Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vacationing With Kids - The Trip (Part 2 of 3)

"There's no such thing as fun for the whole family." - Jerry Seinfeld
   I'm not sure Jerry was entirely accurate. As promised, we're halfway into our spring family vacation, and somehow we're all still alive. Going anywhere with my wife's family usually entails some sort of epic sickness, though, the week's not over yet. To continue on after  "Vacationing With Kids Part 1", I wanted to get right into some things I've learned while being away from home with our little ones.

1. Check that mother effin' list twice before you go. I have three swim suits sitting nicely in a drawer at home. Nothing like spending part of your treat budget on yet another swim suit you forgot to bring. There's more I forgot, and it's embarrassing to admit, so moving on,....I said moving on! I think an actual Word document listing what we bring each time would be a good idea. Grrrr...

2. Prep for bedtime BEFORE bedtime. Our Wee Lass goes down much better when we're not trying to pull out the hideaway bed, get jammies on, calm down the monster that is a 3YO after a full day, and so on. So while one is finishing dinner, jammies, etc., the other is frantically setting up beds, blankets, noisemaker, or whatever so that it's all quiet on the pacific front. This makes for a happy next morning (see pic at top).

3. Do more together. I know it's a "duh" statement, but isn't it why
they call it a "family vacation". Our kids start to go nuts within the first hour of waking up if they're not engaged. Mostly our 'Lil Man, but it's obvious we need to get them out to see, do, experience, etc. It doesn't even have to cost anything. Beach was free. Botanical gardens were free. Pool was free. Just get out there! I'm sure I'll sing a different tune when I have three sullen teenagers, but I'm hopeful.

4. Continue to check that stress at the door. Of the past 4 days, my best times have been when I'm not stressing the small stuff. The lousy times are when I'm like, "Does he HAVE to touch EVERYTHING?!" The Wife is like, "Mmmmm, he's a 3YO boy,.......yeah." So I try to chill more, despite my genetic code.

5. Find some time for you. The Wife and I are determined to find some time for ourselves, alone, to head out and have a few minutes to clear our heads. Okay, so Jerry might be right. There's no such thing as an entirely "Fun for the whole family" trip. We're all different, not robots. Wait, maybe my 'Lil Man....nah. We're finding that time, and it helps to get in that little time we need to stay sane, recharge, still love our kids (just joshin'), and remain driven and creative.

   I hope these might come in handy for someone. They're just little lessons we learned along the way. It's meant to help first and foremost. It's also been therapeutic to look at our past and present vacations to see what worked, and what went terribly wrong.

   Stay tunes for Part 3 early next week. Awe yeahhh, there's a Part 3 to this bad boy.

It can be the quick, small moments that make it all worth it.


  1. Jason,

    The infamous "missing" items seems to be a family vacation tradition. I think I have finally broken the trend by using my phone.

    Before we go on vacation I will periodically think of something I need to take. When I think of the item I grab my phone and make a note of it on a list I have created. The day before the trip and the day of the trip I will have my phone send me a reminder to check the list. So far it has kept from forgetting anything on trip (unless I lose my phone that is....sigh)

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

  2. Glad you guys are having fun so far. The Word doc is a great idea! Not only do I need to add "swim trunks" to my list, I need to add "check to make sure swim trunks fit" to the list! Geez!
    Justin Knight- Writing Pad Dad
    Writing Pad Dad Blog

  3. Funny, Justin. Size might have been a problem regardless. Anyway, I GOT to figure out a way to not forget stuff every single time!