Why I love family vacation

whyilovefamilytravelAfter 7 days of teachers union strike, public schools started 2012-2013 school year today. The extended summer break came to an end.

Before the summer break, among most of the parents around me and on the blogs that I read, the main consensus about vacation was “a vacation is not a vacation when it’s with kids”. I seem to be the one of the few who disagrees.

Working at an office job, traveling for business and my kids going to school every day, I cannot think of vacation (off-work time) without my kids. To me vacation is visiting and discovering new places, learning about those places, tasting local food, enjoying nature, playing games, doing seasonal sports and activities, reading, napping and sometimes doing nothing with my family. I travel for business and every time I go out for a walk or take a tour after business, I wish my family were with me to enjoy that moment.

We have taken trips and went on vacation overseas with my children since they were infants. I have never thought our Paris trip, weekend getaway to Milwaukee or camping trip to Devil’s Lake would have been much better, more fun without my kids.

After working 5 days a week, traveling once a month, spending weekday evenings in a “do your homework, finish your meal, brush your teeth” cycle and weekends running from one birthday to another social activity, I really need memorable family time with my kids.

I admit traveling with children is not all sunshine and rainbows. You can’t sleep in. If you don’t have accompanying adults or babysitting service available, you can’t have a date night either. There is also accidents and sicknesses. We visited many ERs on all four corners of the world during our travels, than I would have like to see. But those unpleasant memories are tucked away down in the deep dark corners of my mind. For me, the best part of vacation is to enjoy the day from dawn until getting knocked down from exhaustion after dinner.  Some all-inclusive resorts might have kiddie clubs. Still, as a parent, when are you going to find that opportunity to make memories if you are not spending time together?

We had a special vacation this year. I was able to telecommute for 2 weeks along my 2-week vacation. Therefore, my kids were able to spend a whole month in Turkey. It was a little bit hard to explain the kids why I was working during “vacation” time.

I also enjoyed limited internet connection during my 2–week vacation. It helped me curb my social media addiction a bit.

Kids enjoyed their time at my parent’s summer house. It’s more practical because there are many other kids who befriend each other and entertain each other. Therefore, parents just need to plan the day and monitor their kids.

During the strike last week, we as parents had to go back to work while kids didn’t go to school. Unfortunately, I had a busy schedule after vacation. I wish I was still on vacation and spent time with my kids. My son came to me and told me “I wish you could stay with us”. I miss traveling and vacationing with my children already.

The first thing on my dream list is to travel the world with my children. One day it will come true. For now, we have to get by with corporate vacation, winter and spring breaks and weekend getaways. I feel lucky enough to be able to telecommute so that my kids could spend longer time with their grandparents.

When my kids grow their wings and fly away, I’m sure I’ll appreciate traveling by ourselves. Until then, I’ll share my love of travel and vacation with the ones I love most, even though they wake me up at the wee hours of the morning.

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