How to Have the Summer Vacation from Hell With Your Family
Anyone can have an ordinary family vacation. It takes special planning to have the family vacation from hell. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind as you go about planning yours.
Share the family travel love. Invite your favorite (and not-so-favorite) relatives to join you on your family road trip. Isn't this what vacations are all about: maxing out family togetherness time?
Plan to cover as many miles in a day as you did in your pre-kid days. Circulate a copy of the daily itinerary at breakfast each day so that the toddlers can take note of the times you have scheduled for meal and bathroom breaks.
Put your family on the family diner diet. Eating in motel and roadside establishments that serve whipped cream and fried batter-based meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner will ensure that the kids end up riding the blood-sugar rollercoaster all day long. (Hey, it makes for cheap entertainment if you can't afford admission to a real amusement park.)
Hit as many tourist attractions as you can, even if you have to cancel naps and keep the kids up extra late to fit everything in. After all, you didn't bring the entire family all this way to miss seeing the [famous tourist attraction], now did you?
Late to bed, late to rise: make that your vacation motto, especially when you're staying in a motel. That way, you can start each morning in sprint mode, trying to beat the motel check-out clock. (Can you can get everyone up, washed, and packed (with no favorite stuffed animals left behind) by the time you have to hand over your motel key? Sure you can.)
Ramp up your caffeine intake if you feel your energy level starting to dip. You've got to play hard when you're on vacation, right? And as for annoying side effects like restlessness, edginess, and caffeine-induced insomnia? They'll wear off once you push yourself to the point of full-blown exhaustion, don't you worry.
If at first you don't succeed, etc. If your vacation from hell fell short of your expectations, simply vow to try harder next year. That unforgettable family vacation is well within your grasp.
Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting. She is also a family vacation survivor.