all from us! Maybe a 6 hour drive. Not too bad. Colorado has been by far my favorite vacation spot so far. It was STUNNING, with SO much to do, and we were just in one area.

I wanted to stay in a cabin, which meant a farther drive from everything we had on the list to do. I’ve learned with kids, especially young ones, it is so worth it rent a house to ourselves. In reality it costs close to the same. We ended up booking a cabin through Airbnb in Divide, Colorado, about an hour from Colorado Springs. SO worth the drive to be away from everything.

The pictures, and description did nothing for the cabin we stayed at guys! We had 4 acres ALL to ourselves, deer came through every evening, we had look out spots, and trails all over, there was a vintage bathtub OUTSIDE, cozy touches through the cabin, and so much more! It was gorgeous. I really felt like I was in a hallmark movie. To top it all off it even snowed one night unexpectedly, and we woke up to a white wonderland! The boys were obsessed, and so was I. All my cabin dreams honestly came true.

Here are a few of my tips for road tripping with toddlers:

1.) SNACKS- I don’t buy a lot of junk snacks on a regular basis, but when we go on a road trip these boys get spoiled with chips, cookies, sweets, you name it. There’s no other way to survive the car.

2.) Pack books, small toys, just something fun that they never see till they are in the car. I usually buy my oldest (2 years and 5 months old) another little truck, and my youngest (15 months) is obsessed with stickers right now.

3.) Pack toys. Toys they play with on a regular should be packed. It’s the beauty of a road trip, you don’t have to worry about overpacking. I usually have a little basket of toys, which is great for the house, or hotel we stay at too. Don’t forget favorite blankets, or stuffed animals too. The more comfort for them the better.

* Fun activity: take a cup with a lid with a hole on top, or container with a hole. Bring pasta noodles, pom poms, or something that will fit. Let them place the noodles in the cup/container. My oldest loves this type of thing.*

4.) Plan on lots of screen time. Guilty. But what else is there to do when they are stuck in a seat for hours 🥴. I buy a few new movies each trip we take, and it helps kill time for sure.

5.) Leave first thing in the morning. We always leave early, leaving in the dark totally kills time. I leave the boys in pajamas too, the comfier the better. Plan on stopping. We usually go a couple hours, stop somewhere and let them run, change diapers, change clothes, and do it all again.

Colorado places to see:

We stayed in Divide, Colorado and I’m SO glad we did. It was just far enough from the busy cities. It was just stunning! If you plan on going near Colorado Springs I highly recommend this cabin- Cardwell Cabin

The first official day we headed to Colorado Springs for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, about an hour from the house. This zoo was AMAZING. Put it on your must see places to see with kids. By far my favorite zoo yet. From kangaroos hopping right next to you, being able to feed giraffes, elephants, tons of gorillas, stunning cliffside views. I can’t say enough good things. Plan on good walking shoes, and a good stroller!

The next day we ended up having snow! The original plan was to visit this little amusement park called Santa’s workshop. The boys are OBSESSED with Christmas right now. It was too cold though. We stayed at the cabin, having coffee while watching movies, and played in the snow. They got a good nap in, and we went to this Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, a cute little town about 20 minutes from the cabin. The boys LOVED it.

Traveling with toddlers can be tough, trust me I know it. Most of our road trips I’m either in the back with them, or reaching back giving snacks, toys, or just trying to calm someone down. I promise, it’s so worth it. My boys don’t stop talking about the trip for weeks after! They want to constantly look at pictures from the trip, my oldest talks about it all non stop, and it make my heart so happy. We have plenty of tantrums, but the memories make up for it all.

My top tips for travel with toddlers:

• Rent a house through Airbnb, rather than one hotel room. Do your research on the house, read reviews, check the location, and check the setup of the house. I loved that this cabin had a living area downstairs, so once the babies were asleep we could have a glass of champagne, and watch a movie!

• Bring the comforts of home, from blankets, toys, all they are use to.

• Pack fun activities- I brought cookies to decorate, a basket of toys, stickers for pumpkins (we didn’t end up doing), just in case you really feel like hanging out, or weather takes a turn on you!

• Never plan on a set plan. Every trip we have taken ends up changing, which is just life with toddlers. Enjoy moments, even if they are different than what you “planned”.

Happy traveling!

About

My name is Chelsie Overgaauw. Born in New Mexico, grew up in California, and now living my adult life in Texas. I am a 26 year old stay at home {new} mama to my sweet boy and I am married to my best friend. I have experienced a lot in life already, good and bad, and have a lot more to experience. I am a lover of cooking, writing, photography, and design. Follow along to learn more.

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