We try to take at least one family vacation a year. It’s a time I cherish, a time when we can all be together without the noise of everyday life. However, if you have ever been on a vacation with small kids then you know at times it feels like the furthest thing from a vacation, and you’ll probably wonder why you decided to take a vacation in the first place. Been there! The one thing I’ve learned when vacationing with kids is to let it go. Seriously if you have multiple kids like I do then just know you can’t make everyone happy at every given moment and sometimes you are going to have to stop and regroup or change plans all together. Sometimes a seven hour drive takes twelve. Sometimes you’ll take all the beach stuff down just for your kids to last an hour and beg to go to the pool for the rest of the day. Sometimes you’ll be at an arcade playing overpriced games for dollar tree toys and your kid will cry all the way back to the condo because the unicorn poop slime she won was “too slimy” and the hot dog candy was yucky even though you told her several times to pick a different candy. Just let it go, those moments are stressful, but they don’t last, find the funny in those moments it helps change your thinking and better everyone’s mood.
Is your vacation going to be rainbows and butterfly’s? Probably not, but the good will outweigh the bad and you’ll look back at all the photos of your smiling kiddos and laugh about the stressful moments. And when you come home you’ll be rested and rejuvenated even if your vacation was chaotic at times. You’ll walk into your home and remember why you call it home. You’ll cross over that front door threshold and be grateful for the family time, yet excited to dive back into everyday life.
Is it hard vacationing with littles? You betcha. Is it worth it? You betcha. However, it can be less stressful. Below you will find a few tips that help us get the most out of our vacation and some of them might just help you too!
1. Have An Itinerary
Y’all this is a lifesaver. It doesn’t have to be down to the minute, but just a general idea of what you and your family want to do and places you want to eat at. There is nothing worse than hashing it out over what to eat when everyone is tired from swimming and beaching all day or waking up and not knowing what to do, you’ll end up like the vultures on Jungle Book; “I don’t know what do you want to do today?” Also, be flexible with your itinerary, some plans might have to be switched around due to weather or other circumstances. Oh and another tip! Be sure and check the hours of operation on your activities, learned that the hard way and had very disappointed kids. Oops.
2. Use A Grocery Pick Up Or Delivery Service If Possible
Nowadays with Kroger Clicklist or Walmart Pickup getting your groceries has never been easier. I use this service weekly at home, so why not take advantage of this service while out of town? Let’s be honest, grocery shopping is the most un-fun thing in the world and trying to grocery shop with kids after riding in the car all day is basically a death sentence. Order the night before your trip and after you’ve unloaded all of your luggage then go pick up the groceries, or better yet have it delivered. Nobody has to go into the store and you don’t end up buying extra. Win-win.
3. Save Money, Use Groupon
Do y’all use groupon? If not you should. I love a good deal and Groupon is loaded with them, from family activities to restaurants. And guess what? If you buy a Groupon and don’t use it, sometimes you can trade it in on another Groupon! For example we took the zoo off our itinerary last minute even though I’d already purchased a Groupon for it, so I traded it in on another Groupon back home.
4. Invest In Sun Protection
Invest in good quality sun protection to keep your family cool and well, not sunburnt. We bought a pop up sun tent off of Amazon last minute and it provided us with awesome shade on the days we went down to the beach. It easily sets up (practice first at home) and takes down, and it is EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT. We love it so far and it was cheaper than renting an umbrella and chair all week. As for sunscreen the whole family uses Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids, both in the spray-on and the stick, it goes on wet skin, need I say more? I would also recommend getting rash guards with UPF and sun hats for the kiddos, can’t be too protected right?
5. Have Grace.
Grace, the most important item you need to have for vacation (and any other time). The Bible says in John 1:16 “From his abundance we have all received grace upon grace.” If God can give me grace freely and abundantly why can’t I show that same grace towards myself and others? Vacation will test you because you’re in an unfamiliar surrounding, your kids will more than likely misbehave, they will probably become overly stimulated and tired at some point, YOU might get snappy etcetera, BUT the key to getting through these tough moments is to have grace. Courteous goodwill goes a long way even when it’s hard to give at times, breathe and remember they are tiny humans and are doing the best they can. And please have grace for yourself momma! We are not perfect and we will fall short or drop the ball at something but remember His grace is enough!