My husband and I love to travel. We also love to travel with our children. Traveling as a family is not always an easy thing to do, but it is worth it if you can make it happen. We know things like finances play a huge role in whether you can travel or not, but we wanted to encourage those of you who are planning that upcoming trip and need a little logistical help.
In this episode we share a few tips that we do to help you on your journey!
– Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
– Today, we’re gonna give you our favorite tips on traveling as a family. Hey, welcome to this week’s episode. As usual, we want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so that you get notified every time we upload a new episode.
– Also, with today’s episode, even though we’re giving our favorite tips for traveling as a family, we wanna hear from you guys. We know that you probably have some amazing tips. So be sure to leave those in the comments.
– So, before we get started, why don’t we just give them a little bit of background on our history with traveling as a married couple and then as a family with children?
– Well we’ve loved traveling. We’ve loved the excitement surrounding travel and I don’t know, I just feel like it’s always been a part of our story and what we do.
– Yeah, we’ve done everything. We’ve road-tripped back and forth across the United States a couple of times.
– We’ve done mission work internationally.
– International missions. And now that we have kids, actually leading up to kids, we had a lot of people ya know, unknowingly, give us negative responses saying like, “Oh, good thing you did all your traveling “before you have kids because once you have kids, “there’s no more traveling.” They kind of said those sort of things to us. So, our intention with this episode is to give you guys a positive insight into the idea of traveling as a family because even though lots of people told us that, we actually fought that notion.
– We didn’t stop.
– We’re like, no actually, of course it’s gonna look different but we’re gonna not, we’re not gonna say no to traveling just ’cause now we have kids.
– And sure, it looks a little bit different but–
– A lot different, yeah.
– But it’s still really fun and we still really enjoy it and so, we just thought yeah, with today’s episode, we would encourage those of you who are ya know, either planning a trip or will be planning a trip together as a family and we just hope that our advice or our tips or our tricks would help you.
– Yeah and we’ve traveled a lot. We’ve traveled with every single one of our kids, with all of them, and we’ve never traveled with four yet.
– Yeah, we’ll be doing that soon.
– Yeah, that’s soon but, so we’ve traveled with one and then two, and then three. So we get the whole gamut of traveling in airports and small cars and long trips and tiredness. So we’re just gonna share with you our tips on making it as enjoyable as possible, about surviving the times that are hard and just getting our perspectives right on the idea of traveling with our kids ’cause at the end of the day, we wanna give our kids things. We wanna give them experiences and show them the world and make it an enjoyable thing.
– Not a stressful or hard thing, which sometimes, that’s what it is.
– Sometimes it is.
– So yeah, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna jump into our top 10 things and then we’re gonna throw in a few bonuses after that and hopefully enjoy them. Like Jennifer said, if you wanna share your own tips, you can leave those in the comments.
– So, the first one that we wanna mention is pack light. This is a really hard one, I think, for everyone who’s traveling, so you guys might relate with this. But for us, I know that it requires me to first do all of the laundry and get prepared that way but, I have to pack and then I unpack everything and repack with less stuff because the truth is, from our experience of traveling, you don’t use it all and it’s really a waste to bring more things than you need.
– Regardless of how you’re getting to where you’re going. It doesn’t matter if it’s a plane ride or a road trip. You’re limited on space, you’re limited on strength, on how much you can carry and so, it’s just really important that you only bring essentials, only bring what you think you’ll need and remember this guys, most likely where you’re going, you’ll be able to do laundry or buy something.
– Well, every hotel has a laundromat.
– Yeah and there’s grocery stores, there’s Targets everywhere and like you said, you just wash what you brought.
– Yeah or rewear something that’s not quite dirty.
– Yeah, we actually learned this when we were doing mission’s work, the first time we went on a trip. We packed way too much stuff. We had to carry those backpacks everywhere.
– We actually got rid of a lot of stuff on the trip.
– We gave it away in villages. We’re like, “Hey, here ya go.” But that was when we learned that and now, having kids, the first time we traveled with just Elliot, I remember we had a huge suitcase, we had backpacks each, we had a bag for him.
– I didn’t know!
– We didn’t know and we’re like, we don’t need any of this stuff.
– Yeah so even when it comes to packing for your children, just know that they don’t need as much as you probably think.
– They can wear the same thing like everyday.
– I know, they don’t even care.
– They don’t even think about it.
– So, here’s our tip number one is, pack light.
– Yeah, it’s gonna make your going through the airports easier. It’s gonna make your going to and from there, everything easier. So, that’s a good point. So, tip number two is pack healthy snacks. Snacks are important because it can get really expensive if you’re in airports or at gas stations just trying to get food.
– And usually those types of food are not gonna make you feel good, not give you energy for ya know, the time that you’re traveling.
– And you need energy and you’re already gonna be tired. So you need to just be healthy. We haven’t been the best at this but when you pack healthy snacks, many times, your kids are just, they’re gonna be wanting to snack all the time and it’s just, it’s a comfort thing.
– And you don’t wanna give em a lot of high sugar foods because that’s gonna make it harder for you in the long run especially if you’re on an airplane with a lot of people or even on a road trip. You don’t want their attitudes to become poor or hard to deal with. So, try and avoid those sugary snacks and maybe you can give them some sample.
– What we’ve done, we’ve cut up carrots.
– So you’ve got a big carrot, you just cut up real small and then you give em little carrots. Apples, we’ve done nuts and raisins and these kinds of things that are easy to pack. They’re not liquid because ya know, airports have a problem with liquids. But I actually believe that those little food pouches that you get at the grocery store for babies are great snacks and I actually think they’re small enough that they would, they pass security.
– Yep, they do.
– I would look into that to just make sure.
– I’ve brought em before.
– Yeah and they’re just easy. They can suck em down, you roll em up, they’re clean. Put the cap back on it, they don’t get messy anywhere. That’s the thing, you don’t want messy stuff. You have like this little area in front of you.
– For adults, the Rx bars, I think they have Rx bars for kids now too, but those are really good.
– Yeah, the Rx bars, there’s minimal ingredients in em and they’re high in protein and they fill you up. Those are the kinds of things that we like to bring just to get us to and from the airports and to hold us over until dinner when we can go somewhere healthier or eat somewhere we can control. So, packing healthy snacks. Again, don’t pack too much because you’re gonna just not have enough room for it all. But pack enough for the way there and then what you can do is you can restock up before you go home. So you don’t have to bring both ways unless you wanna save the money and you’re gonna sacrifice room. But that’s something we do. Again, something we didn’t always do but we’ve learned we need to make sure that we have that. It saves us money. It saves us energy. And it makes sure we have something available when the kids need something right then.
– Yeah especially when you’re going through time zones right because–
– Oh yeah.
– Sometimes dinner gets pushed back or you just don’t have access.
– Yeah when they’d usually be
– eating now but you’re not where you’re gonna go yet.
– So make sure you have those snacks. So, our next tip is to actually packing a backpack with an extra pair of clothes for each person and these are the type of clothes that you can pack really light, like a light T-shirt and a pair of shorts. This is just in case of an emergency. We know with kids, these kinds of emergencies happen all the time.
– Missing luggage.
– Yeah, you don’t want your luggage to be missing or packed in the back of the truck and you can’t get to it when you need to.
– Or there’s an accident on the plane or in the car and you can’t get to where you need to go.
– Yeah, potty accidents.
– You just pull it out right there.
– Lots of ya know, dirty clothes going on. So, we just encourage people and make sure you stuff a pair in there for yourselves too because you never know what kind of messes will explode on your lap or what not.
– You never know.
– The backpack that I usually pack for us, I usually stick the snacks that we were talking about in that backpack and diapers and wipes. So everything’s right there, easy to get to.
– We don’t have to go up into the overhead compartments. We just have all of our stuff on our carry ons that are immediate use things.
– Yeah, so like this is especially a good tip if you are on an airplane and all your luggage is stowed away and you can’t get to extra clothes. Just make sure you have at least one backpack full of extras.
– But a little bonus tip on this one to couple with the first tip you gave on packing light, we’ve since learned to try and only pack and take what we can carry on. Unless we’re gonna be gone for a very long time, but even then, we still try and make sure that, ’cause you can have a bag and you can have a carry on bag.
– Even the kids can have a bag.
– The kids can have bags which we’re gonna get to in a minute. And if you can try and get everything into your carry on, then you have everything with you which gets you through the airport way quicker. And you’re not gonna have this fear of losing stuff ’cause we’ve lost luggage before. So this next tip is a fun family incorporative tip. So what you’re gonna do is have your children pack their own backpacks. Get them some clothes that they’re gonna put in, give them some snacks that are gonna go in and coloring and toys and let them pack their own little backpack that they’re gonna carry. Of course, if you have kids that can walk. What it does is, first of all, you get stuff that you’re gonna need, necessities on their carry on. Because they’re allowed to bring carry on.
– Well even if you’re, it’s good for airplane rides, but even for car rides, it just, it helps them stay entertained.
– Yeah, you can say pull out your backpacks and grab your book or grab a toy.
– Grab coloring.
– Something to color with.
– Coloring’s really important.
– And it also invites them to be a part of the experience, the trip.
– Our kids get so excited when we say, “OK, go get your backpack, you’re gonna pack it.” They’re running around the house throwing stuff in,
– They’re so happy.
– and now, we often have to take stuff out of it.
– Yeah, I was gonna suggest on this tip that once the kids pack the backpack, the parents then take it and kind of unpack it and organize it just to make sure that everything in there needs to be in there.
– So like Olive will have her own little backpack with her special toys in it and Elliot will have his backpack with some crayons and books. It just makes them feel like they’ve prepared their own bag, because they have. But also, it’s just strategic because if you’re trying to pack light, making sure that everyone has a carry on, ’cause sometimes we put a pack of wipes and some diapers in one of their bags.
– They help us.
– Yeah they help, or there’s some snacks in one of their bags and so, you spread out the necessities with their bags also and they’re all accessible. They’re all right there. So, that’s a fun one.
– I’d also say my kids have really enjoyed this where ya know, we go to the 99 cent store or Hobby Lobby and we just pick a few things up that we know that they would enjoy and we surprise them. So we stuff it in their bags and they don’t know.
– That’s a cooler one, yeah.
– During the trip–
– They find it and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, what’s this?”
– Yeah and it just stimulates them for a little bit longer than their normal toys. So, the next tip is essentials are essential and we want, this goes in conjunction with packing light but we wanna make sure that you guys are bringing the essentials. So, for us, essentials include Grandmother’s Spot Treatment, it’s a small bottle like this big. I get it at Hobby Lobby for like three something. It works wonders. So if you’re out traveling and someone gets a stain on their shirt and you don’t have access to laundry right away, you just put some of that on it, roll it up and by the time you do get to wash it, it comes out. So you wanna make sure that clothes aren’t being ruined or anything like that. On this one also, bring a little baggy of dry laundry soap. That way, when you do get to the hotel or wherever you’re staying, an Air B&B, you don’t have to go to Target or somewhere for that essential. You already have it in your bag.
– This one’s been essential for us because if we use laundry detergent–
– You and all the kids.
– Me and all the kids get rashes ’cause we react–
– They have such sensitive skin!
– So we have to use our own detergent. So we bring powder stuff with us and then, another thing that we bring always is a little bottle of Bronner’s soap.
– Which is great for everything.
– You can use it for anything. Washing your body.
– Washing your hair.
– Washing your dishes. Washing your clothes.
– It’s actually a great one for camping.
– It’s a great one for camping but for any sort of travel.
– For anything, yeah.
– They come in little tiny bottles. Or you can buy a small bottle and fill it up with a big bottle.
– Yeah and we actually bring a small bottle and I dilute it. I don’t know if you know this, but as our trip progresses, I just add more water to it.
– Add more water to it, yeah.
– So that’s a really good one. Another essential that you wanna make sure you have is a first aid kit especially with little kids. We’ve run into–
– Accidents, injuries, things that ya know, our kid’s toe’s bleeding or whatever and you just need that first aid kit. It doesn’t have to be a massive big one, but just make sure you have something on hand. We use essential oils, so I always make sure that we pack our oils, bandaids, neosporin, things like that.
– So, the next tip, we just talked about essentials. An essential for us is making sure we always bring a pack ‘n play.
– Yeah, this is gonna be for the families that have the young kids.
– And we got a pack ‘n play, I know pack ‘n plays can seem bulky but we got this one that like folds up into this box.
– It’s so nice, you guys.
– It’s a little bit more expensive than most pack ‘n plays but this thing, we’ve taken it on every single trip. We’ve used it in our bedroom. We use it at friend’s houses.
– It’s called Guava.
– Yeah and it’s this little tiny pack and play that folds super easy and we’ve used it when we’re in hotels, if you get stuck in an airport, you can open it up wherever. You can put a blanket over the top of it. Just having a pack and play so that your young toddler or babies have a place that they are comfortable with when you’re traveling. Another thing that we’ve done and tried in the past is if we know we’re gonna be traveling and we have a new baby, we get them used to the pack and play before we leave.
– Right, using it at home.
– Using it at home so that they’re used to it when we’re at ya know, Grandma’s house or at a hotel or wherever we’re gonna be. It just, it really makes that transition of going from their comfort of their bed, their crib to being in a hotel.
– They’re familiar.
– They’re familiar with it, it smells like, they recognize the smell. They recognize the feel of it. So pack and play has been essential for us. So if you guys have young toddlers or babies, they could even be a little bit older because some kids, they want the comfort of their bed. You can get them used to it and they can sleep in that and that way, you can actually save money also on a hotel room if you need a hotel. Instead of getting multiple beds, you can do a one bed with the pack and play. But, pack and play’s been a main go to for us when we go traveling.
– So the next tip is, don’t push your limits. Everyone in your family, your spouse, your kids have different limits and what we found through our experience is that when you’re traveling, everybody’s gonna respond and react a little bit differently and we have to be aware of those limits. We have to know when our kids are gonna crash and they need to go back to the hotel or back to the Air B&B for a naptime. Being willing to be flexible or even sacrifice some of the plans that you made in order to accommodate some of those, I think is really important.
– We’ve made big errors in this area where like, we have this whole planned out trip and we were just like, no we gotta get to the next thing, no we gotta get– Our kids are falling apart.
– Two and three year olds, we’re like, “Come on guys, keep up with us.”
– We’re falling apart.
– But even us, we have a different stamina than they do so I think it’s just recognizing that everyone in the family needs to accommodate everyone in the family and I think that’s important.
– Recognizing that your kids are gonna remember those feelings, ya know? You think you’re trying to hit all these things. They’re not gonna remember every single thing you did. But they will remember
– They’re gonna remember how it felt.
– you rushed them.
– They will remember how it felt. So, being patient with your family, with yourself even. Having plans but making sure that they’re flexible.
– Because it’s not the end of the world if you miss that one thing that you were supposed to do. If it means a healthier relationship with your family and the next thing you do is gonna be that much more enjoyable.
– Right which leads us into the next point. So if you wanna talk about that for a bit.
– The next point is getting our perspective right on the trip overall. I’m notoriously bad at this. I get to a place where I’m just in this mode or we need to go or I’m frustrated ’cause the kids are tired and they’re crying.
– We haven’t even left yet.
– Yeah we haven’t even left yet and I’m like ah!
– You’ve gotten way better, by the way.
– Yeah I’ve had to because I don’t want my kids to have a bad memory of these fun things that we’re trying to do with them. Ya know, we talked about that, the summer outings episode of having the perspective of like, hey, it’s not gonna be perfect but make it fun. Have a good perspective of it. So, have the same perspective when you’re traveling. Someone once told me on our last trip, they just reminded me, they said, “Hey, just remember, they’re kids “and it’s hard.” So, reminding me that it’s gonna be hard helped me not make it so hard. Instead of going in with the expectation that this is gonna work, I went in and I was like well, what’s happening right now I knew was gonna happen. The kids are crying, OK. It’s difficult. This is hard for them. They’re tired. We’ve been traveling. They’re in a new place, there’s loud noises. They’re hungry, they’re thirsty, they’re uncomfortable. There’s lots of things and just ya know, as a husband and wife, preparing yourselves emotionally and mentally, spiritually.
– Before you even leave.
– Yeah and just putting yourself in the right perspective and just recognizing like this isn’t just gonna be all rainbows and butterflies. It’s going to be difficult. It’s gonna be inconvenient. But the end result is gonna be an adventure. And having that mindset so that you’re not just getting pushed to the edge of your anger and you’re not just frustrated the whole time and you’re not snapping at your children and snapping at your wife and vice versa. But knowing like OK, we said this was gonna be hard, we need to breathe. Let’s go off into a corner somewhere.
– Pray together.
– Let’s take a moment to pray together. But just recognizing that the trip isn’t just gonna be ya know, clean and free and clear from–
– Stress or anxiety, frustrations, yeah.
– But that you have young children that like, they’re experiencing all this for their first time and they’re not gonna remember being tired. They’re not gonna remember crying. They’re not gonna remember being hungry. They’re gonna remember you being frustrated. They’re gonna remember you having an attitude and being angry and rushing and making this thing that’s supposed to be exciting and fun and adventurous not any of those things.
– But you can protect that perspective that they have of you by setting your heart right before you even leave.
– So, the next tip kinda coincides with that last tip. It’s just to remember that your kids are kids. They’re children. They’re experiencing all this for the first time.
– They’re excited.
– Yeah, they’re excited and a lot of times, the reason when we’re traveling, for me at least, when I get anxiety, when I get stressed out and frustrated, it’s when I realize and feel like my family’s being a burden on the world.
– Or bothering other people.
– Like my kids are playing and I’m like, “Shh, be quiet, stop it, stop it,” and I’m trying to protect.
– Stop kicking the seat
– in front of you.
– Kicking the seat in front of you. We do try and stop them from that, but recognizing that that’s gonna happen. So, remembering that your kids are kids and they’re gonna do kid things and also that it’s not your responsibility to make sure that the whole world is comfortable. Ya know, all of the people on that, ya know, you should definitely have your children in control as much as possible. Keep reminding them like hey, we need to be respectful. Hey, you don’t just run up and grab people’s luggage.
– Right but making sure that those corrections are happening with a good heart and good intentions of trying to help your kids learn.
– And patience. And understanding that they’re probably super bored. So trying to entertain them, talk to them. Go for a walk with them. This is something that we do, like let’s walk around the airport. So that way they’re entertained and they’re not running around bothering people.
– Yeah, this is how earlier I said that it just looks different now, so instead of us being on our phones watching a movie or something on the airplane, now we are engaging with our children and I think that that’s just one of the way that I just thought of that it does look a little bit different. To sacrifice what you would probably wanna do in that moment to make sure that your kids are being entertained, engaged.
– It’ll make the plane flight much more enjoyable for them, for you, for the passengers. The other thing I wanted to say is, ya know, I used to think like man, my kids are just bothering everyone and you just feel like everyone’s looking at you. But what we’ve experienced is we always like, we’ve experienced that people are not nearly as bothered as we think they are, first of all.
– That’s true and also because of the more kids that we’re having, we get separated on planes sometimes.
– All the time.
– I look over at you and I’m like, “It’s not that loud.” It’s not as bad as you think it is.
– Yeah because you think it’s super loud and the only people that can really hear it is the people that are directly in front of you maybe or directly behind you but ya know, every single time we’ve been on a plane with our kids, the people around us, they’re like leaning in, “Hey, it’s not bothering us at all.”
– They’re so encouraging.
– Your kids are so cute. For some reason, there’s just something beautiful about people seeing you trying, they commiserate with you first of all because they’re uncomfortable too. They’re on this plane flight and their butt hurts. And often times, they’re not anywhere close to what I think they’re thinking of us. And to be honest, if you are bothering one person, you can apologize to them or not say anything and they’ll get over it because they’re gonna get off the plane and they’re never gonna think about it again.
– And neither are you. That’s the thing is you’re probably not gonna think about that person that huffed or sighed.
– Yeah so just remember, kids are kids. They’re gonna do kids things. They’re gonna be bored and just to not be overwhelmed by thinking that your kids have to be so perfect that you’re not gonna bother anyone because that’s just not the case. Your kids could be as perfect as possible and you will probably still bother someone just because you have children around. So, just having that perspective, just like the last tip, of ya know, so that you’re not making– You’re not putting expectations on your children that shouldn’t be there.
– So, the next tip is a little bit more about logistics but it’s a really important one to me. It’s something that I kinda tackle when we go to prepare for traveling. But’s it’s preparing your itinerary and the reason that this is so important is because what I like to do is depending on how many days or where we’re going, I like to write down where exactly we’re staying, the address, phone number, just any sort of important details and how someone else could get ahold of us in case of an emergency and then I take that itinerary, which I usually make in Google Docs and I send it to two to three people that aren’t gonna be on the trip with us just so that they know where we are, what we’re doing and how to get ahold of us. I feel like that’s really important because if there was an emergency on our end or on their end, it just makes it a lot easier than someone wondering, like, “I don’t know where they’re going.”
– It’s a good point. We give it to a couple friends of ours and then if we’re not gonna be going to family, we’ll send it to our families and that way, they are aware. They know where we’re going.
– It’s also good, I like to print mine out and I’ll even, if we have an amusement park or a museum or something that we’re gonna go visit on a certain day, I’ll make sure that I know I have written down the price of admission and the times, the hours of operation. That way, we know, OK, things change or we need to be flexible with nap time. We know how long it’s open til, so we have all that information on hand and I don’t have to go search it on my phone and look it up.
– You’ve always been really good at this. You actually plan it.
– I like it. I like it, so if there’s a planner in your family, give them that task.
– Yeah and so, why don’t you share with them that this is, we were only gonna do 10 but as a bonus one, why don’t you share the bonus one with them?
– So the bonus one–
– This one’s my, based off something I struggle with.
– It was both of us but, this bonus one we wanted to give to you guys is just something that we’ve learned from experience that has really helped us on the coming home of a trip.
– I’ll give an example for you, say what it is. So we’ll go do this amazing trip. Something tons of fun and then on the way home, ya know, the plane flight was hard. The kids were crying.
– We’re tired.
– Tired and so you get home and your friends are like, “Oh so how was the trip?” It was awesome but the flight home was just so terrible. I was tired, the kids–
– The last thing on your mind
– is just not a good experience.
– The kids were just with you and so, all they heard outta my mouth was like, oh so your trip was not good at all?
– So after this happening, several times we talked about it and we just felt like OK, on our next trip, we need to make sure that we’re remembering the highlights. We’re remember the good times.
– And telling people those things.
– Well and it’s not that you have to leave out those bad things ’cause it all is part of the trip, but we wanted to make sure that we were sharing the blessing of being able to travel with the people that were asking us how it was going and not just that but for our family’s sake. So when we’re on the airplane home or the road trip home, we are asking our kids, “OK, what was your highlight? “Out of all the things that we got to do, “what was your favorite part? “Or ya know, what stood out to you?” Then we get to talk about it. So not only does it stimulate conversation and communication within the family but then it also leaves just that good taste in your mouth when you get home and people are asking you how your trip was.
– Yeah, so a better way that I could respond in the future is, “Hey there was a couple of hard spots “in the traveling but overall, it was such a good trip. “We did this, this and this.” So that I’m not lying, ya know? But the positive things are things that I remember and this triggered not just because that’s how I was. I would often just bring up the negative. We started hearing our son when we would ask about things we did. He would only bring up the negative things. When it was hard or he missed out on the thing or he got hurt. We’re like, “What is he doing?”
– He was mimicking us.
– He was mimicking us and so, now we’re like OK, how can we just talk about the positive things because overall, the trip was awesome. It’s not like anything really bad happened at all. So that we’re remembering positive things and not remember like, “Oh that was a hard trip.”
– But it really wasn’t.
– So, on the way home, even if it’s a hard on the way home, be sure to talk about those highlights and just talk to your family about what stood out.
– Highlight some positive things so that your kids hear the positive things and they remember the positive things. It’s like, it’s just reinforcing those good things.
– Yep, OK so, there’s one last thing that we wanted to share with you guys about traveling as a family that is really important to us and again, it just came through experience of doing it as a family.
– Yeah and making mistakes, of course.
– And making mistakes of course.
– So, the whole reason we started this podcast and we bring this up every single time is that, we’re trying to be a Marriage After God and we talk about family being a ministry to each other and in the world. So I just wanna read a couple scriptures here and the first one’s gonna be, it’s gonna be Romans 12:18. It says this. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, “live peaceably with all.” So, this scripture, Paul’s talking to the Romans and he’s telling them, he’s saying hey, live in peace as much as you can ’cause there’s gonna be times that you just can’t. But live at peace when it’s in your strength and so, just to remind you that when you’re traveling, what you’re doing as a family is not just for your own sake. Like even on the plane or communicating with the stewardesses or the agents at the desk or wherever you’re at when you’re renting the car or the hotel.
– The family reunion.
– The family, your family union, how you react with each other, interact with each other is a witness to the world. Either of the goodness of God’s grace or of a false gospel that’s teaching the world, “Oh, they don’t even love each other.” They call themselves Christians but look how frustrated they are. Look how negative they are. Look how mad the father is right now. They see those things. A perfect example of this. Ya know, we were coming back from a vacation with our family and we came in late at night and we had the last flight of the night to go from where we were going to home. We get off the plane, the plane was late and we get off the plane and they had, like five minutes earlier to the other plane.
– But the plane was still sitting there, which was–
– The plane was still sitting there.
– It made us so frustrated.
– We’re literally sitting there with, me and Jennifer and our two kids and friends of ours and their two kids and we’re all sitting there. It’s the middle of the night and they’re like, “Sorry, there’s not a flight for a couple days.
– Like literally,
– That’s what they told us.
– two and a half days.
– I’m like exploding. I’m so angry. I’m tired, first of all. All of our kids are hungry, tired, exhausted and I’m just saying you’re literally not gonna open the door for us? They’re like, “Nope, it’s against our policy.” I was not being a very good witness. I was letting the circumstances, I was letting my emotions, I was letting my flesh get in control and think about the example I was setting for this guy that’s just doing his job. He couldn’t, I mean, who knows what kinda control he had. I’m just like livid. I let the circumstances dictate the witness I had. So I just wanna remind us that when we’re traveling as a family, it may be for a vacation or ya know, business or whatever it is, we’re in ministry. We’re in Marriage After God. We’re in ministry as a family. And we need to be walking in peace as much as possible with outsiders, people that maybe don’t know the Lord and they’re looking at us and somehow, they’re gonna see us either being good examples of the gospel or bad examples of the gospel. Another scripture I wanna read is in Colossians four. Five through six. It says this. “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use “of the time. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how “you ought to answer each person.” This just reinforces what I was just saying. Making sure that we’re walking in wisdom towards outsiders. When they see our family traveling, are they seeing the love of God? Are they seeing the fruits of the spirit in ourselves? Doesn’t mean we’re perfect but are they seeing forgiveness and apology? Are they seeing patience and hey, let’s take a moment, let’s breathe, let’s pray as a family. Oh, we’re not gonna talk that way to the stewardess because we’re frustrated. We’re gonna actually, we believe that God’s gonna take care of us. And they see this in our family. That’s the whole point. That’s what we’re doing in this world and so, that’s just my final tip for you guys in traveling is recognizing that your family is a witness. And we even tell our kids this.
– I was gonna say, before we even go on our trip, we share, you share this with our kids.
– Yeah, we say hey guys, we’re gonna be an example. There’s gonna be other kids that are gonna watch how you are. There’s gonna be other families looking at how we interact as a family. There’s gonna be people that don’t have children watching us and like, what kind of example are we gonna be? Are we gonna be good examples, guys? Are we gonna have good attitudes and just joyful spirits and obedience and kindness and gentleness? You know, it really helps set their minds and hearts in the right place and you know what happens. If they ever start getting out of order or disobedient, we’ll say, “Hey guys, “remember we’re being an example.” It actually helps them remember and they’re like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.” They want to have that responsibility. So what we do is we give them the higher purpose, I like that word you used. So, these are all great tips for traveling but this last one is the purpose. If we’re gonna be traveling, what does our life look like as a family? As a husband and wife and our children and how are we representing Christ to the world? So, we just wanna encourage you with all these and if you’re gonna be traveling soon, I hope that this blessed you and that you use some of these tips to make your traveling experience much more blessed, joyful, and purposeful.
– Thank you guys so much for joining us this week and we’ll see ya next time.
– [Aaron] Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at MarriageAfterGod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.