What is a simple vacation? That is probably a complicated question. If I asked 100 people I would get 100 different answers. None of them would necessarily be wrong either.
The next question is, why go on vacation? I honestly don’t know sometimes. First, I want a break from my job. Second I usually want to go visit a beach. Third I dream of relaxing and reading a book or two. Fourth I want a change of scenery or have a specific place I want to visit. Since having children, the only thing we seem to accomplish is seeing someplace different and probably hitting a beach but there is NO RELAXING. Except for the Pina Coladas, work was more enticing than our trip last year with children to Key West. Really.
What is it worth? Is a week away worth the stress of packing up stuff for 4 people, anticipating what they will need for a week, traveling all day for 2 of the 7 days of your vacation, spending 1/3 of your usual food budget on ONE MEAL, the amount of your mortgage on a weeks stay at a rental or hotel, losing your sanity and your camera all to get a glimpse of the beach for a total of 5 hours out of a 7 day stretch? Hmmmm.
How long? So as you can tell from the last paragraph, 7 days really doesn’t sound like enough yet more might be torture depending on who you are with and where you went. I bet Key West without kids would be much more enjoyable. I might actually get to see Charleston if we don’t take them on our next trip there. With children a week anywhere seems plenty. Without them, you could likely continue to enjoy yourself for much longer…
I may seem a bit harsh when it comes to the little people but what it comes down to is that I know my kids would be just as happy going to the local park for a few hours for FREE as they would be going away somewhere. On the other hand, I get much more enjoyment out of going AWAY. But when the two of those meet in the middle, it doesn’t seem worth it for either. At least for me. Yet we seem to keep trying… The only vacations I ever took my older kids on were to visit family at a lake in New Hampshire and once to Disney with my parents. The New Hampshire trips were actually quite fun. Disney? Not so much.
Perhaps you are a camping family who enjoy relaxing around a campfire and sleeping in tents or campers. You can all hang out together and chill and enjoy it. You think camping with your kids is the bomb (or is it balm? I really don’t know.). Or perhaps you love being on the go go go for a week at a time entertaining little ones and going to bright shiny places that keep them entertained. Awesome. But I ‘d rather poke my eye out personally. That’s why I can’t say what the perfectly simple vacation would be for anyone other than me. Overall I think there are some basic guidelines for vacation though:
- It shouldn’t leave you more stressed than you were before you left.
- You shouldn’t go into debt for it
- You should still like your traveling companions when you are done.
If you accomplish all 3, you win.
My perfect “simple” vacation?
2 weeks on a breezy island with palm trees, spending time reading a couple of good books, writing down my thoughts, talking to my husband (and other stuff) without interruption, drinking coconut drinks, listening to the waves crash, getting a massage and a tan, and doing not much at all. There should be adequate laziness during this time to instill a bit of guilt and inspiration to give back just a little bit more to humanity because you feel THAT GOOD when it’s over. So if anyone wants to gift me with a trip at any time I hope they read that and take it to heart. Its all I want on any given day really. Just a little piece of paradise…
Just keep dreaming 🙂