Austin Recap | COVID Travel with Littles

collage of photos from trip to Austin

Last weekend, O and I decided to book an Airbnb and load the kids up to road trip down to Austin. We had planned on doing it the month prior but then Zeameh didn’t poop for 14 days and, well, thats a story for another day. I am so grateful we waited because the weather absolutely made the trip for us. Here are some photos I love and my thoughts on Covid Travel.

garage with bright orange bus

We typically leave at dark o’clock to get on the road as early as possible, but we decided to let Z take her morning nap since the carseat isn’t her best friend. The drive is 3.5 hours but it took us 5 because of a solid nursing stop and a wiggle break. Plus, we had to go to a gas station to let the kid choose their road trip treat: Keogena and Lema chose grape juice and blueberry lemonade respectively plus fruit Mentos all around.

Jill and youngest daughter in AirBnb
hat. sweater. Z’s bonnet.
Jill's son in AirBnb
Jill's daughters on couch in AirBnb
Jill's husband and son posing together

We stayed in this Airbnb and I couldn’t recommend it more, although there are some things to note: There is no microwave which is absolutely fine but I didn’t plan for that and knew we’d have to-go food to reheat and some food I brought from home but we of course made it work and it was perfect. There is also no TV in the main space (there is a small one in the upstairs bedroom) which is, again, absolutely fine. The two bedrooms are right next to one another and share a wall so I didn’t turn the TV on in the evening whereas if there was a TV downstairs, I would have cozied up with a blanket and ‘Dream Home Makeover’ on Netflix. The location was perfect for everything we wanted to do, it was impeccably clean and well-stocked, the design was so inspiring I couldn’t stop taking photos and y’all, the RUGS. The rugs are reason enough to rent this home. Okay, moving on.

orange flower

Day 1: I woke up early with the kids and went out for a walk because it was legitimately chilly and in a small space, O and I always like to give each other a chance to rest.

We like to choose either morning or night to spend in so we don’t super overdo it for the day (we made that mistake over and over in Europe with the kids. No thanks!) We had a long leisurely morning at home made super simple by oatmeal cups which I always recommend packing for trips. We then went to the store Toy Joy where I sat in the car to nurse Z and the kids explored and had the time of their lives. I should also mention this is where O let Keogena choose the toy that had 87,984,987 tiny parts. I’ve stepped on one every day since and now I remember why I don’t let toys like that in the house. I digress…They were given a coupon for a Vegan Ice Cream next door which they took full advantage of.

Stasher bag filled with fruits

We then went to Whole Foods which we do in every city because when you eat the way we do, discovering new foods is the most exciting thing in the world. After our two hour Whole Foods exploration (we took turns so the kids could rest and play in the car) we were off. We went to Picnik to pick up a meal to-go and went to Zilker Park for the rest of the evening to play with the toy Oshiolema chose in open air. It was magical to be surrounded by people living their lives, playing with their dogs, walking on their slackline and playing soccer. It is so life-giving to be around people, even in a socially distanced way, and we never wanted to leave.

Day 2: In short, we spent the entire day at the park. We went to the playground at Zilker in the early afternoon, laid down a blanket and slowly ate a picnic lunch we had packed. After a few hours, we wandered over to the main open grassy area of Zilker where Z took a nap on my chest for an hour and the kids played with the soccer ball we packed. After a few hours, we headed back to the house for an easy dinner and a show on the laptop for the kids and a long night of talking and dreaming for O and I.

Day 3: The weather app is a liar, isn’t it? I mean, that’s rude and accusatory but true. It was “supposed” to be sunny and 85 on Saturday but it was indeed rainy, chilly and grey. It was fantastic. Saturdays are the days we venture out for doughnuts and brunch on trips and this was no different…but Covid made things a little tricky. We ended up grabbing doughnuts and some baked goods at the gluten-free, vegan shop Zuchinni Kill and some gluten-free pancakes for the kids from Citizens Eatery. The kids ate at home so O could stop by a few more shops in pursuit of more doughnuts (The vegan doughnuts from VooDoo Doughnuts were a hit.) We ended the day at NadaMoo-vegan Ice cream paradise-for one last sweet treat for the kids.

We went back and forth whether we should take this trip and we left so refreshed and just floating with that euphoric feeling that comes from traveling–especially traveling as a family for us.

Now-when traveling in Covid-19 times, here are some tips:

1. If you’re going to an Airbnb, pack your own essentials. We brought the kids pillows and Zeameh’s towel which you can throw in a garbage bag at the end of the trip and wash when you get home.

2. Bring some easy meals. Depending on where you travel, hours and availibility may be limited. I brought easy meals we could cook up in a pinch like beef hot dogs, vegan macaroni, our favorite oatmeal cups for the kids and lots of snacks.

3. Pay attention to cleanliness reviews on Airbnb. The home we stayed in had an ‘AirBnB Plus’ rating as well as a ‘Superhost’ stamp. This is very important, now more than ever.

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Comments (2)

  • Amanda Filler 1 year ago Reply

    Great post and recap! Thank you so much! So funny I am reading your post today… I was just mentioning to my husband that we should try and safely get away soon and had been looking at airbnb plus and support host for cleanliness for the past couple weeks. Unfortunately for us living right near DC seems like so many other ppl have the same idea and most are booked through the beginning of 2021. :/ Praying for God to open a door for us!

    Jill 1 year ago Reply

    Oh no! We used to live in Leesburg VA, would you consider going maybe to Philly or southern Virginia? I love that they’re a quick drive while still being a getaway. I hope it works out!

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