A little ago I read a blog post about how expectations of our travels ruin the actual trip, you can read more about it here, but I felt this post is perfect!
In our first post on How to Plan a Family Vacation, I shared about our first ever vacation with Bella, gosh as much as I loved cruising that was the last time we went on a cruise, and that was 7 years ago this year. Did we have good moments? Yes, but the trip was not like we expected! We expected everything to be picture perfect and well it sure wasn’t!
And nowadays in the age of the perfect Instagram pictures, those expectations are just insane!
Pick a Theme for your Vacation
Now, with that said, I don’t believe the answer is to set low expectations, but rather to set one overall theme for your trip, but to figure that theme you will have to ask yourself certain questions.
Why do you want to go on a trip?
What are you looking to get out of it?
What happens if everything goes wrong?
Here is how it works, and I don’t mean to be bossy or rude, but if you answer any of the above questions with a “to rest” friend it’s best you stay home and have a staycation, save money and enjoy your beautiful city!
If you’ve been a parent for longer than 3 months you know that resting on a vacation is probably not going to happen especially if it’s a new place for your kids. Kids love to explore, even if that means a hotel room. If you don’t believe me as the receptionist at the Homewood suites we stayed the past vacation. I believe my daughters called her about 50 times if not more. They were playing doctor as the room had two phones but ended up calling the front desk a few times! Again kids love to explore and it’s such a great characteristic, it’s what keeps their little brains going!
Now, if you answer any of the above questions with memories, you are ready to go!
The truth is that when our kids are little, they need naps, they need familiarity and they need rest time.
Decide as a family why you are going on this vacation and what special memories you want to make. Make a list of maybe 2-3 goals you would like to achieve, and be ok that if they don’t happen it will still be a perfect vacation.
Manage your Expectations
Sit with your husband/ wife and discuss exactly what you want out of the trip and how can you make sure to leave in some room for the bad days, because we know there will be one or two.
On our last trip, we went to Walmart to get some groceries and my youngest just had the biggest fit to date and decided that she was done that day.
We lost all 4 pairs of their gloves.
My pants were not thick enough for the temperature and had to buy a few more.
We went on a 4-hour train ride and I forgot to pack more diapers.
and guess what?! We just had to deal with it all and still, to us it has been one of our favorite vacations!
Things will happen, with kids or without them, and learning to be flexible and letting go is the key!
Keep in mind that things won’t go your way the entire trip.
I will go into detail in the Put together Itinerary part of this series but leave some room for downtime.
Wherever you go, whatever activities you have planned, leave some room for those uncomfortable moments.
On this last trip, we got to the airport rental center at 12:00am and they only had very few cars left. Not at all the car, we had reserved. If we had planned to leave right after the airplane ride, or even the next morning, we would have had a very uncomfortable trip.
Instead, we left close to 2-3 per day open. For naps, “rest time” or simply to watch the snowfall!
The next morning we went to the car rental center and they had the car we wanted, a Chevy Tahoe.
Remember that memories are more about the people you are with, rather than the destination.