Traveling With Kids Isn't a Vacation, It's a Trip – Kveller
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Traveling With Kids Isn’t a Vacation, It’s a Trip

I am so freaking exhausted.


Photo by Vicko Mozara on Unsplash

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There is nothing more irritating than hearing someone complain about their vacation, so let me start out by saying that I just got back from a lovely week at the Jersey Shore with extended family.

It was my 1-year-old’s first time at the beach, and she had an absolute blast. Her love of the bath translated well to her love of the beach and hotel pool. She didn’t try to eat sand even once (but did eat her weight in French fries). She got tons of quality time with her grandparents and aunt and uncle. She saw a lot of puppies. She made friends everywhere we went, i.e. any stranger who so much as glanced her way. And nobody got sunburned.

But oh my God, I am so freaking exhausted.

The trials and tribulations of vacationing with little kids was one of those things I heard about before becoming a parent. “It’s not a vacation, it’s a trip,” they warned. “It’s just parenting in a different location,” they explained. I assumed it couldn’t really be that hard. I am here to say it can really be that hard.

It didn’t help that the first night we got there, I felt that tell-tale tickle in my throat, and by day three, I had a full-blown cold. It didn’t help that I soon passed that cold onto my husband. It didn’t help that it took the baby six days to get used to sleeping in the Pack and Play in our room (we left on the seventh). It didn’t help that it rained more days than it didn’t. (It did help that there was very good ice cream at every turn.)

Even if the sun was shining down every day and tissues weren’t filling up the pockets of our shorts, I know that I would still be exhausted by the end of the trip because parenting is just exhausting. I can put an auto-responder up on my work email but somehow the same approach doesn’t work for my daughter. Of course my main priority was making sure she had a good time, but I was also hoping to unwind a bit myself. I am embarrassed to admit that I brought not one but two books with me, thinking I would have ample time to read on the beach. Say it with me now: ha ha ha.

I am now resigning myself to the fact that for the next, oh, dozen of years, I probably won’t have a relaxing time on a family vacation (though I am certainly already fantasizing about taking a solo trip as soon as this baby’s done nursing. I don’t even care where I go. I just want to sit in silence for 168 hours).

We are fortunate enough to be going on another beach trip with the other side of the family next month, so for the next few weeks, I’m going to do my best to rest up and take it easy. I know I’ll need all the energy I can muster for that “vacation.”

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