In the dictionary, vacation is defined as a “period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation” — which is why “vacationing with kids” is a total oxymoron. Let’s face it: Going away with your offspring is rarely restful or relaxing. However, if you still insist on attempting a vacation with your children this summer (You silly fool! — that’s me, talking to myself in the mirror), here are seven vacation ideas you will most definitely want to avoid.
7. A road trip involving a drive more than 15 minutes.
We once attempted this foolhardy idea when we threw our then 18-month-old daughter and some bags in the back of the car and set out for Las Vegas. Five hours, one vomit (hers, not mine), endless screams, one sippy cup dropped every five minutes, and one raging headache later, we arrived at our destination. At which point, our daughter finally fell asleep.
6. Anything involving a hotel room.
Perhaps it’s just my kids, but the second they step foot into a clean, airy hotel room, they become possessed with an energy that makes Robin Williams seem downright tranquil in comparison. By the time my husband returns with the second round of bags, they have already displaced sofa cushions, emptied the contents of their Sesame Street suitcases on the bathroom floor and somehow dialed the concierge.
Time to go home yet?
5. Anything involving an airplane.
Unless, of course, you’re the Jolie-Pitts and have a private jet that gives you access to edible food, a staff at your beck and call and, you know, actual space where your kids can frolic — in which case, enjoy! (Also, take me with you? Please?)
4. A cruise.
The only thing worse than being stuck on a plane with small kids? It’s being stuck with them in a room the size of your closet for a week.
Mom overboard! Mom overboard!
3. An amusement park.
Much like that second martini, it sounds like a great idea, but often ends up giving you a big ol’ headache. In fact, I can sum up amusement parks in the summer in six words: mo’ lines, mo’ lines, mo’ lines! And children (and their cranky parents) aren’t exactly known for their patience.
2. “All-Inclusive” Vacation Packages
Translation: cheap alcohol and sub-par food. Trust me. If you’re on vacation with the kids, you should treat yourself to top-shelf cocktails. You deserve nothing but the good stuff.
Nothing sets back potty training like an unfortunate latrine experience. Also — nobody ever has the nerve to tell you this but — there are no electrical outlets for your hair dryer or cappuccino maker! True story. It’s no way to live. No way to live at all.
So if you should avoid cars, planes and boats, that pretty much leaves traveling by train or, better yet, shipping your kids to the vacation destination via overnight. After all, kids love hanging out in boxes. (I kid! I kid! *Ahem*)