Ah yes, family vacations! A precious time when families put their ordinary lives on hold and venture out into the great big world in search of thrills and adventure. A time when mom, dad, and the kids can forget about their squabbles and actually enjoy each others company for more then five minutes. A chance to bond in ways that were not possible at home, because out in the big world, not school, or work, or bills could can get in the way of happiness. It all seems like a perfect getaway, that is, until you actually do it.
Here are 10 reasons why family vacations can be more stressful than just staying home.
1. Getting Packed And Ready. I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate packing. I will wait till the last possible moment to pack because I hate it so much. Having to remember all the little things I will need, from toothbrushes to cameras, already gives me the idea that maybe I should just stay home. Not just that, but when I am finally packed and ready, I always have the feeling that I’m forgetting something. Not till we get to our destination do I realize I have no under ware or socks.
2. Leaving. Was it just my family, or does each vacation require you to get up before the sun does? Excited to see the world!, not at 4am. Just wheel me and my stuff to the airport and wake me up when we get there. And since I procrastinated packing my items, it’s no wonder I forget to bring half my things. I can’t even remember my own name at that hour.
3. Pets. As a child, my cat was one of my best friends. “Why can’t she come with me? Isn’t she part of the family too? She’s going to think we abandoned her, and die of heartbreak. Oh, the hotel won’t put her up?…What a load.”. Now I have to leave my most precious friend in the care of the neighbors, or worse, a shelter? I didn’t like either of them. I’d say, “If she’s dead when we get back, I’m never talking to you again!”. Lucky for them, she survived the heartache.
4. Travel Time. Time seems to crawl by when getting to a vacation destination, and I find myself having to use the bathroom twice as much as I usually do. I swear I’d hear on the plane, “Didn’t he just use the bathroom? Is there something wrong with that guy, I hope he’s OK.”. The person sitting next to the bathroom could probably pick me out of a lineup after all that face time. Then, when we finally get to where we’re going, it takes an hour to get off the plane. At which time I have to go against the flow (pun intended), and make my way to the bathroom one last time.
5. Supervision. This must be a bummer for both kids and parents. Guess that’s why there’s a “parents getaway” section at some theme parks. How they get away with this, I don’t know, but they exist. Parents not only want a vacation from home, but from the kids too. A little “alone time”. I get the feeling that plan hardly works. When I was a teenager on family vacation, I never wanted to be seen with my parents. Be a lone wolf. searching the territory on my own. Try and look like just another adult traveling by myself. Yeah, I’m sure ladies looked at a 12 year old boy and thought, “Wow, he’s by himself. He must be so much older then he looks.” Seemed reasonable at the time.
6. The Itinerary. I bet you didn’t know that the best way to rid yourself of the stresses of a work or school schedule, is to plan out every detail and every second you spend having fun while on vacation. I know, it sounds crazy! “Let’s see, Day 2 we will get up for breakfast at 7:30am. Then, at 9:05am we will take our last bite and proceed to ask for the bill. We will then arrive at Sea World at 9:27am. After the dolphin sh….”. Better hope you don’t run late, or the kids will always remind you of the orca…..they never got to see.
7. Sickness. Was it the food down there? Maybe the change in climate. Perhaps it was the hotel room. No, most likely it was the guy who kept sneezing by me on the plane. I have a way of getting sick on most vacations. I’ll be OK the first day, then terrible till the last day. Which leaves me just enough time to fit everything in on one day, then rush to get packed again. Is there any better way to kick back and relax?
8. Closures Due To Reconstruction. There’s the classic scene in “National Lampoons Vacation”, when the Griswolds finally make it to there destination, a theme park, only to fined it closed for repairs. I must live in a movie, because I’ve had rides, restaurants, lookout points, even beaches, closed due to repair. Is it a crime to experience the world as a family, during the off season? Can’t a family save a buck, and still get to enjoy the finer things in life? Thanks Space Mountain, you ruined my childhood.
9. Getting Back To Real Life. There comes a time in the vacation, when every member of the family realizes that the real world is a day or so away from being a reality again. Jobs, bills, homework, all get closer with each second. A moment that should have had you rolling in laughter is cut short by the thought that, “This laugh might be the last before I have to get back home.”.
10. Time flies. When you get off the plane, and you smell the familiar air, and hear the familiar sounds, you look over at your family, and it hits you. The worst part of a family vacation was yet to come. You realize, it’s over. That in the end, you and your family had a great time, and if you could, would do it all over again. That, time together is precious, no matter how many bumps in the road there may be.
And before you know it, another family vacation is being planned.