We are getting ready to go on a vacation and I am getting excited. At the same time, I am missing those family trips that we used to take every summer. You see, the difference is that this is a vacation......no kids.
As young parents we used to plan summer vacations with all of the children, and this usually involved us packing up the car (with way too much stuff) and driving to the beach, the mountains or to see the grandparents. We had stuff piled in the back of the minivan, strapped on top with a carrier and all of our boys safely secured in their appropriate car seats/seat belts. This was pre DVD in the cars as well, so as the kids got older we some how rigged a portable video player so the kids could watch a movie in the car.
As the boys got older they somehow figured out how to add their Nintendo to the mix and there seemed to be wires throughout the car. I am not sure that all of this was especially safe, but the kids assured us that they knew what they were doing.
Much of our vacations involved loading and unloading the car and keeping the peace between the three boys during the time we were traveling. In between, during the vacation we were always busy planning the days activities, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, golfing......the list was endless but exhausting. But you know what? It was all fabulous!!!! What wonderful memories those family trips were, but I am not sure they were a vacation. My patients would ask if I was taking a vacation during the summer and I learned to reply, we are taking a trip.
I am now going on vacation and we will have a lot of time to ourselves, and don't have an action packed agenda everyday. Makes me nostalgic for the chaos and the family trips. It is funny that you begin to forget how you longed for a vacation when you were a young family and now I wish that the kids could all c
Traveling with children during the summer may be termed a vacation but as most parents realize it is really a trip.
According to the dictionary a vacation is a period of suspension of work, study or other activity usually used for rest, recreation or travel. For most parents I do not see any rest in the planning or execution of a family vacation. Lots of fun and so many great memories and stories from family vacations and adventures, but not always a restful period, hence the term family trip.
When traveling with little children it takes a village of stuff to get away. Just the list alone takes weeks to prepare: the car seat, pack and play, toys, favorite blanket and pillow and of course snacks for every possible situation. We once left several bags on the median at a major airport as we loaded the rental car. We did remember the carseat and child, (only had one at the time), but after a day I kept asking where is the .....? only to realize that we had left several suitcases behind. Unbelievably, they had been sent to lost and found and were flown on to us!! These days they would have blown them up! We were definitely rookie parents. Live and learn!
Once a child is older, they too want to make a list, and I can remember my boys appearing at the door as we lined up the luggage with sacks full of their stuff, all of which was important and could not be left behind. Trying to condense and choose what went and stayed behind (usually involving some tears) was sometimes exhausting and we were not even loading the car yet! Even worse for plane travel as you had to condense further, and now with bag charges it costs a fortune to just check bags. I guess the new rule may be, everyone gets one favorite item, but that too must be a lengthy discussion, so plan ahead.
As the kids get older they just want to take their electronic stuff, but I think one of the points of a family trip is to
I just returned from some summer travel and I must say it can be challenging to travel with children, especially the young 1-4 year old crowd. But some parents seem to be more prepared than others.
On a recent flight, my husband and I were seated behind a family with 2 young children, 1 of whom looked to be about 4 and the other a toddler around 15 months. The father and the 4 year old had 2 seats together, and the mother and toddler were seated across the aisle from them. Thankfully the flights were on time that day so we took off without much delay. It was a 3 hour flight late in the evening so I thought that the parents had planned well as the children would probably play for a bit, watch a movie and fall asleep.
Well, that's not what happened. Immediately after take off, the parents leaned back their seats and put on head phones. The dad had an iPad and started to watch a movie, (it wasn't Dora), while the mother was playing a game on her iPhone , (it looked like a game with multiple apples or something that she was shooting?)
The children (of course) were not thrilled that they were not being engaged and the youngest started to cry and fidget. At that point, the mother, who never took off her head phones handed the toddler across to the dad, who put the child on his lap while he kept watching the movie. This went on for the first hour or so with the child crying every few minutes and both parents handing the toddler back and forth. Luckily the 4 year old was sitting nicely and watching something on her electronic gadget.
As it got later into the flight, (about 9:00pm), the toddler was getting more irritable. About the same time the other child's movie ended and she started crying as well. Fortunately, the dad took off his headphones and put down the iPad and took her (screaming and yelling) to the bathroom.
In the meantime, the toddler continued to cry and