I have teamed up with a wonderful team of bloggers who participate in “Five Minute Friday.” Here’s the skinny: Every Friday for nearly five years hundreds of people joined a kind of writing flash mob. We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Today’s word: Vacation.
In the past, I have had a knack for overestimating the fun that comes with family vacations. I tended to think a little Pinterest-y, set unrealistic expectations for my brood of three young children, and then was surprised when vacationing with children didn’t feel like a vacation at all. Someone please tell me I’m not alone here?
It was a trip to the beautiful state of Virginia that helped to clarify any ill-conceived notions of what it meant to take a family vacation. On that particular trip, where my 2 and 4-year old children were making their debut run as ring bearer and flower girl in a luxurious wedding at an expansive winery, my eyes were opened. My eyes were opened like they were being pried open with a hundred sharp pencil points and have not yet been able to close!
What I have learned is this: Vacationing with kids is not a vacation at all. We have taken to calling it “Going on a trip” instead of using the term vacation because we feel like it’s a better fitting description. Where as vacation seems to imply rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation, taking a trip merely means to leave one’s home in place for an alternate location.
Here are 5 quick tips I have learned from traveling with our family:
- Plan for trips that your kids will enjoy.
- Set realistic expectations.
- Know your family and how much their schedules matter; If nap times are sacred, keep them as such.
- Set a schedule, but allow for flexible freedoms throughout. You never know when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will appear.
- Document your trip and relive the memories through photos!
Photo Credit: April Walker