Recently I scrolled through an article titled, "How To Have The Worst Family Vacation Ever." It got me to thinking about the vacations we took when our kids were young and still in the nest. Disney was probably at the top of our kids' list. We did several trips when they were young and a couple with them and their own families. It's probably the one place that can satisfy all age levels.
There were several other vacations though that stand out as quite successful. How do I know? The kids still talk about them. When our family extended to five kids with the adoption of our youngest two, we resorted to a couple of vacations where we rented a house rather than tried to stuff everyone into motel rooms. Economically it actually worked out well since we could cook meals and save some money there.
The house we rented in the mountains near Gatlinberg, Tennesee, had several bedrooms so we could separate the older kids from the younger and that solved some bedtime problems. It also had the biggest hot tub I think I'd ever seen and we all enjoyed that. We hiked. We fished (in a stocked pond) and ate quite a meal of trout cooked on the grill on the deck. We explored some of the touristy places in Gatlinberg. Most of all we relaxed and enjoyed the fresh air and the outdoors.
Another summer we found a place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Surf, sand and sea air were a wonderful escape. The national park was nearby and our older kids learned to snorkel there as well as get up close with some of the natural wonders. One of the highlights was buying a bunch of shrimp and having to pull the heads off before we cooked them. The boys loved it!
Planning your summer family vacation? Be sure to find some place that will have something that all of you are interested in. Don't plan so tightly that you leave no time for just relaxing. Be flexible. Even if the station wagon breaks down half way up the mountain to your cabin, you are making memories. Keep cool and vacation on.