Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trip Planning Time - New Mexico

One of the greatest pleasures I get out of life is traveling.  And since having kids, I love opening up new worlds and places to them.  In recent years, we've had to seriously cut back on trips.  And I mean seriously cut back.  But every year, usually around February, I start to plan a summer trip and can usually save us some money here and there because of this advanced planning.

Last year we did a very budget trip to Sanibel Island, Florida using nothing but a holiday bonus for all pre-planning (air, hotel, car).  We then saved up a few dollars a month to cover meals and incidentals.  It was a great trip for not much $$.  My son declares that as his favorite trip so far.  I'll have to do a Sanibel trip report soon because I truly think it is one of the best US family destinations going.

This year I'm very excited to start planning an August trip to New Mexico.  We have settled on the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas, but there is just so much to see out there that I would need three weeks to cover it all.  Hoping we can fit in a few Southern New Mexico sites as well (I really want to see White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns).

Trip planning has been a passion of mine for as long as I remember.  Without exaggeration, I can spend 100s of hours planning a weekend away.  Hopefully this trip will be more like seven to ten days.

Here are some pictures and links for anyone else interested in visiting lovely New Mexico.  As soon as the plans are set, I'll share those too if you like.  And of course, after all is said and done, a trip report is a must!  My apologies in advance to anyone who doesn't love immersing themselves in all the minute details of another family's vacation.  I love it!

All photos found on Google Images - they are not my own.

Carlsbad Caverns
Bandelier National Monument - there will be lots of climbing here
White Sands National Monument
Hello sledding in August!
From "snowy" adventures to white water rafting - we will be doing this!
Plenty of Native American sites for a little education
Pueblo homesteads - hoping to witness some ceremonial dances
Afraid of heights?  The Sandia Peak Tramway may not be your thing
And plenty of plain old wilderness to explore! 
Oh my gosh, and there is just so much more!

So from now until August, I will be planning, re-planning, formulating itineraries, obsessively checking airline and car rental prices, and most importantly, researching the best places to EAT (OCD type A anyone?).  Can't wait to share my actual photos with you all.  Time to get back to practicing with my camera!!  Too many great photo ops on the horizon.

Any other travel buffs out there?  Where will your wanderlust be taking you?


  1. Can you believe I have yet to take the kids on a plane? I'm scared to death that they will be the kids that cry the entire time. LOL. Guess I have to get over that fear soon as I would really like to go... somewhere... anywhere... at this point.

    Never been to NM... but I have been to AZ and loved it out there. Can't wait to see what you come up with!!!

  2. Oh, I love traveling and planning!!! New Mexico is beautiful! I think the white water rafting is a must because it will be an adventure and you will need some time in a cold river, because NM is going to be HOT in August!

    In the past couple of years, we/I have traveled to London, Costa Rica, and New York (and some smaller, close-by trips). I also really get into to all of the planning details - usually the first thing I do when we decide to go somewhere is buy a travel guide. I read the whole thing, then start planning from there. I like to know what all of my options are, but I do not like to have each day planned out. I like our trips to be super flexible and open.

    I have a couple of possible upcoming trips - I will probably take my sister somewhere for her high school graduation present and Ben and I will start planning our honeymoon trip sometime soon (for this fall or next spring).

    Sorry for the long comment - I get really excited about travel!!! I would love to hear some of your tips for planning/staying within budget/etc.

  3. you are so lucky!! that trip will be amazing for the whole family. We almost planned a trip to Cuba this winter but it didn't work. I also take a lot of hours to plan a trip, i want always that it's perfect. The only problem is that the children are boring in the plane and asking every 10 minutes if it is far away! oooch x

  4. Laura - Both of my kids have been traveling since they were about 5 months old. We did have one horror flight with my daughter. She screamed and really pissed off the other passengers, but what can ya do. Thanks for the info about Arizona. That is on the future vacation list!

    Kristin - thanks for the comment. I love long ones. :) Glad to hear I'm not the only travel bug out there. And I love travel guides. I've been known to read some for places I don't have a trip planned to. I'll work on the travel budget tip post soon.

    Fanny - It is hard with the kids on the plane. Best thing we did once was take the red eye home from Las Vegas. the kids slept the entire time and then went straight to school after! I hope you get to Cuba soon.

  5. I enjoyed these pics! Thanks for sharing. My fam and I love taking trips to Yellowstone once a year. And I'm originally from Malaysia so I'll be going back to the Mother Land in a month!. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I'm so excited I could PASS OUT! But the plane tickets - we dropped 6G, also made me pass out, lol. Have a greet weekend!

  6. I lived in ABQ for a few years, so if you and your fam love the outdoors, you guys are really going to have fun. Plus, the NM food is to die for, that is what I miss the most about not living there anymore! If you are looking for some restaurant recs or anything, let me know!

  7. Lisa - I am envious of your trip for sure. Those are some expensive flights but very worth it I'm sure.

    Lisa - I am going to hit you up for those food places. Where we eat is one of the most important parts of a trip if you ask me. :)