“Now it’s so important for me to find things that are family friendly,” Underwood, 32, tells PEOPLE. “I never really had to think about that until having a child. Before, [my husband] Mike [Fisher] and I would go wherever we wanted to go, and we never really gave it a second thought. But now, I’m like, ‘Well, does this hotel have what we’ll need for kids? Is it the right place to take him?'”
She continues: “It’s all planned out more. I’m like, ‘Okay, where are we going to go? What are we going to do when we’re there? How can we keep him entertained?’ It’s a lot different. Everything now has to be family friendly.”
Even her business and charity dealings have changed. Take, for instance, her new partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, which the proud mom discussed exclusively with PEOPLE after the big announcement in Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday.
The year-long partnership – called Honor, Family, Fun – will help raise money for Operation Homefront, an organization that supports military families.
During her upcoming Storyteller tour, Underwood will host personal backstage meetings with select military families. The partnership will then culminate in a private concert for service men and women and their families aboard Carnival’s newest cruise ship. (Watch the video above for more details.)
“It’s an honor to go on tour and to get to meet military families,” Underwood tells PEOPLE. “I’ve always been thankful that we have such an incredible military, with people who are willing to sacrifice their time and their efforts, and being away from their families. They give us so much. We should all be more mindful for that, and to say thank you whenever we can.”
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With the special chats on the horizon, Underwood looks forward to comparing notes with fellow parents. “Sure, we all have different jobs and lives and amounts of kids, and all that stuff,” she says. “But really, at the end of the day, we’re all moms and dads and families.”
For her part, Underwood has never gone on a cruise before – but she plans to change that soon. As for what the country star imagines she will do on the open seas, “hopefully not much,” she shares with a laugh. “I really enjoy lying by water. Oh, and dinners. Yes, having nice dinners. I’m not much of a doer when I’m on vacation. I like to relax.”