“A vacation is what you take – when you can no longer take what you have been taking!” This famous quote by Earl Wilson, is truer today than every before. Through out all of our efforts to simplify and ‘advance’ our world – we have created a dimension of reality that is full of stress and anxieties. Our constant connection to work, friends, colleagues and the information leads to overload. Sadly, most people don’t know just how stressed they are – or how much they need a vacation from life – until they take one.
Far too many of us, in love with the idea of ‘stay-cations’ are staying home rather than exploring the world with our loved ones in an effort to save money. Let’s be real, vacations are an expensive endeavor especially when you are trying to accommodate little ones along the way. One week at Disney World can cost on average of twice as much as a monthly house payment. A week at the beach, can easily be in excess of $1,000. How as a family, can you justify spending that much on a vacation when you are scrambling to put groceries on the table every month?
Truth is – no matter how high the costs may be, there are some things in life that are simply worth sacrificing for. And family vacations are well worth the investment. Even if you have to save some money every week for an entire year in order to be able to afford a nice getaway with your family, it is something that you should do. Here’s why.
Your family is only little once. There are only a limited number of firsts in your children’s lives that you will get to witness. Showing them the vastness of the ocean, taking them on a boat ride or taking them on their first ever camping trip are things that will make memories and impressions on your children. When you stay home, and follow the day-to-day routine, it is extremely easy to overlook and look passed the simple blessings that you have in life. It is difficult to reset from one day to the next. When you go on vacation together as a family, you have an automatic reset button that allows you to live life a little differently than you do normally. And through these eyes, you can reignite the magic of family and togetherness.
This isn’t to say that the only way you can make memories or create special times together is by spending a lot of money on vacation. But be honest. As long as you are home – you are still adhering to a schedule. Your cell phone is still beeping and ringing. Your computer calls you. Dinnertime is a routine that is followed quickly by bedtime. When you go on vacation – your brain resets quite a bit, and you learn to live life with a little more spontaneity and you are focused on the fun and enjoyment. Sure, it can be a tad stressful too. But waking up to the ocean waves, or watching a sunset on a purple mountainside at dusk – have a way of relaxing even the most stressed soul. And tasting these things through and with your child, well – that is quite frankly the magic that life is made of.
Plus, vacation together – as a family, create something to look forward to. Each time you take another vacation together – whether near or far, you are recording moments in your family’s book of life. Plus, by doing things that you enjoy – you are passing bits and pieces of your soul onto your children. When they reach back in their mental file, they will remember how much you loved the ocean, or walking on the sand – or the big shark that they caught when they were away for the week. They will also WANT and desire to do these things for their own family, to pass on the traditions that you started of enjoying vacations together.
Sure, it’s expensive. Taking care of a family on the road is not always easy or cheap. Luckily, there are plenty of options available today from savings plans to hot deals on places to stay that can make the traditional family vacation affordable for everyone. If you start planning right now, in just a few months or a years time – you can have a once in a lifetime experience with your kids while they are still young, while they still WANT to be with you, and while they will appreciate it.
One of the simple facts of our existence is that we are human ‘beings.’ We are not human doings. When we are at home, stuck in the rut of routines offered by life and work and family responsibilities – we forget to just ‘be’ with our children. We often take advantage of our time together – and become so caught up in making it from one day to the next, that don’t get to sit back and enjoy and feel real gratitude for what we have. Taking a family vacation – regardless of the cost, can help you to get reacquainted with what really matters in your life. It can remind you how precious time is, and what a gift your children are to you. It will help you, just for a short period of time, to slow down enough to ‘smell the roses.’ And that quite frankly, is exactly what each and every one of us needs from time to time. Rest assured, taking a family vacation will not be something that you regret once it’s over.