Last week’s blog post compiled a plethora of tips for family vacations. For those hitting the beach or visiting a National Park, I hope you found helpful the planning and money-saving secrets. But, did you notice how I ended the blog post? “God made a beautiful world and when it is time for your family, I hope that you can experience it!”
When It is Time for Your Family…
For many, the perfect-family dream includes the idea of elaborate, but fun and relaxing family vacations. The ones that mirror destination commercials where everyone is laughing and well rested. It includes the image of a momma relaxing on the beach while her preschools joyfully play nearby.
But this isn’t reality. Vacations oftentimes take young children out of their normal schedules, away from their beds, and cram a family into tight surroundings for several days.
~ If your children do not have first-time obedience at home, they will not obey on a crowded beach.
~ If your young children are unable to sleep through the night, they will not sleep well in a hotel room.
~ If going out to eat at a local restaurant is exhausting for you, imagine your exhausting after doing that three times a day for several days.
But even with well-behaving children, long and detailed vacations have potential to bring everyone home exhausted and frustrated.
Permission to Wait
Today, I am giving you permission to not attempt an expensive, dream vacation with young children. If you are feeling the pressure to take an elaborate family vacation before your family is ready, save your money, time, and sanity and spend this summer focusing on training. Drop the expectation and wait until your family is a little older. Everyone will thank you.
Then when your family is ready, start slow. Think about your family’s needs and plan accordingly. For examples, if your family needs space, reserve a hotel suite to provide more privacy. If you have a solid, honest relationship with grandparents or other families, vacation together. If it helps to not eat in crowded restaurants, arrange to cook meals in a condo.
When our children were very young, we stayed close to home or visited grandparents. We enjoyed local options. We didn’t take family vacations until our oldest were in elementary school. Then we started with a trial staycation at a local hotel. This showed us what we needed in supplies, highlighted areas where training was lacking and gave us a glimpse into how the kids would handle being in tight quarters. Then slowly we ventured into larger, more expensive vacations.
We have a fun vacation planned for this summer that will take us to places we have never been. But, it has taken years to get to that point.
Stop, Slow, or Go?
This post will not apply to everyone as we all struggle with different expectations and children’s temperaments vary. And in no way am I promising picture-perfect vacations if you wait until your children are older.
I am simply sharing advice that I will pass on to my daughter. I am simply encouraging you to pause for a moment and decide if now is the time for you to stop, approach with caution, or go full speed ahead into a long, expensive vacation.