It's a trip not a vacation when traveling with kids

We just got back from eight lovely days in Maui.
We took all three of the kids and met up with my parents from Arizona.
You see, while we were trying to find the sun and some warm weather,
they were trying to find some cooler weather.
Years ago after traveling with three checked bags, two backpacks, one pack and play, a full size car seat, and only one child we decided that we would refer to vacations with kids as trips.
A vacation makes you think that there will be relaxing involved.  
There will be drinks on the beach served to you by waiters in tropical shirts and shorts.  
When you tire of reading a fantastic book you can nap poolside while you listen to your favorite music on your iPod.  You can eat fancy dinners after sunset, dress up, and take your time at the restaurant while you chat {uninterrupted} about nothing in particular.
A vacation is adults only.  
You are accompanied by people who don't need anything from you.  
{which is why it's called a work trip and not a work vacation!}
You aren't required to be anywhere, or do anything.
At least anything that you don't want to do.
A trip is just the opposite of a vacation in pretty much every way.
On a trip, your family travels to a different location that is not your home, sleeps in different beds, usually in close quarters where no one gets any sleep and sometimes you even jump through time zones.
While everyone is sufficiently sleep deprived, you then take your overly tired humans to every local tourist attraction or to every relatives house in a 100 mile radius, trying to squeeze every ounce of fun that you can into a day even if no one is actually having any of the aforementioned fun.
You then feed your whole family different foods {usually from a restaurant with a drive through},
 shake up their whole schedule and expect everyone to be on their best behavior, have fun and relax.
Oh, and not die.
I have taken a few girls getaways over the past few years.
I come back refreshed, renewed and relaxed.
I've had time to spend with my toes in the sand and the sun has warmed my body.
My youngest son and my husband swimming back through the bay after cliff jumping
When I took my family to Maui, 
I had this gut wrenching feeling any time the kids were near water that I wouldn't come back with one of them.  There was no relaxing, only worrying.
that's deep enough boys!

I bring my bathing suit with me on vacations and sometimes I float around the pool like a pool princess, but I don't tend to make it a habit to jump waves or get splashed or generally even getting my hair wet.
On our trip, I spent 90% of my time in the water.
Swimming, splashing and ready for any lifeguarding that needed to take place.
And speaking of water, I never appreciated adults only pools the way that I should.
This year, I had two very different experiences at the same resort.
In February, I traveled {on vacation} with two of my good friends to Maui and we stayed at the Grand Wailea.
 from my beach chair at the adults only pool
I sat by the adults only pool, sipping a cold drink, eating fresh pineapple and watching the whales play in the ocean.  I read a book, chatted with my friends and sat there.
Doing nothing.
I would occasionally glance over at the families playing in the resorts water slides and smile.
I didn't have to worry about sunscreening children, or making sure they were drinking water, or escorting them to the bathroom or making sure they didn't drown.
I didn't need to wrangle pool floaties or make sure everyone got a turn on the "pink one".
All I had to do was sit there and smile as these families made memories.
After spending a full day with my family at this same resort, diving under waterfalls, swinging on the rope swing, sliding down water slides, floating down the lazy river and jumping waves in the ocean
we walked as a family of five with our towels draped around our sun kissed exhausted bodies through the adults only pool area.
I took a second to stand there.
I glanced over at the group of women sitting together obviously on a girls only vacation like I was just a few months prior and I smiled.
Because this time, I was making the family memories.
It's a trip, not a vacation, and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Unknown said...
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Artsy VaVa said...

Well said! I hope you get a nice "vacation" soon. Not just a trip!

Laura H said...

I'm on a family trip right now and you nailed it

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