It's no secret - I LOVE vacation. One of the big reasons we are frugal is so we can go on vacations. Luckily, Mr. Chewy loves vacation as much as I do and even wrote about it in his blog "Stuff I Like" last week. What makes these family trips worth the investment?
Breaking Routine - It's far too easy to get comfortable with life routine - changing it up can be a great thing. Mornings can get a little crazy at the Chewy house - breakfast, work, school, etc. Having a chance to change it up a bit can be refreshing.
Reconnecting - Sometimes it feels like we are all going several different directions at once, and our paths rarely cross. Ok, I am generally with the Chewy Tot - but otherwise - even though we don't participate in a lot of "extra" activities -- school, work, and church activities keep us on the go. Having the time to reconnect with each other - in ways other than "Here, let me help you so you don't miss the bus!" is much needed. Mr. Chewy and I also generally have some quiet time when the boys are asleep or busy with other activities - a chance to talk and really reconnect more than "can you pick up the milk tomorrow or do I need to?" We have also been blessed with a lot of friends from all over that we have the opportunity to meet up with during vacations. Reconnecting and catching up is always a great time.
New Experiences - Even though we have spent a lot of our vacations in a couple of different spots (Walt Disney World and the Ozarks) we are always having new experiences. Trying new foods, learning about history, hiking new trails, or listening to new music. Seeing the Chewy Kid after his first ride on the Tower of Terror at Disney World - priceless! With the Chewy kid getting older, I'm looking forward to even more new experiences as he learns more about the US and the world and hoping we all have the chance to see more of it first hand. I hope to continue to learn more about the world around me and the people in it - and I can't think of a better way than first hand!
Respite - Ok, as a mom - I don't get a complete vacation - the kiddos still have to eat, diapers need to be changed - and yes, the tot will probably get up in the night too - but it is still a respite from the "normal routine" I'm not wearing so many hats either which makes it a lot more enjoyable.
Memories - I know we are making family memories that will last a lifetime - from silly car games to fancy dinners - vacation stories come back over and over again.
Overall - I think back to family vacations growing up. I loved the places we went, the things we saw and experienced, and the time together. My parents taught me two very important things about family vacations:
1 - Taking the time to plan and experience a family vacation says you really do enjoy spending time with your kids, and creating memories and experiences together.
2 - Make sure you get a haircut and look your best - the majority of the photos in the family collection are of vacation!