Flashback Friday: Pros & Cons of Vacationing with Kids

by Abby on June 10, 2011

Beach BoysIt’s that time of year again… Family vacation time! Hope you enjoy this post from my archives.

Obviously, I use the word “vacation” loosely. Many a mom has realized that a trip with kids is more like a work-release program than a relaxing getaway. But still, it’s nice to get outta Dodge now and then, isn’t it?

Especially if “Dodge” is a euphemism for Baltimore in summer, otherwise known as the 7th Circle of Hell. Because I am nothing without my lists, I’ve compiled one of the pros and cons of the so-called “family vacation.”

Pro: Traveling solo with small kids sometimes gets you perks, like being ushered to the front of the baggage-check line, and extra pretzels.

Con: If you’re flying Southwest, or another airline that’s done away with pre-boarding, you may find yourself squeezing down the aisle with 2 kids and an enormous carry-on bag, bumping into half the passengers as you make your way toward an empty row in the back of the plane.

Pro: If your baby is under 2, you don’t have to pay for their seat.

Con: If it’s a full flight, you’re stuck with a heavy, wiggly, and possibly damp child in your lap.

Pro: Your 4 y.o. is at an age where he can be entertained for an entire flight with a coloring book and some markers.

Con: Your 17 m.o. is entering the Terrible Twos early, and screetches bloody murder throughout the entire flight at not being allowed access to the markers.

Pro: Your kids are surprisingly compliant at bedtime, even though they’re sleeping away from home.

Con: Your kids are so well-rested and eager to explore their new surroundings that they wake up at 5:45 a.m. each day, raring to go.

Pro: Your children’s grandparents shower them with gifts every time you visit.

Con: Gram and Gramps seem to favor obnoxiously loud toys, like fire trucks with deafening sirens and talking Elmo books.

Pro: Having relatives around means built-in childcare so you can go out to lunch with a friend, go to the gym, or go see a movie with your spouse.

Con: Because they’re family doing you a favor, not paid childcare providers, you feel guilty and rush home ASAP.

Pros: Trips to the beach, ice cream cones, playing outside for hours

Cons: Daily sunscreen applications, post-sugar meltdowns, nightly baths

Pro: You get away from your daily routine for a week.

Con: You’re away from your daily routine for a week. No Handy Manny at 7:30 every morning? No Go-Gurt and Cheerios for snack? No favorite chair for bedtime stories? For a whole WEEK?!

It’s a wonder we all survive. But we do, and we do it again the next year. I guess the pros must outweigh the cons, huh? Or more likely, like so many parts of motherhood, we just block it out the minute it’s over.

LAUGH O’ THE WEEK: Miles was introducing his Grandpa to Batman and his cast of characters, including the villain Dr. Doom. Grandpa remarked: “How come the bad guys always have PhD’s?”

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello June 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

So this is from last summer, huh, hilarious reading and brings back some mostly fond memories when my daughter was between two and four and we would all go down to Indian Rocks Beach near Tampa for a week every summer for a little extended family vacation. By extended, I mean my practice marriage wife, her Mom and Dad and our daughter, very cozy, huh?

I don’t think the plane flights were too bad from Ohio, the crazy stuff only started when we were there. I vividly rememmber going to Busch Gardens one day and by the afternoon we were all pretty well tuckered out and sitting on a bench to relax a bit. Well, the practice marriage lady took off for something or the other, the in-laws went wandering and I was left to care for a 2 year old….what could possibly go wrong??

Well, as I was relaxing and daughter Megan was wandering around in front of me, apparently a guy on the next bench was offering her little sips of beer from his Busch samplers…don’t ask why I didn’t see this right in front of me, I’m a guy and by defintion a doofus. Any way….upon the return of the practice lady, little Megan was a bit tipsy and kinda wobbling and babbling and generally having a good buzz.
Yikes, did the stuff hit the fan….oh well, no harm done and it made for a good story later, especially telling Megan about it as she grew into her teens.

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Abby June 13, 2011 at 9:08 am

OMG, Lou – your 2yo got drunk on your watch?! Yeah, you can’t live that down. Does make for a funny story, though! 🙂

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Miles Forhan December 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Hi mom!

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