This past weekend, I had the chance to travel to Philadelphia with my three daughters, where we connected with my father and stepmother (they live near Asheville, NC). As a child, I frequently traveled to Philadelphia with my parents and grandparents to visit my cousins and to visit the University of Pennsylvania, where both my father and grandfather attended. Traveling with the girls to Philadelphia for the first time brought back a flood of happy memories from my childhood. In addition to the Please Touch Museum and Penn Reunion Festivities, we visited the Jersey Shore, hung out with cousins, and visited the graves of my grandparents and other family members.
I grew up in a family that loved to travel. My grandparents visited all 50 states in their lifetime, causing me to challenge myself to visit all 50 by my 50th (I am confident I will get there). I also want to visit every continent, except Antarctica (because adventure seeker and cold weather lover, I am not). Before I was 5 years old, I was given the opportunity to visit the west coast, visit Canada, and spend a lot of time at the beach (I love the beach). When I was 15, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel with my parents and grandparents to France, Italy, and Switzerland. And as a high school graduation gift, my grandparents took me to Hawaii. I can only remember a handful of gifts that my grandparents gave me over the years, but I remember every single trip, like it was yesterday. This is why multi-generational travel is so special.
Our family is not wealthy, but we prioritize travel. When my daughters ask for a toy or a Happy Meal, we talk about the cost of those items and discuss future trips (current requests from the girls include Mexico, Hollywood, NYC, Paris, and London) we want to take. Instead of a large production at Christmas, we travel some place (ok, yes, I took a tree to the Florida Keys last year, but I also spent less than $75 per child on gifts).
I started my business, Spires Travel Group, LLC to share my love of travel with others and I started this blog- Planes, Trains, and Tricylces, as a way to share our family’s travel adventures with others. I am not going to sugar coat it, traveling with children can be chaotic, but the memories make it worth it! I hope that by following along with our adventures, your family will get excited about travel. And when the time comes to plan a trip, I would love to help! –Stephanie Spires