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10 Ways a Family Vacation Is No Vacation At All

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM
  • 7 Replies

10 Ways a Family Vacation Is No Vacation At All

by Jill Smokler 

We're currently on vacation with the kids, though "vacation" seems like a silly word to describe our current state of affairs. "Forced family bonding away from home." That's more like it! Though we are having a lovely time (in between the tantrums and bickering), the last thing I will take home with me is a lingering feeling of relaxation. Here's why ...

1. We're at the beach, which in theory should be relaxing. But unless you're pawning them off on unsuspecting parents, you won't have a single second to appreciate the ocean air.

2. You know how kids are ALWAYS HUNGRY? It's a hell of a lot easier to deal with that hunger when you're at home with a whole pantry at your disposal.

3. Speaking of food, at home we eat out occasionally. Here, it's been at least once a day and we all know restaurants with kids are no bargain. Pretty sure I've gained five pounds in an effort not to waste their overpriced uneaten grilled cheese and chicken fingers.

4. Close quarters. We drove nine hours to the beach, luggage forcing the kids to sit THISCLOSE to one another. My ear drums are still burning from the ride.

5. Unfamiliar surroundings. Hotels and rental homes are a wonderful change of scenery, but the kids can never, ever find what they're looking for. Which isn't all that different from home, except they aren't to blame.

6. None of their babysitters are here. And by babysitters I mean TV with their recorded channels and Wii.

7. Packing regrets. "You brought this?!" my daughter gasped when she spotted the dress I'd hoped she'd wear for a dinner out. To retaliate for my packing clothes she didn't love, she's worn the same gray shirt every single day of the trip. I plan on burning it before we leave.

8. They miss their friends. Sure they have their siblings to play with, but they get sick of each other pretty quickly. Which I can't blame them for.

9. The pressure to have fun. My patience for their constant fighting and moodiness is much, much lower when we're trying to make happy fucking memories for them.

10. The trip home. The drive down to the beach was filled with excitement and anticipation. The ride home? I can't even think about it.

The good news is that we're sure to leave this trip with great memories and a renewed appreciation for the comforts of home. Which will last exactly three seconds.

Do you ever come back from a family vacation NOT feeling relaxed?

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM
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Replies (1-7):
mjande4
by Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I could see where some of these might apply IF you had toddlers, but tweens and teens should be occupying themselves at the beach.  We go for a month and my kids come to check when they are hungry and that's about it.  They surf, boogie board, and swim for hours.  We don't eat out often.  We pack lunches and snacks and cook in the evening.  I don't really agree with this at all.  My vacations are always VERY relaxing.

bzzybeemomof3
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this

 Never had any of these issues, and definately not with my tween. lol My vacations are relaxing always and with 3 kids, just had one two weeks ago with an 11 yr old 5 yr old (well tomorrow) and a 17 month old, and it was very relaxing. lol

bzzybeemomof3
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM
1 mom liked this

 I agree with you, and I have a tween, preschooler, and a toddler and have never had any of these issues when on vacation. lol

Quoting mjande4:

I could see where some of these might apply IF you had toddlers, but tweens and teens should be occupying themselves at the beach.  We go for a month and my kids come to check when they are hungry and that's about it.  They surf, boogie board, and swim for hours.  We don't eat out often.  We pack lunches and snacks and cook in the evening.  I don't really agree with this at all.  My vacations are always VERY relaxing.

 

mjande4
by Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I should have stated that I never had these problems with toddler, preschoolers, etc. either.  My vacations, epecially at the beach, have ALWAYS been relaxing. 


Quoting bzzybeemomof3:

 I agree with you, and I have a tween, preschooler, and a toddler and have never had any of these issues when on vacation. lol

Quoting mjande4:

I could see where some of these might apply IF you had toddlers, but tweens and teens should be occupying themselves at the beach.  We go for a month and my kids come to check when they are hungry and that's about it.  They surf, boogie board, and swim for hours.  We don't eat out often.  We pack lunches and snacks and cook in the evening.  I don't really agree with this at all.  My vacations are always VERY relaxing.

 



bzzybeemomof3
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

 Same.

We also vacay in the bush in a trailer and in tents, bbq and fire pit cooking mostly, nothing but beach and fishing and a lot of running around to do, no electronics etc....and my kids are very tech loving and they still dont have nay issues.

Quoting mjande4:

I should have stated that I never had these problems with toddler, preschoolers, etc. either.  My vacations, epecially at the beach, have ALWAYS been relaxing. 

 

Quoting bzzybeemomof3:

 I agree with you, and I have a tween, preschooler, and a toddler and have never had any of these issues when on vacation. lol

Quoting mjande4:

I could see where some of these might apply IF you had toddlers, but tweens and teens should be occupying themselves at the beach.  We go for a month and my kids come to check when they are hungry and that's about it.  They surf, boogie board, and swim for hours.  We don't eat out often.  We pack lunches and snacks and cook in the evening.  I don't really agree with this at all.  My vacations are always VERY relaxing.

 

 

 

 

mysweet1s
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM
One of my DH's friends says that he takes "family trips" and "vacations with his wife." He says both are great...just great in different ways :) I agree that vacationing is getting easier as my kids get older. But, I still have a 2 year old, so I can relate to some of these points. My tween (and my oldest child - he's 12) is my very favorite person to be on vacation with. He's chill, up for anything, and funny.
countrymomma81
by Member on Jul. 24, 2013 at 3:14 PM

We've only taken one vacation (last year) and we went with another family that had children the same age as my children. Our son was 9 (their daughter was 8) and our daughter was 5 (their son was 6). I told my husband from the beginning I wasn't going on vacation with children younger than 5. 

We didn't run into issue #2 because we rented a condo for the week. Right after we checked in and unpacked our car we went to the grocery store to stock up on food for the week.

#3 wasn't an issue either. We ate out most nights but the kids were happy with their chicken fingers and grilled cheese.

#4 we were able to deal with. We have a mini van and they each sat in their own captain's chairs not touching each other. They were both armed with a fully charged iPod touch with a few episodes of their favorite shows and a portable DVD player with movies we bought them for the ride. Our trip was 6 hours long and we stopped about every other hour or so to stretch, get snacks and use the restroom. 

#5 wasn't an issue at all. #6 wasn't either because the condo came with a tv in their room. We weren't in the condo all that much except to sleep anyway. They were fine with watching Disney channel at night. 

#7 wasn't a big deal because I let them pack their own clothes. I told them what they needed and left it up to them which shorts and shirts they packed. DH and I went over them after they packed but didn't need to make any changes. I'm not a clothes Nazi and couldn't care less what they wear as long as it looks decent. 

#8 we didn't deal with because we were on vacation with their friends. #9 wasn't a problem because we made sure to do things the kids liked. There wasn't much to fight about while on vacation. And #10 was a breeze because it rained and they slept most of the way home. 


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