Every time I turn around, someone else I know is telling me about their upcoming vacation. As a person who loves to travel and gets itchy when I’m stuck in the house too long, I will admit that lately I’ve been feeling a little jealous that I’m not the one packing my bags and boarding a plane. I’ve always had the traveling bug since I was a teenager even though flying gives me anxiety, go figure. I would get on that plane, take a deep breath, white knuckle the seat and be on my way. Once I was in the air, I was thrilled and ready to start my adventure.
Now with three children and two dogs, I don’t always have the opportunity to jet set. And to be honest, I don’t even need to necessarily go alone anymore, although I’d never turn down a trip with my husband or my girl friends. But I would really love to take my kids on a tropical adventure where they can enjoy a white sand beach, endless water sports, and swimming with the dolphins. Okay, maybe the dolphins are for me.
So how do people do it? How do they take three plus (or more!) vacations a year with their kids plus a romantic get away with their significant other and even a girl or guys getaway? Where do they find the time (and the money?!) My husband’s job doesn’t allow for a lot of down time or time off for that matter and when he is home, he’s usually checking one of his three work phones.
My six year old son Johnny keeps asking me to take him to Disney World. He is dying to visit all of the Star Wars rides and exhibits. I told him that when Tristan was three that we would plan a trip. He keeps reminding me that Tristan is now three and he is ready to go. It breaks my heart to tell him that we can’t go just yet but that Mommy hasn’t forgotten! I also remind him that we took him when he was one but of course he doesn’t remember. Cue breaking out the photos for proof!
When I was little I grew up in a middle class family where my dad worked all the time. We were lucky if we took a vacation every five years. I remember a trip to Lake George once when I was around six and then a big trip to Disney World when I was eight and that was it. My dad was rarely home.
My husband John’s family would always go camping out on Long Island every year. Growing up he remembers the beach and camp fires as some of his happiest memories. It was a simple family trip and they still go to this day.
I’m constantly wondering if my children are happy with their experiences. My husband and I really try to give them the opportunities to see and try new things as much as we can. We have taken advantage of all of the local opportunities in our area including, pop up exhibits, aquariums, farms, play places, local lakes and beaches, and museums. We try and go out for ice cream as much as we can when it gets warm and we always spend time with our friends and neighbors. My kids are lucky enough to have built in play dates when they open their front door.
My kids are happy. They are loved and they have what they need. Will they survive another year without an all inclusive vacation in some tropical paradise? Will they be okay without a trip overseas to Italy? Of course they will. But I promise I will get them to all of the beautiful places sooner than later. I want them to experience different places, food, and cultures. As for now, we’re happy making memories right here in our own backyard.
What are your favorite places to visit with your kids? Drop a comment!