A Caribbean Trip to Remember

Not long ago, the four of us boarded an airplane from Philadelphia for Nassau, the Bahamas. It was a long-awaited trip — it had been quite some time since all four of us flew on an airplane together. We met up with Jason’s family from the West Coast there for one night and the next day flew to San Salvador, a remote Bahamas island.

Yes, a whole week with my husband’s family. Some of you may cringe at the idea of spending a vacation with your spouse’s family. You should reconsider this. Our trip was a success and thoroughly enjoyable — not just because of the beautiful weather, water and island beauty.

The girls and I got a chance to get to know his family better (since they are on the West Coast, we do not see them often). We all took plenty of pictures and have memories to look back on.

The girls have taken many trips to Long Beach Island but have never experienced a beach like San Salvador. Now that they are older, they have the ability to absorb such a trip. The waves were not rough most days, so we got them in the water and they loved it. When they were not in the water, they were usually running on the sand.

Another advantage of traveling with family is that you can split the cost of the time-share or house, car rental and food. Traveling with a few kids is expensive. Do the math. If you travel as a group, your vacation expense might be half of what you would spend if you traveled alone as a family.

It’s good to have a buddy system as well if you are on a remote island. Jason’s cousin has a place in San Salvador, so she transported us around the island of only 500 inhabitants. There are no street signs on San Salvador, so it is difficult for many tourists to get around and not get lost. One way to figure out your location is to follow the telephone poles. There is no hospital on the island, so if you had a medical emergency, it would be a problem.

Before I got married, every year I traveled with a girlfriend or two out of the country. The travel bug hit me again on this trip, and I hope we can take many vacations out of the country with the kids in years to come.

If you’re on the fence about taking a trip out of the country with young kids, consider going as an extended family — either with your side or your spouse’s. There are cost advantages but most important is the chance to spend quality time with family you don’t see often.

I have my eye on traveling again next January to a warm but less primitive location — the perfect time to get away if you live in the Northeast.

Today Kaitlyn asked me, “When are we going back to the Bahamas” I laughed and said, “It’s going to be a while.” Happy she had this experience to remember.

Erin Flynn Jay is a Philadelphia writer, public relations executive and mom of two girls. This post was adapted from her blog, Mastering the Mommy Track. 

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