Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

The Real Value in Family Vacations

Robert Orben, an American professional comedy writer, said, “A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.” Vacations are a must for every family. Everyone needs to take a break from everyday life and stressors to get rest and relaxation, otherwise, individuals and relationships suffer. It does not have to be in sunny, coastal Gulf shores, hundreds of miles away from home. It can be in one’s backyard.

What's the real value of a family vacation? Here's a hint: it's not the dollar value!

Sure, preparing for vacation can be a little stressful, However, the benefits far outweigh the initial hassles. It is a way for families to connect, share new experiences, make memories and play together. You can even have fun on a shoe string budget! When my three children were younger, my husband and I would take a week off from work and take the kids camping at a local park, swim at a nearby lake or pick up a movie at the library and watch it at home while having a picnic in our living room. The point to keep in mind while vacationing at home, is to remove oneself from the daily chores and just relax. Leave the laundry and projects for another day. Isn’t that the point of vacation?

For my family, it is rare now that we all eat or hang out together as the boys are getting older. However, when we went to South Carolina in June, we ate meals together, we surfed the white cap waves and played card games. We laughed and had fun enjoying each other’s company. Upon returning home, we all felt rejuvenated and happy.

We all agreed this was the best vacation ever. I am unsure as to what was the major reason but several components existed: we didn’t need to pay for housing as this was my sister’s vacation home. It was a beautiful, spacious home with a serene beach palette of ocean blue, beige and off-white walls and seaside decorum. Abby, who is my daughter Gabrielle’s companion, and my son, Jared’s girlfriend, came with us. Having the girls around gave me more time with my husband, including a walk on the beach every morning.

Do not underestimate the power of a retreat. Families cannot afford to go without them. So, what’re you waiting for?

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