My husband took me on the vacation of my dreams in December of 2013, just the two of us. We’d spent the better part of a decade trying to start a family, and we hoped maybe this would be our “babymoon.” For twelve glorious days we saw and did all the things in Paris most people only dream of. Five months later, we adopted two year old twin boys. Our lives changed drastically (OBVIOUSLY), and in the best ways. And just one of those was how we travel for family vacations.
Vacation isn’t the same after kids. Here’s what our trips have taught me over the last five years:
Family vacations aren’t always relaxing, but they can be meaningful.
Should we really even call it “vacation?” Let’s be honest here; there’s very little to no R&R happening. BUT these times are really about making memories. They will never be this little again. How many more years will they actually want to spend time with their parents?
Kids speak more freely in the car.
Those long vacation road trips can become prime time for big conversations. There’s no direct eye contact, which means they are inclined to engage more.
The extended time together brings us closer.
After our vacation trips, I feel like our family bond is strengthened. Those long days at the beach build more than just sandcastles.
Start packing and prep at least a few days in advance so you’re not stressed out.
Nothing kills family vacation fun quicker than an anxious and overwhelmed parent. Procrastination is a real peace robber. Make your camping list ahead of time, give the kids some chores, pack the station wagon the night before, and do whatever you can to keep things from last-minute stress!
Flexibility is a must.
Life with kids is beautifully unpredictable. Embrace the potty breaks. Go with the flow when plans fall through or when things change. Let just being together as a family be the objective of your vacation time together.
I know we all want raise our kids to be healthy, productive, and caring adults. However, I’m beginning to think they’ve taught me more than I’ll ever teach them!