Mommy Myth: We don’t need a vacation.
How many parents have put off a vacation because they didn’t have the time, the money, or the desire to travel with little kids in tow? I’m betting many. According to a study, as many as 25% of U.S. adults don’t take any vacation during the year.
However, we need vacations from our everyday life. Not just to clear our minds, but to keep us healthy.
People who don’t take vacations are eight times more likely to develop heart problems or have a heart attack early in life. Stress takes a serious toll on our cardiovascular system. Without a break, parts of it can start to wear out before their time. And those who do have a heart attack are 32% more likely to die from it. Yikes! Generally, people are more healthy and productive if they take at least one vacation a year.
So now we know that our health depends on us taking a vacation, but it doesn’t help the other dilemmas of time, money, and the stress of traveling with kids. Here are some tips of ways to circumvent those problems to get the time off that you need.
- Become one with nature. Don’t have two weeks to spend traveling the country? Find a weekend, preferably a three-day weekend, and gather your camping gear. Teach the kids what life is like without an iPad and TV. Let them get dirty. Eat lots of s’mores. Catch fireflies. Go hiking. Have a blast.
- Explore somewhere new. Not an outdoorsy-type gal? Find places to visit within three hours away from you. It will be far enough away to give you a sense of being somewhere far from home, but not so far the kids get frustrated with the car travel. Ask friends where they like to go that’s not too far. You may discover a new resort, cute lodge, or a fun town with lots to explore. You can easily spend only a few days away but feel like you had a full vacation.
- Talk to friends. Travelling is expensive, especially lodging. Recruit your friends to help you find a place to stay. If you know someone who lives near a place you’d like to visit, ask if you can stay with her for a night or two to decrease hotel costs. I was chatting with a friend about getting away and she offered the use of her cabin if we ever wanted to go to Michigan for the weekend. You never know unless you start talking up your vacation ideas.
- Look for vacation deals. We went to the Wisconsin Dells during the “off season”, and got a suite, tickets to the water park, food vouchers, and movie passes for what we would have paid for a normal hotel room. Deals are everywhere if you keep an eye out. If you have a few places that you’d really like to go, signup for their email lists and get their deals in your inbox. Follow a blog that posts vacation deals. Groupon Getaways also has some amazing vacation deals from hotels to inclusive vacations.
- The Staycation. Staycations (staying at home during your vacation) are great for your wallet, but you can easily just fall back into your regular routine. If you’re planning to stick around town, have fun outings planned every day. Act as if you’re on vacation and veer from having to be home for every meal and naptime. Check out the sites and activities around town. Go to a festival or fair. Get out of the house.
Traveling With The Kids
- Plan ahead. Vacations with kids can be overwhelming. The trick is to plan ahead. Take them into consideration with everything from where you’re going, how you’re getting there, when you’re traveling, and what you’re doing once you are there. Whether it’s a road trip, a flight, or something else, the key is preparation.
- Adults only. Take a vacation without your kids. I have to admit, we haven’t done this yet, but we will when the kids are a bit older. You need time with your significant other if you want the relationship to remain strong. See if your parents or relatives who can watch the kiddos for a few days. It will be nice to have some adult time, sleep in past 6:30, and to eat a meal without saying the phrase, “Please use your fork when you eat macaroni.” And don’t worry about the kids. They will be having the time of their lives bonding with their grandparents.
I know you still have excuses of why you can’t get away. But just think, not only will the vacation create happy memories for a lifetime but it will also make you a healthier, happier parent. And that is incredibly important.Photo courtesy of Nina Matthews at flickr.com
Where would you like to go on vacation?