“Active families will love participating in beach volleyball games in the sand and can even try out surfing waves coveted by some of the area’s best surfers. Don’t spoil all your hard work in the gym when you finally have the time to enjoy life. Always be thinking about your health, even when you’re on vacation. That way you’ll be proud of yourself before, during, and most importantly, after your vacation ends. Try the following activities during your next vacation to get you and your family moving, laughing, and bonding.”
I used to love to fly. What better way to catch up on my celeb magazines, eat a bag of M&M’s (that’s a must-have at 3,000 feet) and relax? And the best part of flying? Watching all those already exhausted moms and dads with all their kids and their crap shuffle past me, and knowing I wasn’t one of them.
Then I had my first child and became a member of the “Exhausted Travelers Club.” My husband and I were invited by friends to come to France for two weeks with our 1-year-old. Like rookies, we said yes. Do you have any idea what it’s like to fly with a 1-year-old for 12 whole hours, transfer in Paris, schlep across the airport to catch that flight to Nice, only to finally arrive 15 hours after leaving home? Of course you do, because you’ve made the same rookie mistake that I have—you’ve traveled with your children. It was then that I made the rule: Vacations aren’t vacations when children are involved.
Now as the parents of two children, the hubs and I have been anxious to get out of town and to show our kids the world. So I’ve tested the waters in search of the perfect family vacation that actually involves my family. Here’s what I came up with:
1. Don’t Go Far
So yeah, this kind of cuts out the Paris trip you’ve been planning or that Boston to Hawaii journey you’ve been thinking about. Your 2-year-old doesn’t really care where she is. To her, Daytona Beach and Bali are all the same—they’re beaches. Go far enough so you feel like you went somewhere, and close enough to where you don’t need heavy pharmaceuticals just to endure the trip with your kids.
2. This Is Not the Time to Restrict Screen Time
OK, your kids are basically Amish at home and watch TV once every year, but on vacation anything goes—especially if you’re flying. So charge the battery on your Blackberry, iPhone, DVD player, computer and iPad and let those kids watch Finding Nemo 400 times. If they don’t cry on the plane, neither will you.
3. Go Somewhere the Kids Will Love
Sure, you used to look at those hotels with water slides and kid camps like they were for sissies. Guess what? Those hotels keep your kids happy and engaged. So soak up that splash pad and enjoy People mag while the little one yucks it up in the baby pool. Because nothing screams “bad vacation” like taking little kids to museums that mom and dad can barely stand.