If you can believe this, we took our first official family vacation earlier this month. Yes, that's right-my kids are almost 3 and have never been on a proper vacation. Their poor baby books' "My first vacation" photo will be of preschoolers and not babies. But that's neither here nor there. I want to take a few minutes to tell you what this vacation taught me.
1. Vacations with toddlers are what you make of them. You could go to a beautiful place and still be stressed, tired and pissed off if you choose to be. Or you could go to a beautiful place and just make the best out of spending 24/7 with often cranky children. I highly recommend the latter. One of my little guys gave us grief daily, even hourly if you want to break it down further, but hey-what can you do? Make the best of it...and maybe give him a little more screen time than you'd normally allow.
2. When planning a vacation with toddlers, go for practicality vs. luxury. My husband and I were butting heads on this argument prior to our trip. We actually settled on middle ground here, but (as per usual), I was kind of right. ;) We went to a resort style location, equipped with condo style rooms. Basically, we stayed in a nice apartment that had multiple pools, a restaurant and the beach just steps away. It was a good combination of actually feeling like you're at a hotel but also still having a washer/dryer and full kitchen so you can manage your sanity with little kids.
3. Rent a car. So I guess this depends on where you go, but we had heard through the grapevine that in Maui (our destination), you really need to have a rental car. I'm glad we did. This was a great way to explore different beaches and towns and also get our kids to take a nap!
4. Lastly, the most important thing I learned was that vacations are NECESSARY. I'm such a practical person. I can usually spout off 10 reasons why we shouldn't take a vacation any day of the week: money, work, time off, other plans, etc. etc. etc. This vacation taught me that I need to make vacationing a priority, for me and for my family. Being the 'mamager' of the household, it's up to ME to make this happen, so I am holding myself accountable for pushing to get these scheduled and planned at least once per year.