Friday, August 5, 2011

Top Ten Ways To Manage Your Family Vacation

 It's August.  That means pretty much everyone will be going on some kind of family trip.  Lydia will not be going anywhere as she and the Cap'n are going to (MAUDE WILLING) be closing on a house in September and therefore must eat rice and beans and stay home.

But everyone else goes to the beach or the lake or to see family and has good times. Good times. Noodle salad.  Name the movie quote.  But when you travel with kids, it gets complicated.  And the trip you need to relax and unwind becomes something of stress-fest.  That's normal.  Here are our tips to manage that stress and maximize your chances of having fun.

10. We've said it before and we'll say it again. For the SAHM, going somewhere else with the children is just work someplace else. Yes, we may be in Maui, but I've unwittingly brought my office and my bosses with me. Oh, and factor in that you're channeling your inner Clark Griswold and I have none of the luxuries like Wii, the backyard or a refrigerator in our hotel room, and now the children are using the bed as a trampoline and whaddaya mean there's no MiniBar in our room? Breeeeeeaaatheeeeeee.....

9. Lower your expectations. Unless you and your family are actually fictional TV characters from a late 80's sitcom, at some point - your kids are going to act like turds and you're going to lose your schmidt. And that's OK.


8. Don't forget the Benadryl.

7. Don't forget to feed the howler monkeys every two hours. It seems impossible but they eat more on vacation.  If you miss a feeding, they may get cranky.

6. If you have a child that naps, volunteer to be the person who takes one for the team.  Yes, you have to leave the beach or miss out on that game of mini-golf and take a tired, whiny kid back to the hotel or wherever - but guess what? You also get an hour to yourself with a sleeping (and therefore quiet and lovable child) where you can do something crazy on vacation - relax.

5. Eight minutes after my kids got into the rental car, it looked -- and smelled -- exactly like Lydia's Big White Ford Tampon.  When they get that thing back and remove all those rented car seats, there's a better than decent chance they'll find a half-filled bottle of what used to be milk, seven pacifiers, twenty-nine crayons (since we only have seven now from what was a box of 36) a school of goldfish and an adhesive made of food. For all we know, there's also a family of elves, some random appendages and teeth, and whatever they stole off the walls from TGIFridays the other night. Or they might just save themselves the trouble and horror, and drive the damn thing off a cliff. At a minimum they're going to have to replace the carpet. Our advice? Be prepared to lose some of that security deposit.

5. Pack booze.

4. Is there a free breakfast where you're staying?  Oh even yesser.  Take advantage of that shit.  When has a vacation ever cost less than you thought?

3. One infrequently mentioned truth about vacationing with your family is that you will probably all have to share one toilet.  And several times a day, people will have to use it urgently and for pooping and at the same time.  Sometimes, families who vacation together seem to go into a shared cycle I call "Poop Alignment".  And you, the Mommy, will have to decide who goes first and who has to go in there next. Which leads to our next suggestion...

2. Bring Febreze.

1. Wherever you're going, it will not be kid-proof.  Do a sweep, remove the objects that can kill, be used to create Molotov cocktails and/or cost a fortune. Then remain vigilant. Sleep with one eye open. It is a vacation, after all.



(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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