TravelingMom.comI’m going to be perfectly honest- while I may bitch and moan about how desperately I need a vacation- what I really want is a vacation sans kids– but then that would make me a bad, neglectful mommy- right? Why would I possibly want to dump my kids on their lovely grandparents- when like all good mommies- I should want to share world travel with them- and watch as they soak up their new surroundings, attractions, smells, neighborhoods, and cultures? How and why would I want to deprive them of the experiences that traveling on a plane and staying in a hotel can afford them?

Well it’s because I’m LAZY! That’s right-the thought of packing up all their essentials (aka action figures, markers, stuffed animals, DVD’s, DS games) unpacking, then repacking and facing the mounds of laundry that are in store for me, as soon as we get back from our trip- makes the whole prospect of traveling with my eight and four-year-old in tow- incredibly unappealing.

In fact on a recent trip to San Francisco with my husband- sans kids I marveled at this mom who was flying SOLO, while carrying her couldn’t be more than a pea-sized three month old baby in a sling, as she tried to keep her two-year-old toddler occupied with a few crayons and coloring books.

Watching her; as her patience and tolerance seemed to grow thin- and at one point- she was trying to calm both of those babies as they shrieked- I felt so relieved it wasn’t me… remembering when I took my eight-month old baby earlier on a flight- and all he did was wail the entire time- and I the disapproving nasty looks from the other passengers- made me wish I could evaporate.

So even though my kids are past the diapers and bottles stages- (although when we flew this past Winter to Florida to visit the Nick Hotel… my son literally made me take TEN trips to the bathroom- which I think were more about his fascination with the airplane’s lavatory than his urgent need to empty his bladder) and could certainly amuse themselves on a flight- I’m just too darn LAZY and selfish to deal with the packing, unpacking, repacking and laundry mounds that a trip with the kids would entail.

So that’s why I’m the resident staycation mom on this site- meaning- I will clue you and your kiddies in on all the FUN travel stuff you can do – right in your own backyard- which is code word for… NO LAUNDRY!

My first staycation tip is to pile your kids in the car and get on the highway, and let your kids choose the destination- maybe it’s a new park you’ve heard about and never been to, or a restaurant where the French fries are extra crispy- and then set off for your car trip staycation adventure. And then to make the trip that much more special you might want to invest in a product that besides being super affordable- will actually help you and your kids talk to each other- as opposed to fighting that someone is licking their ear, hitting them, not sharing the Nintendo DS or making silly faces …

It’s called FAMILY Talk and it’s essentially 100 thought-provoking, silly and fun question cards attached to round carabiner clip that your kids can take turns asking you while you’re driving the car! Seriously not sure why I didn’t come up with this idea first. And by the way it’s only $9.99. And it fits neatly into your purse- no boxes or bags necessary!

Since nabbing one of my very own Family Talk rings- I must admit- my kids have become these loquacious- eager to soak up every last detail about their mama- which is not only feeding my ego and sense of self- but heck it’s making our car rides that much more enjoyable- and promoting healthy conversations in the back-seat of my car- as opposed to fist fights and crying and that oh so unappealing, are we there yet question!

And being that as I type this my kids are waiting breathlessly- actually my son has decided to perch himself on my back and wrap his arms around my neck- to head off on our inaugural Saturday staycation… a car trip with a Staten Island destination unknown honestly- I’ll be happy just driving around and answering questions because isn’t that what it’s really all about?

If you’ve got any NYC staycations that you think I should check out- let me know… remember I’m a lazy mom and I need ALL the help I can get!