This week we are talking about how we do vacations!!
We have done vacations a number of different ways, so I will list them and then comment on which way worked best for us so. I hope you all can learn from our trial and error :)
1. We have family in Arizona and Montana and Washington State and so we have flown out to visit them and we have driven out. All of these trips have been quite costly, exhausting and quite an undertaking. We have also had vacation wrapped into family events such as weddings and reunions. These are good and necessary but have not been the best for our immediate family. We have found it hard to really relax when traveling with kids anyway and when visiting family there are always lots of people to see so this can also be taxing especially if you are an introvert. Also most of these trips have involved moving sleeping locations several times which is challenging with young kids. During these trips we have experienced extreme sickness (vomit, burst ear drums, high temps, strep throat), being snowed in, car break downs, awkward family drama, and little sleep. This has just been our comical experience with traveling to visit extended family and for us with family far off and 6 people to transport these trips often become our “vacation.”
2. Staycation – When I was 8 months pregnant with Francesca it was summer and we wanted to somehow vacation before the new babies arrival so we stayed at home and planned day trips around Minneapolis. We visited zoos and water parks and little towns. This was a lot of fun and a vacation the girls still remember fondly. Not quite as much of a break for me because I still had all the cleaning and cooking to do, but a little less stressful than packing everyone up. We also put a ban on computer/phone contact during our break just as if we had been out of town.
3. Short trip – We often venture over to Chicago which is about 6 hours away. This is probably another one of our favorite spots to go. We really like going to cities as opposed to quaint little towns :) Our Chicago trips have been some of our favorites. We like to walk around and explore new cities and there is so much to do in Chicago. Usually our trips to Chicago have been combined with work for Lukas so our lodging has been dependent on where we get put up. Generally the best times have been when we were able to stay in some kind of suite or campus housing (Lukas has filmed conferences that were held on college/seminary campuses). We have all stayed together in one very small hotel room which was quite hilarious. Even if we are cramped I still enjoy not having to clean or cook :) so this is a real break for me.
4. Time share quaint town – These trips have been such a blessing for us too. My parents have let us use their time share condo which is located in a small, quaint town. This is really ideal for a family because it has a kitchen and two bedrooms and laundry!! We are not generally big fans of small towns but there is something nice about not having to go anywhere. The only downside for me has been the fact that we still have to cook and clean and do laundry :)
In summary I am sure you have picked up on my favorite vacations but really we just take each year as it comes. Usually we save each month for some type of vacation but some years this has been hard. My only piece of advice is to do what you can afford. There is nothing worse than having to pay for a vacation after the fact :) It is fun to save up for a vacation but not so fun to have to pay for it once it is over. Some years we have used our tax refund or been gifted some type of vacation and we just go with what we can. We find ourselves wrapping a vacation into a big family event or work for my husband to help defray costs because traveling with 6 people is hard to stay in budget.