Last week Sonya from Saving Everyday with Sonya K submitted for me in The True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches! I was on a much needed family vacation! I tried hard to “unplug” ( it helped the WIFI was terrible) but that means this week as a special treat you can get a double dose of “the trenches”
I do hope you will visit with Sonya and my fabulous co-host Melissa from Home on Deranged and make sure to come back for my tales THIS Thursday! XOXOXOX~Jodi
Post written by the always savvy, Sonya K!
This week True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches is exploring vacationing with kids. My family recently went on our first family vacation to Disney World. So my husband, our six-year old son, our two-year old daughter and I drove from Arkansas to Orlando, splitting the 16 hour drive into two eight hour drives by stopping in Atlanta and spending the night. Vacationing is always great, but there is definitely a difference in vacationing with and without kids.
One area that you have to carefully consider when vacating with kids is potty time. I have a confession. I stopped potty training my two-year old when I thought about her having to sit on a public restroom toilet. No thank you! I knew we would be driving to Orlando and primarily stopping at big trucking travel centers to use the restrooms. After living in a college dorm for four year, I’m a master squatter and no have problems using a travel center restrooms. However, I would not dare sit my bottom on the actual seat. So all potty training was halted and plenty of Pull-ups were packed for the trip.
One would think that the potty situation for a six-year old boy would be easy. There is no sitting for #1 and in extreme emergencies an empty bottle will do the trick. However, my son is very selective about where he will stand and tinkle. Travel Center Restrooms? A no go. Wal-Mart? Negative. How about an empty bottle? “You can’t pee in a bottle,” was his response to using a bottle. So during our long 8 hour drives my six-year old held his pee until we made it somewhere he felt comfortable. So we had to find places that my son was familiar with using the restrooms at. In our case it was Olive Garden and Chick-Fil-A
What to Eat?
Another area that requires special consideration when vacationing with kids is finding food that they will eat. When you vacation without kids you are free to explore new restaurants and different cuisines. However, when you vacation with kids you have to check menus to make sure that restaurant serves the food your kids like. This is especially true if you have a picky eater or a child with a special diet. While driving through Florida we had to make a 30-minute detour to find a Sonic Drive-In, because my son only eats Sonic fries. Who knew finding a Sonic Drive-In in Florida would be so hard.
Since my son has a diet that consists mostly of spaghetti, pizza, and baked beans; I had to search for restaurants at the Disney parks that served his favorites. We also stayed at a hotel with a refrigerator and microwave, so I could also make food for my picky eater at the hotel. So, if you have a child that deviates from the standard kids menu of chicken nuggets, fries, mac & cheese, and burgers plan ahead. Because a hungry kids turns into a grumpy kid and no one wants to deal with a grumpy kid on vacation.
Schedule Rest Time/Day
I learned this one the hard way. Make sure to schedule some down time during the day or even take a whole day to rest in between high activity days or your family may become the victim of the 2nd Day Grumps. When we went to Disney, I didn’t schedule a day of rest in between park visits and we sadly became victims of the 2nd Day Grumps. After about two hours at Hollywood Studios my son was ready to leave and go back to the hotel. We decided to move onto Animal Kingdom at that point, because after spending a butt load of money on Disney Park tickets we were not calling it a day after two hours. Seeing Mickey & Minnie at Animal Kingdom cheered him up. So luckily we only had to deal with the 2nd Day Grumps for half of the day. So make sure the little people have their favorite foods and are well rested, so they can be in a great mood. Because being tired and hungry will make anyone grumpy and too much grumpiness leads to meltdowns.
One last thing to be beware of the are post vacation pleas of returning to the vacation destination. Kids don’t realize the expense of vacation and the reality of limited vacation days that working parents have to take off. So they may ask to go back on vacation once they get home. For us our two-year old daughter asks to go to the Dumbo ride everyday since we returned home from our vacation.
Vacationing with kids requires a ton of planning and can be stressful at times. However, in the end remember that vacationing with kids is all worth it when you see your kids experiencing complete joy from something that has happened while on vacation.
Do you have any favorite memories from vacationing with your kids? Any helpful tips for vacationing with kids?