At Totally Buffalo, we TOTALLY LOVE to collaborate! It’s what Buffalonians do. We help others, we celebrate others, because we know that we are all a part of the same community. We’ve decided to focus on that – right here. Guest bloggers – the best Buffalo has to offer – will be writing a new post exclusively for Totally Buffalo. We will share it, along with some information about the blogger and links to their blogs and social media channels.
Parents – if you travel with your kids – or want to – check this out. Here’s Sarah on why she TOTALLY LOVES to travel.
Why we TOTALLY LOVE to travel
We just got back from an AMAZING trip in Great Britain: sightseeing at Stonehenge, exploring the old city walls in Conway (Wales), hiking the mountains surrounding Edinburgh (Scotland), looking for the Loch Ness monster in the highlands, and getting lost in the beautiful streets of Old Town Edinburgh. (You can read more about Scotland here.) The whole trip was magical. The very next night after arriving home, with our kids sound asleep in their beds, wouldn’t you know, we are googling flight prices to our next destination. We are obsessed, addicted, and in love with travel.
I’m Sarah from Buffalo, New York, the owner of sarahctravels.com. I am a follower of God, wife, mom, travel nut, “retired” 3rd grade teacher, and now a spin instructor! My husband, Matt, and I have been married for 8 years. I’m pretty obsessed with him, even though he ropes me into all of his shenanigans. 😉 We began traveling when we first got married, and now we are addicted! We have 2 boys, Dylan (3 years) and Christopher (10 months) who we tote all around the world with us! So far, Matt and I have traveled to 38 countries, Dylan has been to 22, and Christopher, 7. We average about 5 countries/trips per year. We love to travel with our kids and I love sharing with others how it is TOTALLY doable!!! In my blog, sarahctravels.com I share the places we’ve been, how we did it, and tips for traveling, even with your kids!
How we got addicted to traveling:
Not long after we were married, we were headed to Florida on a cheap airline flight. Go figure, a few weeks before we were supposed to leave, our flight was canceled. We started searching for last minute flights to Florida and they were $800 per ticket! There was no way we would pay that much money for just Florida, so we started searching other places. Then, we found a flight for the same price, $800 to fly last minute to London, England! We ended up, scrapping our Florida plans and flying to London (with a side trip to Paris) instead. The trip was epic. We celebrated our wedding anniversary in Paris and it was one of the most romantic, beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We realized how easy it was to travel internationally, even last minute, and so began the addiction!
Traveling with kids:
After we had our first child, Dylan, we assumed our travel days would be over, but he was such a good baby. So, we decided to bring Dylan to Denmark when he was five months old to meet up with some friends. The trip was far better than I would have imagined, so we tried taking him a couple months later to Hawaii. We started to realize that traveling with him wasn’t so bad, not to mention the fact that kids can fly free until they are two years old! So we continued traveling as much as we could before Dylan turned two and only had to pay for our two flights! Eventually, Dylan turned two, and we added another baby to the family, Christopher. At this point, we couldn’t just stop traveling!!! Something about the different cultures, language, food, adventure and family time; it is all so wonderful!
There are a lot of challenges to traveling with small children, but it is doable and once you get the hang of it all, it IS fun! You can read my tips for traveling with toddlers here. You also have to know what to pack for toddlers and babies, and although at the beginning it may seem like a lot, it really isn’t that bad once you follow some simple tricks. Check out my blog post about what we pack for our kids when we travel, it’s easier than you think. 😉
Traveling Internationally out of Buffalo. Finding Cheap Flights.
Because this is why most people don’t travel: money! I’ll be honest with you, flying isn’t cheap, so get that out of your head right now. You make it a priority. You budget. What money you spend to go out to eat or buy new clothes may need some adjustments so that you can instead put that money toward travel. I promise, traveling around the world will be so much more fulfilling than those new shoes or designer pair of sunglasses!!!
We are lucky, living in Buffalo, because our cost of living is low compared to so many other areas in the United States and we have access to some great airports! Buffalo NiagaraInternational Airport has flights to JFK or Chicago which can take you to almost anywhere in the world; but also TORONTO is practically right next door and you can find amazing deals flying out of Pearson’s Airport. Lately, we only book flights out of Toronto because it’s cheaper, direct, and so easy! We’ve found many direct flights out of Toronto that, with the exchange rate, were very inexpensive. I think people are scared of booking flights out of Toronto because you have to drive two hours from Buffalo and park your car while you are gone. That used to be us! However, driving two hours to a direct flight out of Toronto is SO much better than having a layover in JFK or Chicago with your kids. Worse, is missing a connecting flight because your flight is delayed! If you fly out of Toronto, we love using Skypark Airport Parking to park our car for the week. We’ve used it multiple times, it’s very inexpensive (around $80 for the week) and they have a shuttle that takes us right to our terminal!
Lately, on our direct Europe trips, we only book red eye flights. That way, after the meal comes and everyone is settled, we all fall asleep and everyone is all rested for when we land. We find that it makes the flight soooo much easier (and seem quicker) and I love not wasting any vacation time! When we arrive at our destination, we literally start exploring right away! You can plan flights around nap times too! If you are a parent, you’ll agree, a sleeping child is like gold, so it’s always a big time score when they finally get bored and fall asleep. ?
Traveling with our kids is never easy, but SO worth it!!! We have so much fun as a family and I love traveling together because it’s the one time that we get Daddy nonstop all week long; but also, my kids get to see me without the daily stresses of laundry, dishes, meal preps and house cleaning… not to mention the fact that we are seeing all of this beautiful architecture and landscapes & experiencing culture together. It’s because of these EXPERIENCES (not toys, fancy electronics, fancy clothes, etc) that helps our little family grow closer together and gives us a broader perspective and understanding of our world.