Q&A: baby or vacation

Sarah writes:

"I'm going to be 30 in September and I've been married for 4 years. Myhusband and I are happy & employed and have decided to start "trying" in August.

I really want to have a child & the desire has increased over the past six months, but I also really want to travel to Europe, especially London and Italy where we know people & have never visited. We were told by a married family member with kids to delay having children and "just travel." I would if we could afford an expensive vacation & it would be a stretch, but we could swing it. On the other hand, three of my under 30 friends have had trouble getting pregnant, with all of them having to see specialists.

I'd love to travel to Europe, but I'd hate myself if I delayed having children and then had difficulty getting pregnant.

As a married person with two kids, what is your advice?"

This isn't something anyone else can decide for you, of course, but it certainly won't stop me from giving my opinion. Before I do, let me say a few things that probably should be said before we all play "what would I do if I were in Sarah's shoes?".

1) If you're going to have problems getting pregnant, waiting two months to start isn't going to make or break having a baby (it could take you more than two months to get in to see a specialist). So if the decision is to start trying in August or travel for your birthday in September, it's not going to make much difference in the scope of things to wait to start trying until October. Or move your trip to July. Or start trying on your trip.

2) You can still travel after you have kids. Yes, it's easier without them, but when you have one you can still go plenty of places (especially if you have a good backpack). Don't listen to all the doonsayers. Perfect is the enemy of the good, so if you can deal with having things not be as simple and spontaneous as they were before you can still have a great time traveling once you have kids. (My favorite destination with a kid: Puerto Rico. Everyone we met loved kids, the food was toddler-friendly, it was easy to drive around, the rainforest was perfect for hiking with the toddler in the backpack, and kids love the beach. But don't ask me for hotel recommendations, because we stayed with a family friend.)

3) If You're goign to have to wait and save up for a trip to Europe anyway, why not just start saving now, see what happens with getting pregnant, and then go when you can afford it? Unless you're hugely pregnant or the baby is under 5-6 months old you can go to Europe and have a great time with or without a child. You might be overthinking things, and will find that they'll resolve themselves if you just stay loose and start working toward both things.

Now, having said that, if I were you I'd go to either Maine or San Francisco this summer, and start trying in August. Then if I wasn't pregnant yet I'd go to either Costa Rica or Italy for Thanksgiving. If I was pregnant I'd go to Austin or New Orleans for Thanksgiving.

Who else wants to play?