Discovering Washington

My husband and I love to travel. Or, rather, we would love to travel.

At this point in our lives, we’re on a pretty tight budget, so plane tickets, hotel, activities, etc…, for four, just aren’t feasible.

So the only place we go every year is Lake Chelan with my family.

The other day I started thinking, why do we have to go far for a fun family adventure? Don’t misunderstand, we do fun things with our kids, we just stay really close to home.

Everything is new to them so it won’t matter if we take them to Mexico, or an hour away to something they’ve never done.

Play matters fun outside

We have so many cool places to visit that are close by. The kids are old enough now so we can go on fun day trips. Or we could even stay away for a night or two, and no doubt we would have a great time!

This summer, instead of Lake Chelan, we’re going to the San Juan Island’s. We won’t have to drive too far and once we get there, the kids will get to experience a whole new world.

It will be a fairly inexpensive trip too, so why not take a trip to the ocean as well? Neither of them have seen the crashing waves of the Pacific. They’ve spent plenty of time at the beach on the Puget Sound, but never at a sandy beach (unless you count the four feet of sand at Chelan).

So my hope is, starting in the Spring, (because traveling in Washington State other than Spring and Summer, bites), we’ll start taking more trips around our area as a family. I will keep track of our adventures in a series called “Discovering Washington.” (Surprise!)

Discovering Washington Ronan at the park

We will help the kids get to know our state and even Oregon. I’m also not opposed to planning a trip to Canada. It’s close enough!!As a young family on a tight budget, we've decided to enjoy exploring our home state and we've had so much fun Discovering Washington.

What types of vacations do you go on with your family? Do you save up for big trips every year, or do you stay close to home?

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy:

7 Reasons to visit the San Juan IslandsIf you're visiting Washington State, or even if you're a resident, here are 7 Reasons you should take a trip to the San Juan Islands!

Lake ChelanLake Chelan is an incredible destination in Washington state. From swimming in the lake, to visiting the many local wineries and vineyards.

The Wetlands at Theler CenterThe Wetlands at Theler Center is a gorgeous day trip with the family with endless trails and different animal sightings.

February 16, 2015
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  • Reply maggiemaysgifts

    so smart to make adventures out of your own town! There are so many hidden gems right by all of us…especially you, though. The pacific northwest is beautiful!!!

    February 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      It is beautiful! I’m so excited to get started!

      February 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm
  • Reply Life Breath Present

    So far, we generally stay pretty close to home. We do try to make a few trips out of state to see family each a year. In fact, we should start planning to make one of those trips in the next couple of months.

    As Baby Boy gets older we have ideas of things we want to do like maybe this year we’ll take him to the zoo about an hour away! 🙂

    February 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      We have family in Iowa. I think we’ll wait until they’re a little older to go out there. One day though…

      The zoo is always fun! It’s a good first adventure place! It’s so fun as the kids get older so you can do more with them!

      February 17, 2015 at 12:32 am
      • Reply Life Breath Present

        Yes! I’m glad Baby Boy is getting old enough to start doing more with us.

        Zoos are so much fun because there’s so much learning and awe involved! 🙂

        February 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm
  • Reply workingmommagic

    We stay pretty close, I havent even flown with the kids yet. But we are planning a ski trip for the next year.

    February 18, 2015 at 8:51 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      We haven’t flown with ours either. The thought stresses me out. A ski trip sounds like fun!

      February 18, 2015 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Naomi

    We don’t really do vacation and traveling. There are lots of playground and kid-friendly places (zoo, aquarium, children’s museum) that we do instead.

    February 18, 2015 at 9:01 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      It’s so much work traveling with kids!We just moved to a new town so we have a bunch of new playgrounds and places to explore.

      February 18, 2015 at 10:00 am
  • Reply Christine

    i said the same thing to my hubby last year! Traveling far distances with a little one completely stressed me out (we did PA to FL on a plane) and we are lucky to have a lot of great things nearby that don’t cost a fortune. We did a weekend trip to Lake Erie and took our bikes and did a day of biking along Presque Isle! Free free free!!!

    February 18, 2015 at 9:17 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Way too stressful-makes it not worth it! Free is the best-love it!!

      February 18, 2015 at 10:01 am
  • Reply TwoPlusCute

    We explore the surrounding area so far but, I do plan to make trips abroad with my baby. Hopefully to Greece this year and when she gets older (so she can retain memories) to other countries as well.
    Canada is a feasible idea. Europe is far but attainable, using Greece as our base we can jump to Italy, England (museums), France, Egypt (pyramids!), Morocco, even minor Asia countries in an hour or two. We can do country hoping as weekend travels. Btw, London has the most amazing museum of natural history, I can’t wait for her to be old enough so we visit it.
    I really like your idea of making even short journeys an adventure. It is the *right* approach and I will shamelessly copy you. 🙂

    February 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      We’ll plan trips abroad when the kids are much older. I want them to retain the memories too and not just be a stressful trip with two young kids for my husband and me to remember. All the places you mentioned would be so amazing to visit one day with my family. Our first plane trips will most likely be in the states, to Disneyland or somewhere similar, or even to Iowa to visit family. Abroad will be when they’re a bit older and are (hopefully) a bit less “maintenance.”

      February 18, 2015 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Karen

    Great idea! I’m moving to a new state this year and plan to do this very thing myself!

    February 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      A whole new state?! That’s cool-you get to see everything for the first time too-not just the kids!

      February 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood)

    My kids are happy when I take them to the splash pad 10 minutes from our house. There are so many cool places along the CA I would like to take the kids. We haven’t been anywhere on a plane with the kids or long trips because it’s too expensive. I would like to get up to the Portland area one of these days.

    February 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Oh, yeah! I need to find a splash pad in our new area! They are the best! If you ever make it to Portland, let me know! Who knows! We may be there too! There are a lot of fun things I want to do there.

      February 18, 2015 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply The Trophy WifeStyle

    Ahhhhhh with my princess now being over 2, no more free lap baby on the plane 🙁 it’s a tad bit more difficult to travel whenever I want. That extra seat on the plane breaks trips constantly due to the ridiculous airline prices. So we mainly do weekend driving trips…. And twice a year will fly somewhere, but one of those trips is always to go see y parents in TX.

    February 19, 2015 at 7:09 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Plane tickets are so pricey! I didn’t know they were only free until 2-crazy! We’ll take the plunge one day and fly with them…but probably not until they’re way older.

      February 19, 2015 at 9:37 am
  • Reply A Weekend of ‘Firsts’ | mamabyfire

    […] we went on our first big Washington adventure of the year to the Olympic Game Farm, (more about that […]

    February 19, 2015 at 8:48 am
  • Reply Discovering Washington: The Olympic Game Farm | mamabyfire

    […] Monday, we thought we would go on our first big Washington adventure. It was a spontaneous decision but it was a beautiful day and we refused to stay […]

    February 20, 2015 at 8:05 am
  • Reply andthreetogo

    I think that one of the best ways to travel with toddlers is close to home! There are so many places near my hometown in California that I have never taken the time to see. If we end up moving back at any point I will have lots planned for us to see for sure! Can’t wait to read about your trips!

    February 20, 2015 at 9:39 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      So true! I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before. We’ve been having a lot of fun already!

      February 20, 2015 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Discovering Washington: The Olympic Game Farm

    […] Monday, we thought we would go on our first big Washington adventure. It was a spontaneous decision but it was a beautiful day and we refused to stay […]

    February 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm
  • Reply Jess

    We stay close to home right now as well. Our kids are young and the idea of traveling by plane with them frightens me a little. Looking forward to your Discovering Washington series… I love learning about new places!

    February 23, 2015 at 7:16 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Taking my kids on a plane freaks me out too. Thank you! I’m so excited to explore!

      February 23, 2015 at 8:01 am
  • Reply Discovering Washington: The Wetlands at Theler Center | mamabyfire

    […] too! It is over-pouring with fun outdoor activities. The other day, we got to take the kids on another adventure to a place I loved in high school. The Wetlands at Theler Center. A long time friend of mine […]

    March 9, 2015 at 6:58 am
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