OK, it's true. I'm an impostor when it comes to the Moms Talk column. Unless you count the 45-pound dog sleeping on my feet as I write this, I'm not a mom. This week's topic, however, is one I wanted to tackle, so please bear with me and then correct me when I'm wrong.
Family vacations. I know the topic makes some people seize up with thoughts of sand-crusted floor mats, "Are we there yets?" and entire days spent in the company of a man-sized mouse (nothing against Mickey, you understand). And these are only concerns once the who, what, when and where of the trip have been determined.
In spite of all the planning and complications that surround family vacations, what I remember now, across the board, is that some of my fondest childhood memories are tied to those vacations when my family just spent a few days enjoying one another's company. That's not to say there weren't disagreements or grumblings, but, looking back, it was always worth it.
At the time, I begged to take a friend with me, but that never happened. We never vacationed in a situation where the kids were each allowed to invite a friend, and ... my brother and I both survived. I can also say that we didn't often get to choose the specifics of where we went. We were asked to weigh in, but ultimately, the decision was up to Mom and Dad. Again, we survived, and, as I remember, were never disappointed.
So I guess here's the crux: Family vacations for me were generally immediate family affairs that Mom and Dad planned. And now I'm glad they did. In fact, I still love traveling with my family (I'm currently looking forward to an upcoming cruise with the same group I've been traveling with for years ... plus the addition of my and my brother's respective spouses).
I know, however, that other people have very different ways of approaching family vacation, and I'm wondering what works for you.
- Do the kids get a vote in where you go?
- Where do you go?
- Any tips for saving a bit of money on the trip?
- Do you travel with other families and friends?
- Are your kids bringing a friend along for the ride?
- What are some of the best vacations you've taken as a family?
- Any tricks for long car trips?
The vacation season is rapidly approaching. Let's help one another out with all the tips and tricks we've got. It's supposed to be a vacation, not a battle, after all.