Let’s Take a Trip to Asheville with a baby — Part 1: Planning

Sunday July 21st, 2019 // Midday Nap

Raise your hand if you think it’s a great idea to travel ~7 hours from home by car with a 2-month-old!

::looks around and slowly raises hand::

My wife and I caught the travel bug a few years ago. Each year we try to do one big trip and roughly 2-3 smaller trips. I understand we are extremely fortunate to be able to do this. We work hard and enjoy spending money on travel.

🚨WARNING🚨— humble brag upcoming

The big trip is usually at least a two week’er. Our big trips so far have been Japan, Japan & South Korea, Vietnam, Los Angeles, and France. Smaller trips are usually places closer to home (we’re in northern Virginia outside of Washington, DC). These trips are places like Rehoboth Beach, DE; Wilmington, NC; West Palm Beach, FL; and Nantucket, MA. They’re usually 4-6 days and we try to take them over a long weekend to minimize days we have to take off of work.

With our kiddo here we’re not going to be able to take our big trip this year — he’s a big enough adventure. But we still want to try to do at least one smaller trip with him in 2019.

Cue Asheville, NC. 

Asheville has been on my wife and mine’s list for a few years. Even though now that it seems like everyone and their mothers have already been there, we still want to go. From what we know it’s a laid back, safe place with good food and beer.

From where we live it’s approximately a 7-hour drive without stopping. That’s not going to happen with a newborn so we *think* we have a plan to break up the trip.

On the way down we stop and stay the night in Greensboro. Our little guy can meet his uncle and it only makes it a 5.5 hour drive with a stop or two baked in for feeding. Greensboro is 2.5 hours from Asheville so even though we tack on an extra hour on the drive overall it’s much more manageable with a newborn. Plus I drive 2.5 hours a day just to get to and from work soo it’s kinda nothing to me.

We have a similar plan on the way home but stopping in Charlotte instead to visit some other family. Plus we can maybe get a babysitter for the night… 

Why not fly? After running the numbers, it’s going to be way more expensive and chaotic to fly and rent a car. There are direct flights from our airport of choice. However lugging a stroller, pack-n-play, car seat, our bags (despite being one bag travelers), etc. to the airport is going to be a pain. We want pain free. 

The logistics of getting to and from Asheville seem to be in place. But there’s still a lot of other things to consider. The two main ones to figure out next are:

1) Where to stay in Asheville and 2) hotel or Airbnb

Where to Stay in Asheville, NC

After doing the most basic research (literally just read this blog post) we have it narrowed down to Downtown or Historic Montford. However I know probably 15-20 people whom have been to Asheville so I still need to gather some of their thoughts as well.

These two areas seem to be the most friendly for us — not super loud and close to things. What’s most important is convenience with the baby. Where is the easiest place for us to stay for us to get around with him? We need a place that is walkable to the places we want to go.

Hotel or Airbnb in Asheville, NC

Honestly… we don’t know. There are pros and cons to both.

A hotel will give us a little more peace of mind in terms of if something is wrong or we need something immediately (i.e. dirty room, need an extra towel, room service) we can get it without worry. But setting up a bottle cleaning station will probably be tricky.

An Airbnb gives us more flexibility. We can probably spread out a little more. Plus having a kitchen will be nice. We won’t be doing any cooking but we like to hit up the local market or hipster grocery store and buy some local foods for snacks and breakfasts. And we’re going to need to wash bottles… lots of bottles.

On the downside, an Airbnb could be less convenient. I have never stayed in an Airbnb that has more than one paper towel roll. It’s so random but it’s something that’s sticking out in my mind. What if we spill a bag of milk and run out of paper towels? IDK. I’m probably too focused on the “what if’s” for Airbnb instead of what will actually happen.

We still have a lot to figure out. It’s probably nuts to take this kid on a drive this long. He will have had all his shots by then though. We also don’t want life to stop. My wife and I love to travel and we want to continue traveling and hope to pass along the travel bug to him as well. Neither of us got to travel a ton growing up (or at least to places that peaked our interests) so fingers crossed we can show him parts of the world that we never got to see while we were young and haven’t seen yet.

More posts about this trip in the coming weeks.

– Josh // Traveler

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