15 lessons learned on our first big family vacation

Other than our few memorable camping trips, our family had yet to go on a real, actual vacation. The kids had never even left the province! 
(Despite my husband being an airline employee, they have yet to go on an airplane, either, but that’s a story for another day …)

But this summer, our first real trip was to none other than Anne-of-Green-Gables-Land (Prince Edward Island or PEI, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Anne Shirley). 
Of course, it was yet another camping trip. *facepalm*

We went for three days/four nights, so it was … lengthy? But also good? But also … three nights is a long time to camp, you know? You feel me?

We’re heading out on another camping trip tomorrow, so I thought I’d better record all of this for posterity before I forget it.

Without further ado, here are the 15 lessons I learned on our longest family (camping) vacation:

  1. Research the bathrooms before going to any campground. I would have taken a photo of the bathroom stalls that didn’t come up as high as my armpit, but it was too depressing. And I was probably crying too hard to take the photo.
  2. Four people in a tent-trailer (circa 1990) without a bathroom means you will walk to the bathroom — or clean out a potty — far, far, far more times than you would ever imagine.
  3. New playgrounds are the best playgrounds. Because they’re new.
  4. The beach is amazing. Any beach. All of the beaches. Even for indoorsy people like me, beaches are awesome and make everyone in better moods.
  5. It is impossible to keep a tent-trailer’s floor clean with two small children. (Hello, pine needles)
  6. Waterparks/theme parks require a lot of packing and preparation, cost a lot of $$$ to get through the gates, and sometimes cause moments of frustration, but they are worth every penny. (At least this one was!)
  7. Never go anywhere without snacks and water. Ever.
  8. When you’re camping, your clothes will be perpetually damp and possibly sandy/dirty — even if you hang them up. (Especially if you hang them up?) It’s a law of camping.
  9. Vacationing with good friends — even if it’s just meeting up here and there — is awesome, particularly when there is a “match” for each member of the family.
  10. I discovered that waking up and immediately brushing my teeth and washing my face is VERY, VERY, VERY important for my sanity. When that’s not an immediate possibility, well … yeah. Not good.
  11. Treats go a long way to improve everyone’s moods.
  12. When your children are being whiny little bastards in the car, remind yourself that their cuteness frolicking on the beach and squealing their way down a waterslide will make up for it … well, mostly.
  13. Bring a travel mug so your tea stays hot enough to drink, because there are no microwaves in the great outdoors. (Or else see #9 RE: cranky-pants)
  14. Take advantage of fun extras. We rented a four-person bicycle ($15 for 90 minutes) and had a blast huffing and puffing our way around the campground. 
  15. Vacations are awesome. Even when they’re not.

All photos stolen from my Instagram account

One Comment on “15 lessons learned on our first big family vacation

  1. Pingback: Should kids be world travellers?

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